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Molecular evolution of mRNA: A method for estimating evolutionary rates of synonymous and amino acid substitutions from homologous nucleotide sequences and its application

Summary

A method for estimating the evolutionary rates of synonymous and amino acid substitutions from homologous nucleotide sequences is presented. This method is applied to genes of øX174 and G4 genomes, histone genes andβ-globin genes, for which homologous nucleotide sequences are available for comparison to be made. It is shown that the rates of synonymous substitutions are quite uniform among the non-overlapping genes of øX174 and G4 and among histone genes H4, H2B, H3 and H2A. A comparison between øX174 and G4 reveals that, in the overlapping segments of the A-gene, the rate of synonymous substitution is reduced more significantly than the rate of amino acid substitution relative to the corresponding rate in the nonoverlapping segment. It is also suggested that, in the coding regions surrounding the splicing points of intervening sequences ofβ-globin genes, there exist rigid secondary structures. It is in only these regions that theβ-globin genes show the slowing down of evolutionary rates of both synonymous and amino acid substitutions in the primate line.

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Miyata, T., Yasunaga, T. Molecular evolution of mRNA: A method for estimating evolutionary rates of synonymous and amino acid substitutions from homologous nucleotide sequences and its application. J Mol Evol 16, 23–36 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01732067

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01732067

Key words

  • Amino acid difference
  • Synonymous difference
  • Selective constraint
  • mRNA evolution