Navigation Links
UI researcher studies evolution on the molecular level
Date:12/13/2013

The theory of evolution suggests that present-day organisms evolved from earlier life forms.

At the molecular level, evolution reshaped some of the enzymes that help complete chemical processessuch as converting food into energyin humans and all other life forms.

Now a University of Iowa researcher and his colleagues describe the evolution of various forms of the enzyme "dihydrofolate reductase" as it occurred from bacteria to humans. Their paper, "Preservation of Protein Dynamics in Dihydrofolate Reductase Evolution," appears in the Dec. 13 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Amnon Kohen, professor of chemistry in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and member of the Interdisciplinary Program in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and his collaborators used bioinformatics (genetic sequencing information), computer-based calculations, artificial mutagenesis (DNA modification), and kinetic measurements in their work. They studied "humanized" forms of an enzyme that originated with the common bacterium E. coli in order to relate the action of protein dynamics and catalysis to the process of enzyme evolution.

They found that enzyme dynamics evolved over millions of years to optimize a specific catalyzed reaction that occurs in humans.

"Enzymes are critical components of every living cell, and they catalyze almost all chemical reaction in life. We study how evolution occurred on the molecular level," Kohen says. "This study is an attempt to understand how evolution of the whole organism (for example from bacteria like E. coli to humans) is expressed on the molecular level.

"We chose a 'housekeeping' enzyme, which is present in almost all organisms and is critical to life. That enzyme is called dihydrofolate reductase and is involved in DNA biosynthesis and all cells' replication," he says.

He says the researchers "bridged" between the bacterial and human enzymes by producing 'humanized' bacterial enzyme, meaning modifying parts of the bacterial enzyme to have the amino-acids sequence of the human enzyme. This was done based on a comparison of enzyme sequences of many organisms ranging from bacteria to human.

"We found that while many steps in the catalytic cascade of these enzymes are evolving, the actual chemical conversion catalyzed by the enzymes is conserved along evolutionmeaning that even in the bacteria, the enzyme already has perfectly oriented the reactants in its active site, as well as in the human enzyme. This outcome was not expected, as the human enzyme is much faster and quite different genetically," he says.

Kohen says that the study is significant in that it shows that the dynamics of enzyme evolution is preserved along evolution from bacteria to humans.

"The finding significantly affects how the scientific community understands what was important for evolutionary pressure to preserve and what is unimportant," he says. "For example, the preservation of enzyme dynamics that are involved in catalyzing the chemical conversion are very fast and were not expected to play a role in evolution, thus our findings will bring researchers to consider such fast dynamics not only in evolution, but also in the design of drugs used against this enzyme (and maybe enzymes in general) or the design of bio-mimetic (nature inspired) catalysts."

Kohen says that his study of the diverging genetic sequences between E. coli and Homo sapiens illustrates the process of evolution at a basic level.

"We start with E. coli because it is at a basic level, and we use bioinformatics to trace the evolution of a single enzyme," he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Gary Galluzzo
gary-galluzzo@uiowa.edu
319-384-0009
University of Iowa
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New organization brings together top researchers to sequence genomes of invertebrates
2. Bonefish spawning behavior in the Bahamas surprises researchers, should aid conservation
3. Where water is limited, researchers determine how much water is enough
4. Researchers at Penn help develop a dynamic model of tissue failure
5. Leibniz Prizes 2014: DFG honors 11 outstanding researchers
6. Researchers named to National Academy of Inventors
7. Researchers at Penn show optimal framework for heartbeats
8. University researchers observe surprising bonefish spawning behavior in the Bahamas
9. ASU researchers discover chameleons use colorful language to communicate
10. Canadian researchers lead groundbreaking discovery in deadly childhood cancer
11. Mount Sinai researchers say new strain of bird flu packs a punch even after becoming drug-resistant
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     (Logo: ... analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market to ... period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is being ... the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government for ...
(Date:4/13/2016)...  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in ... standard in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with ... IMPOWER patients can routinely track key health measurements, such ... and, when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER ... local retail location at no cost. By leveraging this ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... PUNE, India , March 22, 2016 ... new market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for ... Fingerprint, Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & ... and Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", ... consumer industry is expected to reach USD ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Mosio, a leader ... “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering with experienced clinical research professionals, ... providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical researchers. , “The landscape of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 A person commits a ... crime scene to track the criminal down. An ... Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly ... support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. ... microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: