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Ribosomal History Reveals Origins of Modern Protein Synthesis

Harish, Ajith LU and Caetano-Anolles, Gustavo (2012) In PLoS ONE 7(3).
Abstract
The origin and evolution of the ribosome is central to our understanding of the cellular world. Most hypotheses posit that the ribosome originated in the peptidyl transferase center of the large ribosomal subunit. However, these proposals do not link protein synthesis to RNA recognition and do not use a phylogenetic comparative framework to study ribosomal evolution. Here we infer evolution of the structural components of the ribosome. Phylogenetic methods widely used in morphometrics are applied directly to RNA structures of thousands of molecules and to a census of protein structures in hundreds of genomes. We find that components of the small subunit involved in ribosomal processivity evolved earlier than the catalytic peptidyl... (More)
The origin and evolution of the ribosome is central to our understanding of the cellular world. Most hypotheses posit that the ribosome originated in the peptidyl transferase center of the large ribosomal subunit. However, these proposals do not link protein synthesis to RNA recognition and do not use a phylogenetic comparative framework to study ribosomal evolution. Here we infer evolution of the structural components of the ribosome. Phylogenetic methods widely used in morphometrics are applied directly to RNA structures of thousands of molecules and to a census of protein structures in hundreds of genomes. We find that components of the small subunit involved in ribosomal processivity evolved earlier than the catalytic peptidyl transferase center responsible for protein synthesis. Remarkably, subunit RNA and proteins coevolved, starting with interactions between the oldest proteins (S12 and S17) and the oldest substructure (the ribosomal ratchet) in the small subunit and ending with the rise of a modern multi-subunit ribosome. Ancestral ribonucleoprotein components show similarities to in vitro evolved RNA replicase ribozymes and protein structures in extant replication machinery. Our study therefore provides important clues about the chicken-or-egg dilemma associated with the central dogma of molecular biology by showing that ribosomal history is driven by the gradual structural accretion of protein and RNA structures. Most importantly, results suggest that functionally important and conserved regions of the ribosome were recruited and could be relics of an ancient ribonucleoprotein world. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
7
issue
3
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • wos:000302381500044
  • scopus:84858040413
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0032776
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
bdeabc08-cd95-4dcf-a9ef-94b4cc7ff594 (old id 2580957)
date added to LUP
2012-05-29 14:54:15
date last changed
2017-11-19 03:56:20
@article{bdeabc08-cd95-4dcf-a9ef-94b4cc7ff594,
  abstract     = {The origin and evolution of the ribosome is central to our understanding of the cellular world. Most hypotheses posit that the ribosome originated in the peptidyl transferase center of the large ribosomal subunit. However, these proposals do not link protein synthesis to RNA recognition and do not use a phylogenetic comparative framework to study ribosomal evolution. Here we infer evolution of the structural components of the ribosome. Phylogenetic methods widely used in morphometrics are applied directly to RNA structures of thousands of molecules and to a census of protein structures in hundreds of genomes. We find that components of the small subunit involved in ribosomal processivity evolved earlier than the catalytic peptidyl transferase center responsible for protein synthesis. Remarkably, subunit RNA and proteins coevolved, starting with interactions between the oldest proteins (S12 and S17) and the oldest substructure (the ribosomal ratchet) in the small subunit and ending with the rise of a modern multi-subunit ribosome. Ancestral ribonucleoprotein components show similarities to in vitro evolved RNA replicase ribozymes and protein structures in extant replication machinery. Our study therefore provides important clues about the chicken-or-egg dilemma associated with the central dogma of molecular biology by showing that ribosomal history is driven by the gradual structural accretion of protein and RNA structures. Most importantly, results suggest that functionally important and conserved regions of the ribosome were recruited and could be relics of an ancient ribonucleoprotein world.},
  author       = {Harish, Ajith and Caetano-Anolles, Gustavo},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {Ribosomal History Reveals Origins of Modern Protein Synthesis},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0032776},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2012},
}