1. Computational and Systems Biology
  2. Evolutionary Biology
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Deep evolutionary analysis reveals the design principles of fold A glycosyltransferases

Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e54532 doi: 10.7554/eLife.54532

Abstract

Glycosyltransferases (GTs) are prevalent across the tree of life and regulate nearly all aspects of cellular functions. The evolutionary basis for their complex and diverse modes of catalytic functions remain enigmatic. Here, based on deep mining of over half million GT-A fold sequences, we define a minimal core component shared among functionally diverse enzymes. We find that variations in the common core and emergence of hypervariable loops extending from the core contributed to GT-A diversity. We provide a phylogenetic framework relating diverse GT-A fold families for the first time and show that inverting and retaining mechanisms emerged multiple times independently during evolution. Using evolutionary information encoded in primary sequences, we trained a machine learning classifier to predict donor specificity with nearly 90% accuracy and deployed it for the annotation of understudied GTs. Our studies provide an evolutionary framework for investigating complex relationships connecting GT-A fold sequence, structure, function and regulation.

Data availability

All the data generated during the study are summarized and provided in the manuscript and supporting files. Source files have been provided for Figures 1, 3, 6 and 7. Additionally, all the sequences curated during this study have been deposited to Dryad (doi:10.5061/dryad.v15dv41sh).

The following data sets were generated
The following previously published data sets were used

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Rahil Taujale

    Institute of Bioinformatics, Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Aarya Venkat

    Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Liang-Chin Huang

    Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Zhongliang Zhou

    Department of Computer Science, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Wayland Yeung

    Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Khaled M Rasheed

    Department of Computer Science, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Sheng Li

    Department of Computer Science, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Arthur S Edison

    Genetics and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-5686-2350
  9. Kelley W Moremen

    Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  10. Natarajan Kannan

    Institute of Bioinformatics, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, United States
    For correspondence
    nkannan@uga.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-2833-8375

Funding

National Institutes of Health (R01 GM130915)

  • Kelley W Moremen
  • Natarajan Kannan

National Institutes of Health (T32 GM107004)

  • Rahil Taujale

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Monica Palcic, University of Victoria

Publication history

  1. Received: December 17, 2019
  2. Accepted: March 31, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 1, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: April 27, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Taujale et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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