The isoforms of a fish galectin, congerins I and II, have several features that make them suitable for a study of accelerated process of molecular diversification based on 3D structures: They have been generated by a gene duplication, and still maintain 47% amino acid sequence identity to each other. Their genes show very high K A/K S ratio, and are though to be components of fish defense system. The crystal systems for a high-resolution analysis are known for both proteins. A series of works with biochemistry, molecular biology, and X-ray crystallography techniques have suggested that the two proteins might have evolved under differential selection pressures. Congerin I appeared to be a stabilized version of galectin-1. Congerin II was shown to be adapted to a new carbohydrate-ligand. The 3D structures of the wild type and mutant proteins have revealed the probable cause and consequence of the selection pressure responsible for the diversification of congerins.
- Accelerated evolution
- Crystal structure