Roles of diversifying selection and coordinated evolution in the evolution of amphibian antimicrobial peptides.

Abstract

Antimicrobial peptides are expressed in the skin of amphibians and are used to prevent infection by microorganisms. Frog species store distinct collections of antimicrobial peptides that show variation in size, charge, conformation, and bactericidal activity, and so the evolution of antimicrobial peptide gene families may reflect the adaptive diversification of these loci. We examined the molecular evolution of antimicrobial peptide transcripts from hylid and ranid frog species. Our results show that after the gene family arose in the common ancestor of the Hylidae and Ranidae, before the divergence of these families in the Mesozoic, it subsequently diversified within these groups with numerous duplication events and divergence of loci. Moreover, we provide evidence that suggests that members of the antimicrobial peptide gene family have been subject to diversifying selection within both propiece and mature domains of hylids and solely within the mature domain of ranids. Finally, our results suggest that coordinated and compensatory amino acid replacements have occurred within the acidic propiece and cationic mature domain of hylid antimicrobial peptide precursors, as has been observed for mammalian defensin genes, but not among those of ranid precursors.

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@article{Duda2002RolesOD, title={Roles of diversifying selection and coordinated evolution in the evolution of amphibian antimicrobial peptides.}, author={Thomas F. Duda and Damien Vanhoye and Pierre Nicolas}, journal={Molecular biology and evolution}, year={2002}, volume={19 6}, pages={858-64} }