An evaluation of elongation factor 1 alpha as a phylogenetic marker for eukaryotes.
Elongation factor 1 alpha (EF-1 alpha) is a highly conserved ubiquitous protein involved in translation that has been suggested to have desirable properties for phylogenetic inference. To examine the utility of EF-1 alpha as a phylogenetic marker for eukaryotes, we studied three properties of EF-1 alpha trees: congruency with other phyogenetic markers, the impact of species sampling, and the degree of substitutional saturation occurring between taxa. Our analyses indicate that the EF-1 alpha tree is congruent with some other molecular phylogenies in identifying both the deepest branches and some recent relationships in the eukaryotic line of descent. However, the topology of the intermediate portion of the EF-1 alpha tree, occupied by most of the protist lineages, differs for different phylogenetic methods, and bootstrap values for branches are low. Most problematic in this region is the failure of all phylogenetic methods to resolve the monophyly of two higher-order protistan taxa, the Ciliophora and the Alveolata. JACKMONO analyses indicated that the impact of species sampling on bootstrap support for most internal nodes of the eukaryotic EF-1 alpha tree is extreme. Furthermore, a comparison of observed versus inferred numbers of substitutions indicates that multiple overlapping substitutions have occurred, especially on the branch separating the Eukaryota from the Archaebacteria, suggesting that the rooting of the eukaryotic tree on the diplomonad lineage should be treated with caution. Overall, these results suggest that the phylogenies obtained from EF-1 alpha are congruent with other molecular phylogenies in recovering the monophyly of groups such as the Metazoa, Fungi, Magnoliophyta, and Euglenozoa. However, the interrelationships between these and other protist lineages are not well resolved. This lack of resolution may result from the combined effects of poor taxonomic sampling, relatively few informative positions, large numbers of overlapping substitutions that obscure phylogenetic signal, and lineage-specific rate increases in the EF-1 alpha data set. It is also consistent with the nearly simultaneous diversification of major eukaryotic lineages implied by the "big-bang" hypothesis of eukaryote evolution. (+info)
Unusually high evolutionary rate of the elongation factor 1 alpha genes from the Ciliophora and its impact on the phylogeny of eukaryotes.
The elongation factor 1 alpha (EF-1 alpha) has become widely employed as a phylogenetic marker for studying eukaryotic evolution. However, a disturbing problem, the artifactual polyphyly of ciliates, is always observed. It has been suggested that the addition of new sequences will help to circumvent this problem. Thus, we have determined 15 new ciliate EF-1 alpha sequences, providing for a more comprehensive taxonomic sampling of this phylum. These sequences have been analyzed together with a representation of eukaryotic sequences using distance-, parsimony-, and likelihood-based phylogenetic methods. Such analyses again failed to recover the monophyly of Ciliophora. A study of the substitution rate showed that ciliate EF-1 alpha genes exhibit a high evolutionary rate, produced in part by an increased number of variable positions. This acceleration could be related to alterations of the accessory functions acquired by this protein, likely to those involving interactions with the cytoskeleton, which is very modified in the Ciliophora. The high evolutionary rate of these sequences leads to an artificial basal emergence of some ciliates in the eukaryotic tree by effecting a long-branch attraction artifact that produces an asymmetric topology for the basal region of the tree. The use of a maximum-likelihood phylogenetic method (which is less sensitive to long-branch attraction) and the addition of sequences to break long branches allow retrieval of more symmetric topologies, which suggests that the asymmetric part of the tree is most likely artifactual. Therefore, the sole reliable part of the tree appears to correspond to the apical symmetric region. These kinds of observations suggest that the general eukaryotic evolution might have consisted of a massive radiation followed by an increase in the evolutionary rates of certain groups that emerge artificially as early branches in the asymmetric base of the tree. Ciliates in the case of the EF-1 alpha genes would offer clear evidence for this hypothesis. (+info)
Interaction of process partitions in phylogenetic analysis: an example from the swallowtail butterfly genus Papilio.
In this study, we explored how the concept of the process partition may be applied to phylogenetic analysis. Sequence data were gathered from 23 species and subspecies of the swallowtail butterfly genus Papilio, as well as from two outgroup species from the genera Eurytides and Pachliopta. Sequence data consisted of 1,010 bp of the nuclear protein-coding gene elongation factor-1 alpha (EF-1 alpha) as well as the entire sequences (a total of 2,211 bp) of the mitochondrial protein-coding genes cytochrome oxidase I and cytochrome oxidase II (COI and COII). In order to examine the interaction between the nuclear and mitochondrial partitions in a combined analysis, we used a method of visualizing branch support as a function of partition weight ratios. We demonstrated how this method may be used to diagnose error at different levels of a tree in a combined maximum-parsimony analysis. Further, we assessed patterns of evolution within and between subsets of the data by implementing a multipartition maximum-likelihood model to estimate evolutionary parameters for various putative process partitions. COI third positions have an estimated average substitution rate more than 15 times that of EF-1 alpha, while COII third positions have an estimated average substitution rate more than 22 times that of EF-1 alpha. Ultimately, we found that although the mitochondrial and nuclear data were not significantly incongruent, homoplasy in the fast-evolving mitochondrial data confounded the resolution of basal relationships in the combined unweighted parsimony analysis despite the fact that there was relatively strong support for the relationships in the nuclear data. We conclude that there may be shortcomings to the methods of "total evidence" and "conditional combination" because they may fail to detect or accommodate the type of confounding bias we found in our data. (+info)
cAMP inhibits translation by inducing Ca2+/calmodulin-independent elongation factor 2 kinase activity in IPC-81 cells.
Treatment of IPC-81 cells led to inhibition of protein synthesis, which was accompanied by an increase in the average size of polysomes and a decreased rate of elongation, indicating that it involved inhibition of peptide chain elongation. This inhibition was also associated with increased phosphorylation of elongation factor eEF2 (which inhibits its activity) and enhanced Ca2+/calmodulin-independent activity of eEF2 kinase. Previous work has shown that phosphorylation of eEF2 kinase by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAPK) in vitro induces such activator-independent activity, and the present data show that such a mechanism can occur in intact cells to link physiological levels of cAPK activation with inhibition of protein synthesis. (+info)
Tat-associated kinase (P-TEFb): a component of transcription preinitiation and elongation complexes.
Human immunodeficiency virus, type 1 (HIV-1) Tat protein activates transcription from the HIV-1 long terminal repeat. Tat interacts with TFIIH and Tat-associated kinase (a transcription elongation factor P-TEFb) and requires the carboxyl-terminal domain of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (pol II) for transactivation. We developed a stepwise RNA pol II walking approach and used Western blotting to determine the role of TFIIH and P-TEFb in HIV-1 transcription elongation. Our results demonstrate the new findings that P-TEFb is a component of the preinitiation complex and travels with the elongating RNA pol II, whereas TFIIH is released from the elongation complexes before the trans-activation responsive region RNA is synthesized. Our results suggest that TFIIH and P-TEFb are involved in the clearance of promoter-proximal pausing of RNA pol II on the HIV-1 long terminal repeat at different stages. (+info)
Physiological states of individual Salmonella typhimurium cells monitored by in situ reverse transcription-PCR.
The possibility of using levels of specific mRNAs in individual bacteria as indicators of single-cell physiology was investigated. Estimates of the numbers of groEL and tsf mRNAs per cell in Salmonella typhimurium cells in different physiological states were obtained by Northern analysis. The average number of groEL mRNAs per cell was estimated to be 22 in fast-growing cultures and 197 in heat-shocked cultures. The average number of tsf mRNAs per cell was estimated to be 37 in fast-growing cultures, 4 in slow-growing cultures, and 0 in nongrowing cultures. The potential of mRNA-targeted in situ reverse transcription (RT)-PCR to monitor quantitatively different levels of groEL and tsf mRNA in individual cells and thus monitor both specific gene induction and general growth activity was assessed. Neither groEL nor tsf mRNA was present in stationary-phase cells, but it was shown that stationary-phase cells contain other RNA species at high levels, which may provide a possibility for monitoring directly stationary-phase individual cells by the use of in situ RT-PCR. The outcome of the in situ RT-PCR analyses indicated that a population of fast-growing cells is heterogeneous with respect to groEL mRNA single-cell contents, suggesting a cell-cycle-controlled expression of groEL in S. typhimurium, whereas a fast-growing culture is homogeneous with respect to tsf mRNA single-cell contents, suggesting that the level of tsf mRNA is relatively constant during the cell cycle. (+info)
EFA6, a sec7 domain-containing exchange factor for ARF6, coordinates membrane recycling and actin cytoskeleton organization.
We have identified a human cDNA encoding a novel protein, exchange factor for ARF6 (EFA6), which contains Sec7 and pleckstrin homology domains. EFA6 promotes efficient guanine nucleotide exchange on ARF6 and is distinct from the ARNO family of ARF1 exchange factors. The protein localizes to a dense matrix on the cytoplasmic face of plasma membrane invaginations, induced on its expression. We show that EFA6 regulates endosomal membrane recycling and promotes the redistribution of transferrin receptors to the cell surface. Furthermore, expression of EFA6 induces actin-based membrane ruffles that are inhibited by co-expression of dominant-inhibitory mutant forms of ARF6 or Rac1. Our results demonstrate that by catalyzing nucleotide exchange on ARF6 at the plasma membrane and by regulating Rac1 activation, EFA6 coordinates endocytosis with cytoskeletal rearrangements. (+info)
Regeneration of renal proximal tubules after mercuric chloride injury is accompanied by increased binding of aminoacyl-transfer ribonucleic acid.
Homogenates of rat kidney cortex obtained 1,3 or 14 days after a single injection of HgCl2 were used to prepare the post-microsomal pH5 supernatant fraction. The activity of this fraction for peptide synthesis from [14C]phenylalanyl-tRNA was significantly increased at 1 and 3 days, at which time the proximal tubules are regenerating [Cuppage & Tate (1967) Am. J. Pathol. 51, 405-429]. This increased activity could not be attributed to a decreased inhibitory activity, but was due to an increased aminoacyl-tRNA binding, i.e. elongation-factor-1 activity, in the supernatant fraction. (+info)