Antimicrobial Functions of Lactoferrin Promote Genetic Conflicts in Ancient Primates and Modern Humans


Immunity genes can evolve rapidly in response to antagonism by microbial pathogens, but how the emergence of new protein functions impacts such evolutionary conflicts remains unclear. Here we have traced the evolutionary history of the lactoferrin gene in primates, which in addition to an ancient iron-binding function, acquired antimicrobial peptide activity in mammals. We show that, in contrast to the related gene transferrin, lactoferrin has rapidly evolved at protein domains that mediate iron-independent antimicrobial functions. We also pinpoint signatures of natural selection acting on lactoferrin in human populations, suggesting that lactoferrin genetic diversity has impacted the evolutionary success of both ancient primates and humans. Our work demonstrates how the emergence of new host immune protein functions can drastically alter evolutionary and molecular interactions with microbes.


Vyšlo v časopise: Antimicrobial Functions of Lactoferrin Promote Genetic Conflicts in Ancient Primates and Modern Humans. PLoS Genet 12(5): e32767. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006063
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1006063

Souhrn

Immunity genes can evolve rapidly in response to antagonism by microbial pathogens, but how the emergence of new protein functions impacts such evolutionary conflicts remains unclear. Here we have traced the evolutionary history of the lactoferrin gene in primates, which in addition to an ancient iron-binding function, acquired antimicrobial peptide activity in mammals. We show that, in contrast to the related gene transferrin, lactoferrin has rapidly evolved at protein domains that mediate iron-independent antimicrobial functions. We also pinpoint signatures of natural selection acting on lactoferrin in human populations, suggesting that lactoferrin genetic diversity has impacted the evolutionary success of both ancient primates and humans. Our work demonstrates how the emergence of new host immune protein functions can drastically alter evolutionary and molecular interactions with microbes.


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