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Data from: Stronger selective constraint on downstream genes in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway of cetaceans

Citation

Tian, Ran et al. (2017), Data from: Stronger selective constraint on downstream genes in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway of cetaceans, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.j47br

Abstract

The oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) pathway is an efficient way to produce energy via adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is critical for sustaining an energy supply for cetaceans in a hypoxic environment. Several studies have shown that natural selection may shape the evolution of the genes involved in OXPHOS. However, how network architecture drives OXPHOS protein sequence evolution remains poorly explored. Here, we investigated the evolutionary patterns of genes in the OXPHOS pathway across six cetacean genomes within the framework of a functional network. Our results show a negative correlation between the strength of purifying selection and pathway position. This result indicates that downstream genes were subjected to stronger evolutionary constraints than upstream genes, which may be due to the dual function of ATP synthase in the OXPHOS pathway. Additionally, there was a positive correlation between codon usage bias and omega (ω = dN/dS) and a negative correlation with synonymous substitution rate (dS), indicating that the stronger selective constraint on genes (with less biased codon usage) along the OXPHOS pathway is attributable to an increase in the rate of synonymous substitution. Surprisingly, there was no significant correlation between protein-protein interactions and the evolutionary estimates, implying that highly connected enzymes may not always show greater evolutionary constraints. Compared with that observed for terrestrial mammals, we found that the signature of positive selection detected in five genes (ATP5J, LHPP, PPA1, UQCRC1, UQCRQ) was cetacean-specific, reflecting the importance of OXPHOS for survival in hypoxic, aquatic environments.

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