Mobility of DNA sequence recognition domains in DNA methyltransferases suggests epigenetics-driven adaptive evolution

 Abstract

DNA methylation is one of the best studied epigenetic modifications observed in prokaryotes as well as eukaryotes. It affects nearby gene expression. Most DNA methylation reactions in prokaryotes are catalyzed by a DNA methyltransferase, the modification enzyme of a restriction-modification (RM) system. Its target recognition domain (TRD) recognizes a specific DNA sequence for methylation. In this commentary, we review recent evidence for movement of TRDs between non-orthologous genes and movement within a gene. These movements are likely mediated by DNA recombination machinery, and are expected to alter the methylation status of a genome. Such alterations potentially lead to changes in global gene expression pattern and various phenotypes. The targets of natural selection in adaptive evolution might be these diverse methylomes rather than diverse genome sequences, the target according to the current paradigm in biology. This “epigenetics-driven adaptive evolution” hypothesis can explain several observations in the evolution of prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

 Commentary to: 

Y Furuta, I Kobayashi. Movement of DNA sequence recognition domains between non-orthologous proteins. Nucleic Acids Res 2012; 40: 9218- 32.
PMID: 22821560 DOI: 10.1093/nar/gks681

Y Furuta, M Kawai, I Uchiyama, I Kobayashi. Domain movement within a gene: a novel evolutionary mechanism for protein diversification. PLoS One 2011; 6: e18819.
PMID: 21533192 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018819

Full Text Options
Article
Metrics
 Share
 Full Text
 Info
Pages
292 - 296
doi
10.4161/mge.23371
Type
Commentary
 Metrics
 Cite This Article
 Permissions
Creative Commons License Permissions
 Reprints
Mobility of DNA sequence recognition domains in DNA methyltransferases suggests epigenetics-driven adaptive evolution