Expansion Mechanisms and Evolutionary History on Genes Encoding DNA Glycosylases and Their Involvement in Stress and Hormone Signaling

Genome Biol Evol. 2016 Apr 25;8(4):1165-84. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evw067.


DNA glycosylases catalyze the release of methylated bases. They play vital roles in the base excision repair pathway and might also function in DNA demethylation. At least three families of DNA glycosylases have been identified, which included 3'-methyladenine DNA glycosylase (MDG) I, MDG II, and HhH-GPD (Helix-hairpin-Helix and Glycine/Proline/aspartate (D)). However, little is known on their genome-wide identification, expansion, and evolutionary history as well as their expression profiling and biological functions. In this study, we have genome-widely identified and evolutionarily characterized these family members. Generally, a genome encodes only one MDG II gene in most of organisms. No MDG I or MDG II gene was detected in green algae. However, HhH-GPD genes were detectable in all available organisms. The ancestor species contain small size of MDG I and HhH-GPD families. These two families were mainly expanded through the whole-genome duplication and segmental duplication. They were evolutionarily conserved and were generally under purifying selection. However, we have detected recent positive selection among the Oryza genus, which might play roles in species divergence. Further investigation showed that expression divergence played important roles in gene survival after expansion. All of these family genes were expressed in most of developmental stages and tissues in rice plants. High ratios of family genes were downregulated by drought and fungus pathogen as well as abscisic acid (ABA) and jasmonic acid (JA) treatments, suggesting a negative regulation in response to drought stress and pathogen infection through ABA- and/or JA-dependent hormone signaling pathway.

Keywords: DNA glycosylase; abiotic/biotic stresses; evolution; gene expansion; hormone signaling; transcriptome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Biological Evolution
  • DNA Glycosylases / chemistry
  • DNA Glycosylases / genetics*
  • DNA Glycosylases / metabolism
  • Droughts
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Gene Duplication
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Multigene Family
  • Oryza / chemistry
  • Oryza / enzymology
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / physiology
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants / chemistry
  • Plants / enzymology
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Plant Proteins
  • 3-methyladenine-DNA glycosylase
  • DNA Glycosylases