Drosophila fat body protein P6 and alcohol dehydrogenase are derived from a common ancestral protein

J Mol Evol. 1991 Aug;33(2):194-203. doi: 10.1007/BF02193634.


Drosophila melanogaster alcohol dehydrogenase is an example of convergent evolution: it is not related to the ADHs of other organisms, but to short-chain dehydrogenases, which until now have been found only in bacteria and in mammalian steroid hormone metabolism. We present evidence that the Drosophila ADH is phylogenetically more closely related to P6, another highly expressed protein from the fat body of Drosophila, than it is to the short-chain dehydrogenases. The polypeptide sequence of P6 was inferred from DNA sequence analysis. Both ADH and P6 polypeptides have retained a high structural similarity with respect to the Chou-Fasman prediction of secondary structure and hydropathy. P6 is also homologous to the 25-kd protein from the fat body of Sarcophaga peregrina, whose sequence we have reexamined. The evolution of the P6-ADH family of proteins is characterized by a dramatic increase in the methionine content of P6. Methionine accounts for 20% of P6 amino acids. This is in contrast with the absence of this amino acid in mature ADH. There is evidence that P6 and the 25-kd protein have undergone a parallel and independent enrichment in methionine. When corrected for this, the rate of amino acid replacement shows that the P6-25-kd lineage diverged from insect ADH shortly before the divergence of the ADH gene (Adh) from its 3'-duplication (Adh-dup).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Codon
  • DNA
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / enzymology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Fat Body / metabolism*
  • Insect Proteins*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • Amino Acids
  • Codon
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Fbp2 protein, Drosophila
  • Insect Proteins
  • Proteins
  • DNA
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/S57693
  • GENBANK/S57733
  • GENBANK/S57734
  • GENBANK/S57736
  • GENBANK/S57738
  • GENBANK/S57741
  • GENBANK/S57742
  • GENBANK/S57743
  • GENBANK/S57744
  • GENBANK/S57745