Rampant adaptive evolution in regions of proteins with unknown function in Drosophila simulans.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0001113
Adaptive protein evolution is pervasive in Drosophila. Genomic studies, thus far, have analyzed each protein as a single entity. However, the targets of adaptive events may be localized to particular parts of proteins, such as protein domains or regions involved in protein folding. We compared the population genetic mechanisms driving sequence polymorphism and divergence in defined protein domains and non-domain regions. Interestingly, we find that non-domain regions of proteins are more frequent targets of directional selection. Protein domains are also evolving under directional selection, but appear to be under stronger purifying selection than non-domain regions. Non-domain regions of proteins clearly play a major role in adaptive protein evolution on a genomic scale and merit future investigations of their functional properties.