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Adaptation of proteins to the cold in Antarctic fish: A role for Methionine?

Berthelot, Camille; Clarke, Jane; Desvignes, Thomas; Detrich III, H William; Flicek, Paul; Peck, Lloyd; Peters, Michael; Postlethwait, John H; Clark, Melody ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3442-3824. 2019 Adaptation of proteins to the cold in Antarctic fish: A role for Methionine? Genome Biology and Evolution, 11 (1). 220-231. https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evy262

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© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse,distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
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Abstract/Summary

The evolution of antifreeze glycoproteins has enabled notothenioid fish to flourish in the freezing waters of the Southern Ocean.Whereas successful at the biodiversity level to life in the cold, paradoxically at the cellular level these stenothermal animals have problems producing, folding, and degrading proteins at their ambient temperatures of –1.86 °C. In this first multi-species transcriptome comparison of the amino acid composition of notothenioid proteinswith temperate teleostproteins,we show that, unlike psychrophilic bacteria, Antarctic fish provide little evidence for the mass alteration of protein amino acid composition to enhance protein folding and reduce protein denaturation in the cold. The exception was the significant overrepresentation of positions where leucine in temperate fish proteins was replaced by methionine in the notothenioid orthologues. We hypothesize that these extra methionines have been preferentially assimilated into the genome to act as redox sensors in the highly oxygenated waters of the Southern Ocean. This redox hypothesis is supported by analyses of notothenioids showing enrichment of genes associated with responses to environmental stress, particularly reactive oxygen species. So overall, although notothenioid fish show cold-associated problems with protein homeostasis, they may have modified only a selected number of biochemical pathways to work efficiently below 0°C. Even a slight warming of the Southern Ocean might disrupt the critical functions of this handful of key pathways with considerable impacts for the functioning of this ecosystem in the future.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1093/gbe/evy262
Additional Keywords: protein folding, gene duplication, positive selection, map kinases, environmental stress response, reactive oxygen species.
Date made live: 19 Feb 2019 15:04 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/522308

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