Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 73, Issue 5, pp 325–336

Two Polymorphic Residues Account for the Differences in DNA Binding and Transcriptional Activation by NF-κB Proteins Encoded by Naturally Occurring Alleles in Nematostella vectensis

  • Francis S. Wolenski
  • Sushil Chandani
  • Derek J. Stefanik
  • Ning Jiang
  • Emma Chu
  • John R. Finnerty
  • Thomas D. Gilmore
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00239-011-9479-7

Cite this article as:
Wolenski, F.S., Chandani, S., Stefanik, D.J. et al. J Mol Evol (2011) 73: 325. doi:10.1007/s00239-011-9479-7

Abstract

The NF-κB family of transcription factors is activated in response to many environmental and biological stresses, and plays a key role in innate immunity across a broad evolutionary expanse of animals. A simple NF-κB pathway is present in the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, an important model organism in the phylum Cnidaria. Nematostella has previously been shown to have two naturally occurring NF-κB alleles (Nv-NF-κB-C and Nv-NF-κB-S) that encode proteins with different DNA-binding and transactivation abilities. We show here that polymorphic residues 67 (Cys vs. Ser) and 269 (Ala vs. Glu) play complementary roles in determining the DNA-binding activity of the NF-κB proteins encoded by these two alleles and that residue 67 is primarily responsible for the difference in their transactivation ability. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that Nv-NF-κB-S is the derived allele, consistent with its restricted geographic distribution. These results define polymorphic residues that are important for the DNA-binding and transactivating activities of two naturally occurring variants of Nv-NF-κB. The implications for the appearance of the two Nv-NF-κB alleles in natural populations of sea anemones are discussed.

Keywords

NF-κB Nematostella Polymorphism Evolution DNA binding Transactivation 

Supplementary material

239_2011_9479_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.2 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 3270 kb)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francis S. Wolenski
    • 1
  • Sushil Chandani
    • 1
  • Derek J. Stefanik
    • 1
  • Ning Jiang
    • 1
  • Emma Chu
    • 1
  • John R. Finnerty
    • 1
  • Thomas D. Gilmore
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA