Data from: Izumo1 and Juno: the evolutionary origins and coevolution of essential sperm-egg binding partners
Grayson, Phil (2015), Data from: Izumo1 and Juno: the evolutionary origins and coevolution of essential sperm-egg binding partners, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.gh208
Reproductive proteins are among the most rapidly evolving classes of proteins. For a subset of these, rapid evolution is driven by positive Darwinian selection despite vital, well-conserved, reproductive functions. Izumo1 is the only essential sperm–egg fusion protein currently known on mammalian sperm, and its egg receptor (Juno; formerly Folr4) was recently discovered. Male knockout mice for Izumo1 and female knockout mice for Juno are both healthy but sterile. Here, both sperm–egg binding proteins are shown to be evolving under positive selection. Within mammals, coevolution of Izumo1 and Juno is also uncovered, suggesting that similar forces have shaped the evolutionary histories of these binding partners within Mammalia. Additionally, genomic analyses reveal an ancient origin for the Izumo gene family, initially reported as conserved exclusively in mammals. Newly identified Izumo1 orthologues could serve reproductive functions in birds, fish and reptiles. Surprisingly, these same analyses support Juno's presence in mammals alone, suggesting a recent mammalian-specific duplication and neofunctionalization of the ancestral folate receptor. Despite the indispensability of their reproductive interaction, and their apparent coevolution within Mammalia, this binding pair arose through strikingly different evolutionary forces.