Intrinsic Disorder in Human Proteins Encoded by Core Duplicon Gene Families

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Segmental duplications (i.e., highly homologous DNA fragments greater than 1 kb in length that are present within a genome at more than one site) are typically found in genome regions that are prone to rearrangements. A noticeable fraction of the human genome (∼5%) includes segmental duplications (or duplicons) that are assumed to play a number of vital roles in human evolution, human-specific adaptation, and genomic instability. Despite their importance for crucial events such as synaptogenesis, neuronal migration, and neocortical expansion, these segmental duplications continue to be rather poorly characterized. Of particular interest are the core duplicon gene (CDG) families, which are replicates sharing common “core” DNA among the randomly attached pieces and which expand along single chromosomes and might harbor newly acquired protein domains. Another important feature of proteins encoded by CDG families is their multifunctionality. Although it seems that these proteins might possess many characteristic features of intrinsically disordered proteins, to the best of our knowledge, a systematic investigation of the intrinsic disorder predisposition of the proteins encoded by core duplicon gene families has not been conducted yet. To fill this gap and to determine the degree to which these proteins might be affected by intrinsic disorder, we analyzed a set of human proteins encoded by the members of 10 core duplicon gene families, such as NBPF, RGPD, GUSBP, PMS2P, SPATA31, TRIM51, GOLGA8, NPIP, TBC1D3, and LRRC37. Our analysis revealed that the vast majority of these proteins are highly disordered, with their disordered regions often being utilized as means for the protein–protein interactions and/or targeted for numerous posttranslational modifications of different nature.

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American Chemical Society, v. 127, issue 37, p. 8050-8070