AlphaFold2: A versatile tool to predict the appearance of functional adaptations in evolution: Profilin interactions in uncultured Asgard archaea

Khongpon Ponlachantra, Wipa Suginta, Robert C.Robinson, Yoshihito Kitaoku

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The release of AlphaFold2 (AF2), a deep-learning-aided, open-source protein structure prediction program, from DeepMind, opened a new era of molecular biology. The astonishing improvement in the accuracy of the structure predictions provides the opportunity to characterize protein systems from uncultured Asgard archaea, key organisms in evolutionary biology. Despite the accumulation in metagenomics-derived Asgard archaea eukaryotic-like protein sequences, limited structural and biochemical information have restricted the insight in their potential functions. In this review, we focus on profilin, an actin-dynamics regulating protein, which in eukaryotes, modulates actin polymerization through (1) direct actin interaction, (2) polyproline binding, and (3) phospholipid binding. We assess AF2-predicted profilin structures in their potential abilities to participate in these activities. We demonstrate that AF2 is a powerful new tool for understanding the emergence of biological functional traits in evolution.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBioEssays
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • actin cytoskeleton
  • AlphaFold2
  • Asgard archaea
  • eukaryogenesis
  • evolution
  • pofilin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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