Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh
Proteome-scale bioinformatics research is increasingly conducted as the number of completely sequenced genomes increases, but analysis of protein domains (PDs) usually relies on similarity in their amino acid sequences and/or three-dimensional structures. Here, we present results from a bi-clustering analysis on presence/absence data for 6,580 unique PDs in 2,134 species with a sequenced genome, thus covering a complete set of proteins, for the three superkingdoms of life, Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya. Our analysis revealed eight distinctive PD clusters, which, following an analysis of enrichment of Gene Ontology functions and CATH classification of protein structures, were shown to exhibit structural and functional properties that are taxa-characteristic. For examples, the largest cluster is ubiquitous in all three superkingdoms, constituting a set of 1,472 persistent domains created early in evolution and retained in living organisms and characterized by basic cellular functions and ancient structural architectures, while an Archaea and Eukarya bi-superkingdom cluster suggests its PDs may have existed in the ancestor of the two superkingdoms, and others are single superkingdom- or taxa (e.g. Fungi)-specific. These results contribute to increase our appreciation of PD diversity and our knowledge of how PDs are used in species, yielding implications on species evolution.