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Adaptive Properties of the Genetically Encoded Amino Acid Alphabet Are Inherited from Its Subsets

Ilardo, Melissa and Bose, Rudrarup and Meringer, Markus and Rasulev, Baktiyour and Grefenstette, Natalie and Stephenson, James and Freeland, Stephen J. and Butch, Christopher J. and Cleaves, H. James (2019) Adaptive Properties of the Genetically Encoded Amino Acid Alphabet Are Inherited from Its Subsets. Scientific Reports, 9, 12468_1-12468_9. Nature Publishing Group. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47574-x. ISSN 2045-2322.

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Official URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-47574-x


Life uses a common set of 20 coded amino acids (CAAs) to construct proteins. This set was likely canonicalized during early evolution; before this, smaller amino acid sets were gradually expanded as new synthetic, proofreading and coding mechanisms became biologically available. Many possible subsets of the modern CAAs or other presently uncoded amino acids could have comprised the earlier sets. We explore the hypothesis that the CAAs were selectively fixed due to their unique adaptive chemical properties, which facilitate folding, catalysis, and solubility of proteins, and gave adaptive value to organisms able to encode them. Specifically, we studied in silico hypothetical CAA sets of 3-19 amino acids comprised of 1913 structurally diverse alpha-amino acids, exploring the adaptive value of their combined physicochemical properties relative to those of the modern CAA set. We find that even hypothetical sets containing modern CAA members are especially adaptive; it is difficult to find sets even among a large choice of alternatives that cover the chemical property space more amply. These results suggest that each time a CAA was discovered and embedded during evolution, it provided an adaptive value unusual among many alternatives, and each selective step may have helped bootstrap the developing set to include still more CAAs.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/131291/
Document Type:Article
Title:Adaptive Properties of the Genetically Encoded Amino Acid Alphabet Are Inherited from Its Subsets
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Bose, RudrarupNational Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneshwar, IndiaUNSPECIFIED
Meringer, MarkusMarkus.Meringer (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8526-2429
Grefenstette, NatalieUCLUNSPECIFIED
Freeland, Stephen J.University of Hawaii, NASA Astribiology InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Butch, Christopher J.Earth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of TechnologyUNSPECIFIED
Cleaves, H. JamesEarth-Life Science Institute, Tokyo Institute of TechnologyUNSPECIFIED
Date:8 August 2019
Journal or Publication Title:Scientific Reports
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1038/s41598-019-47574-x
Page Range:12468_1-12468_9
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
Keywords:Astrobiology, Cheminformatics, Computational chemistry, Chemical origin of life, Proteins
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Explorationsstudien (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Remote Sensing Technology Institute > Atmospheric Processors
Deposited By: Meringer, Dr.rer.nat. Markus
Deposited On:26 Nov 2019 09:41
Last Modified:23 Jul 2022 13:45

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