PloS one

Genome-wide analyses and functional classification of proline repeat-rich proteins: potential role of eIF5A in eukaryotic evolution.

PMID 25364902


The eukaryotic translation factor, eIF5A has been recently reported as a sequence-specific elongation factor that facilitates peptide bond formation at consecutive prolines in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as its ortholog elongation factor P (EF-P) does in bacteria. We have searched the genome databases of 35 representative organisms from six kingdoms of life for PPP (Pro-Pro-Pro) and/or PPG (Pro-Pro-Gly)-encoding genes whose expression is expected to depend on eIF5A. We have made detailed analyses of proteome data of 5 selected species, Escherichia coli, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Drosophila melanogaster, Mus musculus and Homo sapiens. The PPP and PPG motifs are low in the prokaryotic proteomes. However, their frequencies markedly increase with the biological complexity of eukaryotic organisms, and are higher in newly derived proteins than in those orthologous proteins commonly shared in all species. Ontology classifications of S. cerevisiae and human genes encoding the highest level of polyprolines reveal their strong association with several specific biological processes, including actin/cytoskeletal associated functions, RNA splicing/turnover, DNA binding/transcription and cell signaling. Previously reported phenotypic defects in actin polarity and mRNA decay of eIF5A mutant strains are consistent with the proposed role for eIF5A in the translation of the polyproline-containing proteins. Of all the amino acid tandem repeats (≥3 amino acids), only the proline repeat frequency correlates with functional complexity of the five organisms examined. Taken together, these findings suggest the importance of proline repeat-rich proteins and a potential role for eIF5A and its hypusine modification pathway in the course of eukaryotic evolution.