Volume 43 Issue 2
Mar.  2022
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Ran Tian, Chen Yang, Si-Min Chai, Han Guo, Inge Seim, Guang Yang. Evolutionary impacts of purine metabolism genes on mammalian oxidative stress adaptation. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(2): 241-254. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.420
Citation: Ran Tian, Chen Yang, Si-Min Chai, Han Guo, Inge Seim, Guang Yang. Evolutionary impacts of purine metabolism genes on mammalian oxidative stress adaptation. Zoological Research, 2022, 43(2): 241-254. doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.420

Evolutionary impacts of purine metabolism genes on mammalian oxidative stress adaptation

doi: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2021.420
Funds:  This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (31900310 to R.T.), Key Project of the NSFC (32030011 and 31630071 to G.Y.), NSFC (31950410545 to I.S.), Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, the Jiangsu Specially-Appointed Professors Program (to I.S.)
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  • Corresponding author: E-mail: inge@seimlab.orggyang@njnu.edu.cn
  • Received Date: 2022-01-28
  • Accepted Date: 2022-02-17
  • Published Online: 2022-02-21
  • Publish Date: 2022-03-18
  • Many mammals risk damage from oxidative stress stemming from frequent dives (i.e., cycles of ischemia/reperfusion and hypoxia/reoxygenation), high altitude and subterranean environments, or powered flight. Purine metabolism is an essential response to oxidative stress, and an imbalance between purine salvage and de novo biosynthesis pathways can generate damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here, we examined the evolution of 117 purine metabolism-related genes to explore the accompanying molecular mechanisms of enhanced purine metabolism in mammals under high oxidative stress. We found that positively selected genes, convergent changes, and nonparallel amino acid substitutions are possibly associated with adaptation to oxidative stress in mammals. In particular, the evolution of convergent genes with cAMP and cGMP regulation roles may protect mammals from oxidative damage. Additionally, 32 genes were identified as under positive selection in cetaceans, including key purine salvage enzymes (i.e., HPRT1), suggesting improved re-utilization of non-recyclable purines avoid hypoxanthine accumulation and reduce oxidative stress. Most intriguingly, we found that six unique substitutions in cetacean xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH), an enzyme that regulates the generation of the ROS precursor xanthine oxidase (XO) during ischemic/hypoxic conditions, show enhanced enzyme activity and thermal stability and diminished XO conversion activity. These functional adaptations are likely beneficial for cetaceans by reducing radical oxygen species production during diving. In summary, our findings offer insights into the molecular and functional evolution of purine metabolism genes in mammalian oxidative stress adaptations.
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