ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-180504-1
GC bias lead to increased small amino acids and random coils of proteins in cold-water fishes
Zhang, D., Hu, P., Liu, T., Wang, J., Jiang, S., Xu, Q., Chen, L.
Date: 2018
Source: BMC Genomics   19: 315 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Chen, Liangbiao
Keywords: Antarctic, Cold adaptation, Cold-water, Fish, Genome, Substitution bias
MeSH Terms:
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acid Substitution
  • Animals
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Fish Proteins/chemistry*
  • Fish Proteins/genetics*
  • Fishes/genetics*
  • GC Rich Sequence*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary/genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
PubMed: 29720106 Full text @ BMC Genomics
Temperature adaptation of biological molecules is fundamental in evolutionary studies but remains unsolved. Fishes living in cold water are adapted to low temperatures through adaptive modification of their biological molecules, which enables their functioning in extreme cold. To study nucleotide and amino acid preference in cold-water fishes, we investigated the substitution asymmetry of codons and amino acids in protein-coding DNA sequences between cold-water fishes and tropical fishes., The former includes two Antarctic fishes, Dissostichus mawsoni (Antarctic toothfish), Gymnodraco acuticeps (Antarctic dragonfish), and two temperate fishes, Gadus morhua (Atlantic cod) and Gasterosteus aculeatus (stickleback), and the latter includes three tropical fishes, including Danio rerio (zebrafish), Oreochromis niloticus (Nile tilapia) and Xiphophorus maculatus (Platyfish).
Cold-water fishes showed preference for Guanines and cytosines (GCs) in both synonymous and nonsynonymous codon substitution when compared with tropical fishes. Amino acids coded by GC-rich codons are favored in the temperate fishes, while those coded by AT-rich codons are disfavored. Similar trends were discovered in Antarctic fishes but were statistically weaker. The preference of GC rich codons in nonsynonymous substitution tends to increase ratio of small amino acid in proteins, which was demonstrated by biased small amino acid substitutions in the cold-water species when compared with the tropical species, especially in the temperate species. Prediction and comparison of secondary structure of the proteomes showed that frequency of random coils are significantly larger in the cold-water fish proteomes than those of the tropical fishes.
Our results suggested that natural selection in cold temperature might favor biased GC content in the coding DNA sequences, which lead to increased frequency of small amino acids and consequently increased random coils in the proteomes of cold-water fishes.