Positive selection in the SLC11A1 gene in the family Equidae
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Immunity-related genes are a suitable model for studying effects of selection at the genomic level. Some of them are highly conserved due to functional constraints and purifying selection, while others are variable and change quickly to cope with the variation of pathogens. The SLC11A1 gene encodes a transporter protein mediating antimicrobial activity of macrophages. Little is known about the patterns of selection shaping this gene during evolution. Although it is a typical evolutionarily conserved gene, functionally important polymorphisms associated with various diseases were identified in humans and other species. We analyzed the genomic organization, genetic variation, and evolution of the SLC11A1 gene in the family Equidae to identify patterns of selection within this important gene. Nucleotide SLC11A1 sequences were shown to be highly conserved in ten equid species, with more than 97 % sequence identity across the family. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were found in the coding and noncoding regions of the gene. Seven codon sites were identified to be under strong purifying selection. Codons located in three regions, including the glycosylated extracellular loop, were shown to be under diversifying selection. A 3-bp indel resulting in a deletion of the amino acid 321 in the predicted protein was observed in all horses, while it has been maintained in all other equid species. This codon comprised in an N-glycosylation site was found to be under positive selection. Interspecific variation in the presence of predicted N-glycosylation sites was observed.
KeywordsSLC11A1 gene Polymorphism Equidae
This study was supported by the Czech National Science Foundation project GACR 523/09/1972 and by the project “CEITEC – Central European Institute of Technology” (CZ.1.05/1.100/02.0068) from European Regional Development Fund. The authors would like to thank Petra Videnska for her assistance with the next-generation sequence analyses.
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