Minimization of biosynthetic costs in adaptive gene expression responses of yeast to environmental changes
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Yeast successfully adapts to an environmental stress by altering physiology and fine-tuning metabolism. This fine-tuning is achieved through regulation of both gene expression and protein activity, and it is shaped by various physiological requirements. Such requirements impose a sustained evolutionary pressure that ultimately selects a specific gene expression profile, generating a suitable adaptive response to each environmental change. Although some of the requirements are stress specific, it is likely that others are common to various situations. We hypothesize that an evolutionary pressure for minimizing biosynthetic costs might have left signatures in the physicochemical properties of proteins whose gene expression is fine-tuned during adaptive responses. To test this hypothesis we analyze existing yeast transcriptomic data for such responses and investigate how several properties of proteins correlate to changes in gene expression. Our results reveal signatures that are consistent with a selective pressure for economy in protein synthesis during adaptive response of yeast to various types of stress. These signatures differentiate two groups of adaptive responses with respect to how cells manage expenditure in protein biosynthesis. In one group, significant trends towards downregulation of large proteins and upregulation of small ones are observed. In the other group we find no such trends. These results are consistent with resource limitation being important in the evolution of the first group of stress responses.
Is part ofPLoS Computational Biology, 2010, vol.6, núm. 2, e1000674
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