Description: Two-component systems including histidine protein kinasesrepresent the primary signal transduction paradigm in prokaryoticorganisms. To understand how these systems adapt to allow organisms todetect niche-specific signals, we analyzed the phylogenetic distributionof nearly 5000 histidine protein kinases from 207 sequenced prokaryoticgenomes. We found that many genomes carry a large repertoire of recentlyevolved signaling genes, which may reflect selective pressure to adapt tonew environmental conditions. Both lineage-specific gene family expansionand horizontal gene transfer play major roles in the introduction of newhistidine kinases into genomes; however, there are differences in howthese two evolutionary forces act. Genes imported via horizontal transferare more likely to retain their original functionality as inferred from asimilar complement of signaling domains, while gene family expansionaccompanied by domain shuffling appears to be a major source of novelgenetic diversity. Family expansion is the dominantsource of newhistidine kinase genes in the genomes most enriched in signalingproteins, and detailed analysis reveals that divergence in domainstructure and changes in expression patterns are hallmarks of recentexpansions. Finally, while these two modes of gene acquisition arewidespread across bacterial taxa, there are clear species-specificpreferences for which mode is used.
Date: September 13, 2006
Creator: Alm, Eric; Huang, Katherine & Arkin, Adam
Item Type: Refine your search to only Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department