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author:("kordia, duan")
1.  Genesis and Regulatory Wiring of Retroelement-Derived Domesticated Genes: A Phylogenomic Perspective 
Molecular Biology and Evolution  2013;30(5):1015-1031.
Molecular domestications of transposable elements have occurred repeatedly during the evolution of eukaryotes. Vertebrates, especially mammals, possess numerous single copy domesticated genes (DGs) that have originated from the intronless multicopy transposable elements. However, the origin and evolution of the retroelement-derived DGs (RDDGs) that originated from Metaviridae has been only partially elucidated, due to absence of genome data or to limited analysis of a single family of DGs. We traced the genesis and regulatory wiring of the Metaviridae-derived DGs through phylogenomic analysis, using whole-genome information from more than 90 chordate genomes. Phylogenomic analysis of these DGs in chordate genomes provided direct evidence that major diversification has occurred in the ancestor of placental mammals. Mammalian RDDGs have been shown to originate in several steps by independent domestication events and to diversify later by gene duplications. Analysis of syntenic loci has shown that diverse RDDGs and their chromosomal positions were fully established in the ancestor of placental mammals. By analysis of active Metaviridae lineages in amniotes, we have demonstrated that RDDGs originated from retroelement remains. The chromosomal gene movements of RDDGs were highly dynamic only in the ancestor of placental mammals. During the domestication process, de novo acquisition of regulatory regions is shown to be a prerequisite for the survival of the DGs. The origin and evolution of de novo acquired promoters and untranslated regions in diverse mammalian RDDGs have been explained by comparative analysis of orthologous gene loci. The origin of placental mammal-specific innovations and adaptations, such as placenta and newly evolved brain functions, was most probably connected to the regulatory wiring of DGs and their rapid fixation in the ancestor of placental mammals.
doi:10.1093/molbev/mst014
PMCID: PMC3670739  PMID: 23348003
molecular domestication; retroelement; phylogenomics; placentals; neofunctionalization; regulatory evolution
2.  What Can Domesticated Genes Tell Us about the Intron Gain in Mammals? 
Domesticated genes, originating from retroelements or from DNA-transposons, constitute an ideal system for testing the hypothesis on the absence of intron gain in mammals. Since single-copy domesticated genes originated from the intronless multicopy transposable elements, the ancestral intron state for domesticated genes is zero. A phylogenomic approach has been used to analyse all domesticated genes in mammals and chordates that originated from the coding parts of transposable elements. A significant amount of intron gain was found only in domesticated genes of placental mammals, where more than 70 cases were identified. De novo gained introns show clear positional bias, since they are distributed mainly in 5′ UTR and coding regions, while 3′ UTR introns are very rare. In the coding regions of some domesticated genes up to 8 de novo gained introns have been found. Surprisingly, the majority of intron gains have occurred in the ancestor of placental mammals. Domesticated genes could constitute an excellent system on which to analyse the mechanisms of intron gain. This paper summarizes the current understanding of intron gain in mammals.
doi:10.1155/2012/278981
PMCID: PMC3369469  PMID: 22693680
3.  Extensive intron gain in the ancestor of placental mammals 
Biology Direct  2011;6:59.
Background
Genome-wide studies of intron dynamics in mammalian orthologous genes have found convincing evidence for loss of introns but very little for intron turnover. Similarly, large-scale analysis of intron dynamics in a few vertebrate genomes has identified only intron losses and no gains, indicating that intron gain is an extremely rare event in vertebrate evolution. These studies suggest that the intron-rich genomes of vertebrates do not allow intron gain. The aim of this study was to search for evidence of de novo intron gain in domesticated genes from an analysis of their exon/intron structures.
Results
A phylogenomic approach has been used to analyse all domesticated genes in mammals and chordates that originated from the coding parts of transposable elements. Gain of introns in domesticated genes has been reconstructed on well established mammalian, vertebrate and chordate phylogenies, and examined as to where and when the gain events occurred. The locations, sizes and amounts of de novo introns gained in the domesticated genes during the evolution of mammals and chordates has been analyzed. A significant amount of intron gain was found only in domesticated genes of placental mammals, where more than 70 cases were identified. De novo gained introns show clear positional bias, since they are distributed mainly in 5' UTR and coding regions, while 3' UTR introns are very rare. In the coding regions of some domesticated genes up to 8 de novo gained introns have been found. Intron densities in Eutheria-specific domesticated genes and in older domesticated genes that originated early in vertebrates are lower than those for normal mammalian and vertebrate genes. Surprisingly, the majority of intron gains have occurred in the ancestor of placentals.
Conclusions
This study provides the first evidence for numerous intron gains in the ancestor of placental mammals and demonstrates that adequate taxon sampling is crucial for reconstructing intron evolution. The findings of this comprehensive study slightly challenge the current view on the evolutionary stasis in intron dynamics during the last 100 - 200 My. Domesticated genes could constitute an excellent system on which to analyse the mechanisms of intron gain in placental mammals.
Reviewers: this article was reviewed by Dan Graur, Eugene V. Koonin and Jürgen Brosius.
doi:10.1186/1745-6150-6-59
PMCID: PMC3257199  PMID: 22112745
4.  Phylogenomic analysis of the cystatin superfamily in eukaryotes and prokaryotes 
Background
The cystatin superfamily comprises cysteine protease inhibitors that play key regulatory roles in protein degradation processes. Although they have been the subject of many studies, little is known about their genesis, evolution and functional diversification. Our aim has been to obtain a comprehensive insight into their origin, distribution, diversity, evolution and classification in Eukaryota, Bacteria and Archaea.
Results
We have identified in silico the full complement of the cystatin superfamily in more than 2100 prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. The analysis of numerous eukaryotic genomes has provided strong evidence for the emergence of this superfamily in the ancestor of eukaryotes. The progenitor of this superfamily was most probably intracellular and lacked a signal peptide and disulfide bridges, much like the extant Giardia cystatin. A primordial gene duplication produced two ancestral eukaryotic lineages, cystatins and stefins. While stefins remain encoded by a single or a small number of genes throughout the eukaryotes, the cystatins have undergone a more complex and dynamic evolution through numerous gene and domain duplications. In the cystatin superfamily we discovered twenty vertebrate-specific and three angiosperm-specific orthologous families, indicating that functional diversification has occurred only in multicellular eukaryotes. In vertebrate orthologous families, the prevailing trends were loss of the ancestral inhibitory activity and acquisition of novel functions in innate immunity. Bacterial cystatins and stefins may be emergency inhibitors that enable survival of bacteria in the host, defending them from the host's proteolytic activity.
Conclusion
This study challenges the current view on the classification, origin and evolution of the cystatin superfamily and provides valuable insights into their functional diversification. The findings of this comprehensive study provide guides for future structural and evolutionary studies of the cystatin superfamily as well as of other protease inhibitors and proteases.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-9-266
PMCID: PMC2784779  PMID: 19919722

Results 1-4 (4)