We employed a phylogenomic approach to study the evolution of α subunits of the proteasome gene family from early diverging eukaryotes. BLAST similarity searches of the Giardia lamblia genome identified all seven α proteasome genes characteristic of eukaryotes from the crown group. In addition, a PCR strategy for the amplification of multiple α subunit sequences generated single α proteasome products for representatives of the Kinetoplastida (Leishmania major), the Parabasalia (Trichomonas vaginalis), and the Microsporidia (Vairi-morpha sp., Nosema sp., Endoreticulata sp., and Spraguea lophii). The kinetoplastid Trypanosoma cruzi and the eukaryote crown group Acanthamoeba castellanii yielded two distinct α proteasome genes each. The presence of seven distinct α proteasome genes in G. lamblia, one of the earliest-diverging eukaryotes, indicates that the α proteasome gene family evolved rapidly from a minimum of one gene in Archaea to seven or more in Eukarya. Results from the phylogenomic analysis are consistent with the idea that the Diplomonida (as represented by G. lamblia), the Kinetoplastida, the Parabasalia, and the Microsporidia diverged after the duplication events that originated the α proteasome gene family. A model for the early origin and evolution of the proteasome gene family is presented.
- Gene families
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Molecular Biology