The diversification of the basic leucine zipper family in eukaryotes correlates with the evolution of multicellularity

Jindrich, Katia and Degnan, Bernard M. (2016) The diversification of the basic leucine zipper family in eukaryotes correlates with the evolution of multicellularity. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 16 28: 1-12. doi:10.1186/s12862-016-0598-z


Author Jindrich, Katia
Degnan, Bernard M.
Title The diversification of the basic leucine zipper family in eukaryotes correlates with the evolution of multicellularity
Journal name BMC Evolutionary Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2148
Publication date 2016-02-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s12862-016-0598-z
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 16
Issue 28
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Place of publication London United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background
Multicellularity evolved multiple times in eukaryotes. In all cases, this required an elaboration of the regulatory mechanisms controlling gene expression. Amongst the conserved eukaryotic transcription factor families, the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) superfamily is one of the most ancient and best characterised. This gene family plays a diversity of roles in the specification, differentiation and maintenance of cell types in plants and animals. bZIPs are also involved in stress responses and the regulation of cell proliferation in fungi, amoebozoans and heterokonts.

Results
Using 49 sequenced genomes from across the Eukaryota, we demonstrate that the bZIP superfamily has evolved from a single ancestral eukaryotic gene and undergone multiple independent expansions. bZIP family diversification is largely restricted to multicellular lineages, consistent with bZIPs contributing to the complex regulatory networks underlying differential and cell type-specific gene expression in these lineages. Analyses focused on the Metazoa suggest an elaborate bZIP network was in place in the most recent shared ancestor of all extant animals that was comprised of 11 of the 12 previously recognized families present in modern taxa. In addition this analysis identifies three bZIP families that appear to have been lost in mammals. Thus the ancestral metazoan and eumetazoan bZIP repertoire consists of 12 and 16 bZIPs, respectively. These diversified from 7 founder genes present in the holozoan ancestor.

Conclusions
Our results reveal the ancestral opisthokont, holozoan and metazoan bZIP repertoire and provide insights into the progressive expansion and divergence of bZIPs in the five main eukaryotic kingdoms, suggesting that the early diversification of bZIPs in multiple eukaryotic lineages was a prerequisite for the evolution of complex multicellular organisms.
Keyword bZIP transcription factor
Gene regulatory networks
Evolution
Complexity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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