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Schlacht, A., Mowbrey, K., Elias, M., Kahn, R.A., Dacks, J.B. (2013). Ancient complexity, opisthokont plasticity, and discovery of the 11th subfamily of Arf GAP proteins.  Traffic 14(6): 636--649.
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Research paper

The organelle paralogy hypothesis is one model for the acquisition of nonendosymbiotic organelles, generated from molecular evolutionary analyses of proteins encoding specificity in the membrane traffic system. GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) for the ADP-ribosylation factor (Arfs) GTPases are additional regulators of the kinetics and fidelity of membrane traffic. Here we describe molecular evolutionary analyses of the Arf GAP protein family. Of the 10 subfamilies previously defined in humans, we find that 5 were likely present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor. Of the 3 most recently derived subfamilies, 1 was likely present in the ancestor of opisthokonts (animals and fungi) and apusomonads (flagellates classified as the sister lineage to opisthokonts), while 2 arose in the holozoan lineage. We also propose to have identified a novel ancient subfamily (ArfGAPC2), present in diverse eukaryotes but which is lost frequently, including in the opisthokonts. Surprisingly few ancient domains accompanying the ArfGAP domain were identified, in marked contrast to the extensively decorated human Arf GAPs. Phylogenetic analyses of the subfamilies reveal patterns of single and multiple gene duplications specific to the Holozoa, to some degree mirroring evolution of Arf GAP targets, the Arfs. Conservation, and lack thereof, of various residues in the ArfGAP structure provide contextualization of previously identified functional amino acids and their application to Arf GAP biology in general. Overall, our results yield insights into current Arf GAP biology, reveal complexity in the ancient eukaryotic ancestor and integrate the Arf GAP family into a proposed mechanism for the evolution of nonendosymbiotic organelles.

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PMC3660519 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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