Multispecies reconstructions uncover widespread conservation, and lineage-specific elaborations in eukaryotic mRNA metabolism.

10 Apr 2018

The degree of conservation and evolution of cytoplasmic mRNA metabolism pathways across the eukaryotes remains incompletely resolved. In this study, we describe a comprehensive genome and transcriptome-wide analysis of proteins involved in mRNA maturation, translation, and mRNA decay across representative organisms from the six eukaryotic super-groups. We demonstrate that eukaryotes share common pathways for mRNA metabolism that were almost certainly present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor, and show for the first time a correlation between intron density and a selective absence of some Exon Junction Complex (EJC) components in eukaryotes. In addition, we identify pathways that have diversified in individual lineages, with a specific focus on the unique gene gains and losses in members of the Excavata and SAR groups that contribute to their unique gene expression pathways compared to other organisms.