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AS3MT-mediated tolerance to arsenic evolved by multiple independent horizontal gene transfers from bacteria to eukaryotes

Palmgren, Michael G; Engström, Karin LU ; Hallström, Björn M. LU ; Wahlberg, Karin LU ; Søndergaard, Dan Ariel; Sall, Torbjörn LU ; Vahter, Marie and Broberg, Karin LU (2017) In PLoS ONE 12(4).
Abstract

Organisms have evolved the ability to tolerate toxic substances in their environments, often by producing metabolic enzymes that efficiently detoxify the toxicant. Inorganic arsenic is one of the most toxic and carcinogenic substances in the environment, but many organisms, including humans, metabolise inorganic arsenic to less toxic metabolites. This multistep process produces mono-, di-, and trimethylated arsenic metabolites, which the organism excretes. In humans, arsenite methyltransferase (AS3MT) appears to be the main metabolic enzyme that methylates arsenic. In this study, we examined the evolutionary origin of AS3MT and assessed the ability of different genotypes to produce methylated arsenic metabolites. Phylogenetic analysis... (More)

Organisms have evolved the ability to tolerate toxic substances in their environments, often by producing metabolic enzymes that efficiently detoxify the toxicant. Inorganic arsenic is one of the most toxic and carcinogenic substances in the environment, but many organisms, including humans, metabolise inorganic arsenic to less toxic metabolites. This multistep process produces mono-, di-, and trimethylated arsenic metabolites, which the organism excretes. In humans, arsenite methyltransferase (AS3MT) appears to be the main metabolic enzyme that methylates arsenic. In this study, we examined the evolutionary origin of AS3MT and assessed the ability of different genotypes to produce methylated arsenic metabolites. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that multiple, independent horizontal gene transfers between different bacteria, and from bacteria to eukaryotes, increased tolerance to environmental arsenic during evolution. These findings are supported by the observation that genetic variation in AS3MTcorrelates with the capacity to methylate arsenic. Adaptation to arsenic thus serves as a model for how organisms evolve to survive under toxic conditions.

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organization
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published
subject
in
PLoS ONE
volume
12
issue
4
publisher
Public Library of Science
external identifiers
  • scopus:85018461279
  • wos:000399875900029
ISSN
1932-6203
DOI
10.1371/journal.pone.0175422
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8d8c08e8-7dbe-45ae-8a4d-98bac2a85c1f
date added to LUP
2017-06-01 14:25:51
date last changed
2017-09-18 11:38:40
@article{8d8c08e8-7dbe-45ae-8a4d-98bac2a85c1f,
  abstract     = {<p>Organisms have evolved the ability to tolerate toxic substances in their environments, often by producing metabolic enzymes that efficiently detoxify the toxicant. Inorganic arsenic is one of the most toxic and carcinogenic substances in the environment, but many organisms, including humans, metabolise inorganic arsenic to less toxic metabolites. This multistep process produces mono-, di-, and trimethylated arsenic metabolites, which the organism excretes. In humans, arsenite methyltransferase (AS3MT) appears to be the main metabolic enzyme that methylates arsenic. In this study, we examined the evolutionary origin of AS3MT and assessed the ability of different genotypes to produce methylated arsenic metabolites. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that multiple, independent horizontal gene transfers between different bacteria, and from bacteria to eukaryotes, increased tolerance to environmental arsenic during evolution. These findings are supported by the observation that genetic variation in AS3MTcorrelates with the capacity to methylate arsenic. Adaptation to arsenic thus serves as a model for how organisms evolve to survive under toxic conditions.</p>},
  articleno    = {e0175422},
  author       = {Palmgren, Michael G and Engström, Karin and Hallström, Björn M. and Wahlberg, Karin and Søndergaard, Dan Ariel and Sall, Torbjörn and Vahter, Marie and Broberg, Karin},
  issn         = {1932-6203},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  number       = {4},
  publisher    = {Public Library of Science},
  series       = {PLoS ONE},
  title        = {AS3MT-mediated tolerance to arsenic evolved by multiple independent horizontal gene transfers from bacteria to eukaryotes},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0175422},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2017},
}