A novel empirical mutual information approach to identify co-evolving amino acid positions of influenza A viruses.
ABSTRACT Mutual information (MI) is an approach commonly used to estimate the evolutionary correlation of 2 amino acid sites. Although several MI methods exist, prior to our contribution no systematic method had been developed to assess their performance, or to establish numerical thresholds to detect co-evolving amino acid sites. The current study performed a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm on influenza viral sequences to capture their evolutionary characteristics. A consensus maximum clade credibility (MCC) tree was estimated from the samples, together with their amino acid substitution statistics, from which we generated synthetic sequences of known dependent and independent paired amino acid sites. A pair-to-pair and influenza-specific amino acid substitution matrix (P2PFLU) incorporated into Bayesian Evolutionary Analysis Sampling Trees (BEAST) enumerated these synthetic sequences. The sequences inherited evolutionary features and co-varying characteristics from the real viral sequences, rendering these synthetic data ideal for exploring their co-evolving features. For the MI measure, we proposed a novel metric called the empirical MI (MI(Em)), which outperformed other MI measures in analysis of receiver operating characteristics (ROC). We implemented our approach on 1086 all-time PB2 sequences of influenza A H5N1 viruses, in which we found 97 sites exhibiting co-evolutionary substitution of one or more amino acid sites. In particular, PB2 451, along with eight other PB2 sites of various MI(Em) scores, was found to co-evolve with PB2 627, a known species-associated amino acid residue which plays a critical role in influenza virus replication.
- SourceAvailable from: Yiming BaoJournal of Virology 02/2008; 82(2):596-601. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The amino acid substitution model is the core component of many protein analysis systems such as sequence similarity search, sequence alignment, and phylogenetic inference. Although several general amino acid substitution models have been estimated from large and diverse protein databases, they remain inappropriate for analyzing specific species, e.g., viruses. Emerging epidemics of influenza viruses raise the need for comprehensive studies of these dangerous viruses. We propose an influenza-specific amino acid substitution model to enhance the understanding of the evolution of influenza viruses. A maximum likelihood approach was applied to estimate an amino acid substitution model (FLU) from approximately 113,000 influenza protein sequences, consisting of approximately 20 million residues. FLU outperforms 14 widely used models in constructing maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees for the majority of influenza protein alignments. On average, FLU gains approximately 42 log likelihood points with an alignment of 300 sites. Moreover, topologies of trees constructed using FLU and other models are frequently different. FLU does indeed have an impact on likelihood improvement as well as tree topologies. It was implemented in PhyML and can be downloaded from ftp://ftp.sanger.ac.uk/pub/1000genomes/lsq/FLU or included in PhyML 3.0 server at http://www.atgc-montpellier.fr/phyml/. FLU should be useful for any influenza protein analysis system which requires an accurate description of amino acid substitutions.BMC Evolutionary Biology 04/2010; 10:99. · 3.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: An important element of the developing field of proteomics is to understand protein-protein interactions and other functional links amongst genes. Across-species correlation methods for detecting functional links work on the premise that functionally linked proteins will tend to show a common pattern of presence and absence across a range of genomes. We describe a maximum likelihood statistical model for predicting functional gene linkages. The method detects independent instances of the correlated gain or loss of pairs of proteins on phylogenetic trees, reducing the high rates of false positives observed in conventional across-species methods that do not explicitly incorporate a phylogeny. We show, in a dataset of 10,551 protein pairs, that the phylogenetic method improves by up to 35% on across-species analyses at identifying known functionally linked proteins. The method shows that protein pairs with at least two to three correlated events of gain or loss are almost certainly functionally linked. Contingent evolution, in which one gene's presence or absence depends upon the presence of another, can also be detected phylogenetically, and may identify genes whose functional significance depends upon its interaction with other genes. Incorporating phylogenetic information improves the prediction of functional linkages. The improvement derives from having a lower rate of false positives and from detecting trends that across-species analyses miss. Phylogenetic methods can easily be incorporated into the screening of large-scale bioinformatics datasets to identify sets of protein links and to characterise gene networks.PLoS Computational Biology 07/2005; 1(1):e3. · 4.87 Impact Factor