The burden of inherited interfaces: evolution of self-assembly after gene duplication

Microbiology Seminar Series

  • Date: Apr 15, 2019
  • Time: 13:15
  • Speaker: Dr. Georg Hochberg
  • University of Chicago, Departments of Human Genetics & Ecology and Evolution
  • Location: MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology
  • Room: Lecture hall
  • Host: SFB 987
  • Contact: toerb@mpi-marburg.mpg.de

Most proteins assemble their individual subunits into higher-order complexes as part of their functions, but the evolutionary causes and consequences of self-assembly are poorly understood. I will show that inherited interactions in self-assembling paralogs constrain the evolution of new functions after gene duplication in many protein families. Using resurrected ancestral proteins, I will show that in the steroid hormone receptors this constraint was overcome through the loss of an ancient dimer interface. Our results show that such losses are very unlikely because interfaces become entrenched by a hydrophobic complexity ratchet that probably operates in many protein families.

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