Phylogeny-wide analysis of G-protein coupled receptors in social amoebas and implications for the evolution of multicellularity: [version 2; peer review: 2 approved]

Grant Hall, Sarah Kelly, Pauline Schaap, Christina Schilde (Lead / Corresponding author)

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2 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are seven-transmembrane proteins and constitute the largest group of receptors within eukaryotes. The presence of a large set of GPCRs in the unicellular Amoebozoa was surprising and is indicative of the largely undiscovered environmental sensing capabilities in this group. Evolutionary transitions from unicellular to multicellular lifestyles, like we see in social amoebas, have occurred several times independently in the Amoebozoa, and GPCRs may have been co-opted for new functions in cell-cell communication.

Methods: We have analysed a set of GPCRs from fully sequenced Amoebozoan genomes by Bayesian inference, compared their phylogenetic distribution and domain composition, and analysed their temporal and spatial expression patterns in five species of dictyostelids.

Results: We found evidence that most GPCRs are conserved deeply in the Amoebozoa and are probably performing roles in general cell functions and complex environmental sensing. All families of GPCRs (apart from the family 4 fungal pheromone receptors) are present in dictyostelids with family 5 being the largest and family 2 the one with the fewest members. For the first time, we identify the presence of family 1 rhodopsin-like GPCRs in dictyostelids. Some GPCRs have been amplified in the dictyostelids and in specific lineages thereof and through changes in expression patterns may have been repurposed for signalling in multicellular development.

Discussion: Our phylogenetic analysis suggests that GPCR families 1, 2 and 6 already diverged early in the Amoebozoa, whereas families 3 and 5 expanded later within the dictyostelids. The family 6 cAMP receptors that have experimentally supported roles in multicellular development in dictyostelids (carA-carD; tasA/B) originated at the root of all dictyostelids and only have weakly associated homologs in Physarum polycephalum. Our analysis identified candidate GPCRs which have evolved in the dictyostelids and could have been co-opted for multicellular development.
Original languageEnglish
Article number134
Number of pages28
JournalOpen Research Europe
Volume2
Early online date6 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Amoebozoa
  • G-protein coupled receptor
  • dictyostelids
  • multicellularity
  • signalling
  • social amoebas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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