Evolutionary dynamics of origin and loss in the deep history of phospholipase D toxin genes



Abstract Background Venom-expressed sphingomyelinase D/phospholipase D (SMase D/PLD) enzymes evolved from the ubiquitous glycerophosphoryl diester phosphodiesterases (GDPD). Expression of GDPD-like SMaseD/PLD toxins in both arachnids and bacteria has inspired consideration of the relative contributions of lateral gene transfer and convergent recruitment in the evolutionary history of this lineage. Previous work recognized two distinct lineages, a SicTox-like (ST-like) clade including the arachnid toxins, and an Actinobacterial-toxin like (AT-like) clade including the bacterial toxins and numerous fungal homologs. Results Here we expand taxon sampling by homology detection to discover new GDPD-like SMase D/PLD homologs. The ST-like clade now includes homologs in a wider variety of arthropods along with a sister group in Cnidaria; the AT-like clade now includes additional fungal phyla and proteobacterial homologs; and we report a third clade expressed in diverse aquatic metazoan taxa, a few single-celled eukaryotes, and a few aquatic proteobacteria. GDPD-like SMaseD/PLDs have an ancient presence in chelicerates within the ST-like family and ctenophores within the Aquatic family. A rooted phylogenetic tree shows that the three clades derived from a basal paraphyletic group of proteobacterial GDPD-like SMase D/PLDs, some of which are on mobile genetic elements. GDPD-like SMase D/PLDs share a signature C-terminal motif and a shortened βι1 loop, features that distinguish them from GDPDs. The three major clades also have active site loop signatures that distinguish them from GDPDs and from each other. Analysis of molecular phylogenies with respect to organismal relationships reveals a dynamic evolutionary history including both lateral gene transfer and gene duplication/loss. Conclusions The GDPD-like SMaseD/PLD enzymes derive from a single ancient ancestor, likely proteobacterial, and radiated into diverse organismal lineages at least in part through lateral gene transfer.
Date made available2018

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