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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 2009, Article ID 379317, 6 pages
Research Article

Evolutionary Conservation Levels of Subunits of Histone-Modifying Protein Complexes in Fungi

Agricultural Bioinformatics Research Unit, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan

Received 20 August 2008; Revised 17 November 2008; Accepted 17 February 2009

Academic Editor: Graziano Pesole

Copyright © 2009 Hiromi Nishida. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Eukaryotes possess a variety of histone-modifying protein complexes. Generally, a histone-modifying protein complex consists of multiple subunits, that is, a catalytic subunit and the associated subunits. In this study, I analyzed 62 and 48 subunits of the histone-modifying protein complexes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe, respectively. The evolutionary conservation levels of the 110 subunits were measured. The measurements revealed that the conservation levels of the catalytic subunits are significantly higher than those of the associated subunits of the histone acetyltransferase and deacetylase complexes; however, the conservation level of the catalytic subunits is similar to that of the associated subunits of the histone methyltransferase complexes. Thus, in the fungal histone acetylation and deacetylation systems, the catalytic subunits of histone-modifying protein complexes are conserved and the associated subunits are evolutionary lineage-specific. In contrast, in the fungal histone methylation system, both the catalytic and the associated subunits are evolutionary lineage-specific.