Deletion of a conserved regulatory element in the Drosophila Adh gene leads to increased alcohol dehydrogenase activity but also delays development.
ABSTRACT In vivo levels of enzymatic activity may be increased through either structural or regulatory changes. Here we use Drosophila melanogaster alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) in an experimental test for selective differences between these two mechanisms. The well-known ADH-Slow (S)/Fast (F) amino acid replacement leads to a twofold increase in activity by increasing the catalytic efficiency of the enzyme. Disruption of a highly conserved, negative regulatory element in the Adh 3' UTR also leads to a twofold increase in activity, although this is achieved by increasing in vivo Adh mRNA and protein concentrations. These two changes appear to be under different types of selection, with positive selection favoring the amino acid replacement and purifying selection maintaining the 3' UTR sequence. Using transgenic experiments we show that deletion of the conserved 3' UTR element increases adult and larval Adh expression in both the ADH-F and ADH-S genetic backgrounds. However, the 3' UTR deletion also leads to a significant increase in developmental time in both backgrounds. ADH allozyme type has no detectable effect on development. These results demonstrate a negative fitness effect associated with Adh overexpression. This provides a mechanism whereby natural selection can discriminate between alternative pathways of increasing enzymatic activity.
Article: The effect of an intronic polymorphism on alcohol dehydrogenase expression in Drosophila melanogaster.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Several lines of evidence indicate that natural selection controls the frequencies of an allozyme polymorphism at the alcohol dehydrogenase (Adh) locus in Drosophila melanogaster. However, because of associations among sequence polymorphisms in the Adh region, it is not clear whether selection acts directly (or solely) on the allozymic site. This problem has been approached by using in vitro mutagenesis to distinguish among the effects on Adh expression of individual polymorphisms. This study shows that a polymorphism within the first Adh intron (delta 1) has a significant effect on the level of ADH protein. Like the allozyme, delta 1 shows a geographic cline in frequency, indicating that it may also be a target of natural selection. These results suggest that multisite selection models may be required to understand the evolutionary dynamics of individual loci.Genetics 11/1994; 138(2):379-85. · 4.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Many enzymes in intermediary metabolism manifest saturation kinetics in which flux is a concave function of enzyme activity and often of the Michaelis-Menten form. The result is that, when natural selection favors increased enzyme activity so as to maximize flux, a point of diminishing returns will be attained in which any increase in flux results in a disproportionately small increase in fitness. Enzyme activity ultimately will reach a level at which the favorable effect of an increase in activity is of the order 1/(4Ne) or smaller, where Ne is the effective population number. At this point, many mutations that result in small changes in activity will result in negligible changes in fitness and will be selectively nearly neutral. We propose that this process is a mechanism whereby conditions for the occurrence of nearly neutral mutations and gene substitutions can be brought about by the long-continued action of natural selection. Evidence for the hypothesis derives from metabolic theory, direct studies of flux, studies of null and other types of alleles in Drosophila melanogaster and chemostat studies in Escherichia coli. Limitations and complications of the theory include changes in environment or genetic background, enzymes with sharply defined optima of activity, overdominance, pleiotropy, multifunctional enzymes and branched metabolic pathways. We conclude that the theory is a useful synthesis that unites many seemingly unrelated observations. The principal theoretical conclusion is that the conditions for the occurrence of neutral evolution can be brought about as an indirect result of the action of natural selection.Genetics 12/1985; 111(3):655-74. · 4.01 Impact Factor