The study for the evolution of mitochondrial electron transport chain in primates
Date:2009/10/05 - 2010/02/27
I aim to present a robust framework for future biochemical or physiological experiments about the primate specific and functional mutations in mitochondrial proteins. I analyzed 120 mitochondrial genome data, which consist of primate data (including humans and Neanderthals) and the close relatives (scandentia, dermoptera, and rodent) data, to detect the adaptive evolution in the subunits of the primate mitochondria and to investigate the molecular mechanisms of the electron transport chain in mitochondria using statistical methods and bioinfomatics. I found a few adaptive amino acids substitutions, which were statistically significant, in a subunit of the electron transport chain protein. Considering the change of the amino acid properties with the protein structure data, it might be suggested that these adaptive substitutions have some correlation with domain structure and protein function for transporting protons in the ATPsynthase. One of them, which had occurred in some linage among primates, could be considered as a lineage-specific selection. Furthermore, from the analyses based on the human population genetics with collaborators, this amino acid substitution have also occurred in some ancestral human populations, which suggested the association with the spread of humans to all parts of the world. At the Leverhulme Centre for Human Evolutionary Studies, many seminars were held by the researchers around the world every week. I could get the knowledge from the excellent and forefront studies to attend to them.