2018 年 93 巻 2 号 p. 65-73
Acceleration of the amino acid substitution rate is a good indicator of positive selection in adaptive evolutionary changes of functional genes. Genomic information about mammals has become readily available in recent years, as many researchers have attempted to clarify the adaptive evolution of mammals by examining evolutionary rate change based on multiple loci. The order Cetartiodactyla (Artiodactyla and Cetacea) is one of the most diverse orders of mammals. Species in this order are found throughout all continents and seas, except Antarctica, and they exhibit wide variation in morphology and habitat. Here, we focused on the metabolism-related genes of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in species of the order Cetartiodactyla using 191 mtDNA sequences available in databases. Based on comparisons of the dN/dS ratio (ω) in 12 protein-coding genes, ATP8 was shown to have a higher ω value (ω = 0.247) throughout Cetartiodactyla than the other 11 genes (ω < 0.05). In a branch-site analysis of ATP8 sequences, a markedly higher ω value of 0.801 was observed in the ancestral lineage of the clade of Cetacea, which is indicative of adaptive evolution. Through efforts to detect positively selected amino acids, codon positions 52 and 54 of ATP8 were shown to have experienced positive selective pressure during the course of evolution; multiple substitutions have occurred at these sites throughout the cetacean lineage. At position 52, glutamic acid was replaced with asparagine, and, at position 54, lysine was replaced with non-charged amino acids. These sites are conserved in most Artiodactyla. These results imply that the ancestor of cetaceans underwent accelerated amino acid changes in ATP8 and replacements at codons 52 and 54, which adjusted metabolism to adapt to the marine environment.