Convergent molecular evolution of thermogenesis and circadian rhythm in Arctic ruminants

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Manman Li
  • Xinmei Li
  • Zhipei Wu
  • Guanghui Zhang
  • Nini Wang
  • Mingle Dou
  • Shanlin Liu
  • Chentao Yang
  • Guanliang Meng
  • Hailu Sun
  • Christina Hvilsom
  • Guoxiang Xie
  • Yang Li
  • Zhuo Hui Li
  • Wei Wang
  • Yu Jiang
  • Heller, Rasmus
  • Yu Wang
The muskox and reindeer are the only ruminants that have evolved to survive in harsh Arctic environments. However, the genetic basis of this Arctic adaptation remains largely unclear. Here, we compared a de novo assembled muskox genome with reindeer and other ruminant genomes to identify convergent amino acid substitutions, rapidly evolving genes and positively selected genes among the two Arctic ruminants. We found these candidate genes were mainly involved in brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis and circadian rhythm. Furthermore, by integrating transcriptomic data from goat adipose tissues (white and brown), we demonstrated that muskox and reindeer may have evolved modulating mitochondrion, lipid metabolism and angiogenesis pathways to enhance BAT thermogenesis. In addition, results from co-immunoprecipitation experiments prove that convergent amino acid substitution of the angiogenesis-related gene hypoxia-inducible factor 2alpha (HIF2A), resulting in weakening of its interaction with prolyl hydroxylase domain-containing protein 2 (PHD2), may increase angiogenesis of BAT. Altogether, our work provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in Arctic adaptation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number20230538
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1999
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ID: 356507438