STUDIES ON THE PATTERNS OF NUCLEOTIDE AND AMINO ACID SUBSTITUTION (ELECTROPHORESIS, MUTATION RATE, SELECTION, BASE, COMPOSITION)
Theoretical and empirical studies were conducted on the pattern of nucleotide and amino acid substitution in evolution, taking into account the effects of mutation at the nucleotide level and purifying selection at the amino acid level. A theoretical model for predicting the evolutionary change in electrophoretic mobility of a protein was also developed by using information on the pattern of amino acid substitution. The specific problems studied and the main results obtained are as follows: (1) Estimation of the pattern of nucleotide substitution in DNA nuclear genomes. The pattern of point mutations and nucleotide substitutions among the four different nucleotides are inferred from the evolutionary changes of pseudogenes and functional genes, respectively. Both patterns are non-random, the rate of change varying considerably with nucleotide pair, and that in both cases transitions occur somewhat more frequently than transversions. In protein evolution, substitution occurs more often between amino acids with similar physico-chemical properties than between dissimilar amino acids. (2) Estimation of the pattern of nucleotide substitution in RNA genomes. The majority of mutations in retroviruses accumulate at the reverse transcription stage. Selection at the amino acid level is very weak, and almost non-existent between synonymous codons. The pattern of mutation is very different from that in DNA genomes. Nevertheless, the pattern of purifying selection at the amino acid level is similar to that in DNA genomes, although selection intensity is much weaker. (3) Evaluation of the determinants of molecular evolutionary rates in protein-coding genes. Based on rates of nucleotide substitution for mammalian genes, the rate of amino acid substitution of a protein is determined by its amino acid composition. The content of glycine is shown to correlate strongly and negatively with the rate of substitution. Empirical formulae, called indices of mutability, are developed in order to predict the rate of molecular evolution of a protein from data on its amino acid sequence. (4) Studies on the evolutionary patterns of electrophoretic mobility of proteins. A theoretical model was constructed that predicts the electric charge of a protein at any given pH and its isoelectric point from data on its primary and quaternary structures. Using this model, the evolutionary change in electrophoretic mobilities of different proteins and the expected amount of electrophoretically hidden genetic variation were studied. In the absence of selection for the pI value, proteins will on the average evolve toward a mildly basic pI. (Abstract shortened with permission of author.)
GRAUR, DAN, "STUDIES ON THE PATTERNS OF NUCLEOTIDE AND AMINO ACID SUBSTITUTION (ELECTROPHORESIS, MUTATION RATE, SELECTION, BASE, COMPOSITION)" (1985). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8513540.