Maximum Likelihood Methods Reveal Conservation of Function Among Closely Related Kinesin Families
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We have reconstructed the evolution of the anciently derived kinesin superfamily using various alignment and tree-building methods. In addition to classifying previously described kinesins from protists, fungi, and animals, we analyzed a variety of kinesin sequences from the plant kingdom including 12 from Zea mays and 29 from Arabidopsis thaliana. Also included in our data set were four sequences from the anciently diverged amitochondriate protist Giardia lamblia. The overall topology of the best tree we found is more likely than previously reported topologies and allows us to make the following new observations: (1) kinesins involved in chromosome movement including MCAK, chromokinesin, and CENP-E may be descended from a single ancestor; (2) kinesins that form complex oligomers are limited to a monophyletic group of families; (3) kinesins that crosslink antiparallel microtubules at the spindle midzone including BIMC, MKLP, and CENP-E are closely related; (4) Drosophila NOD and human KID group with other characterized chromokinesins; and (5) Saccharomyces SMY1 groups with kinesin-I sequences, forming a family of kinesins capable of class V myosin interactions. In addition, we found that one monophyletic clade composed exclusively of sequences with a C-terminal motor domain contains all known minus end-directed kinesins.
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