Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Evolutionary Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Testis-specific glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase: origin and evolution

Mikhail L Kuravsky1, Vladimir V Aleshin23, Dmitrij Frishman4* and Vladimir I Muronetz12*

Author affiliations

1 Faculty of Bioengineering and Bioinformatics, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskiye Gory 1-73, Moscow 119991, Russian Federation

2 A.N. Belozersky Institute for Physical and Chemical Biology, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskiye Gory 1-40, Moscow 119991, Russian Federation

3 Kharkevich Institute for Information Transmission Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 127994, Russian Federation

4 Department of Genome Oriented Bioinformatics, Technische Universität München, Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan, Freising 85354, Germany

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Evolutionary Biology 2011, 11:160  doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-160

Published: 10 June 2011

Abstract

Background

Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPD) catalyses one of the glycolytic reactions and is also involved in a number of non-glycolytic processes, such as endocytosis, DNA excision repair, and induction of apoptosis. Mammals are known to possess two homologous GAPD isoenzymes: GAPD-1, a well-studied protein found in all somatic cells, and GAPD-2, which is expressed solely in testis. GAPD-2 supplies energy required for the movement of spermatozoa and is tightly bound to the sperm tail cytoskeleton by the additional N-terminal proline-rich domain absent in GAPD-1. In this study we investigate the evolutionary history of GAPD and gain some insights into specialization of GAPD-2 as a testis-specific protein.

Results

A dataset of GAPD sequences was assembled from public databases and used for phylogeny reconstruction by means of the Bayesian method. Since resolution in some clades of the obtained tree was too low, syntenic analysis was carried out to define the evolutionary history of GAPD more precisely. The performed selection tests showed that selective pressure varies across lineages and isoenzymes, as well as across different regions of the same sequences.

Conclusions

The obtained results suggest that GAPD-1 and GAPD-2 emerged after duplication during the early evolution of chordates. GAPD-2 was subsequently lost by most lineages except lizards, mammals, as well as cartilaginous and bony fishes. In reptilians and mammals, GAPD-2 specialized to a testis-specific protein and acquired the novel N-terminal proline-rich domain anchoring the protein in the sperm tail cytoskeleton. This domain is likely to have originated by exonization of a microsatellite genomic region. Recognition of the proline-rich domain by cytoskeletal proteins seems to be unspecific. Besides testis, GAPD-2 of lizards was also found in some regenerating tissues, but it lacks the proline-rich domain due to tissue-specific alternative splicing.