Phosphorylation is essential for protein function and signal transduction in eukaryotic cells. With the rapid development of mass spectrometry technology, a large number of phosphosites are identified. However, high-throughput methods of functional characterization for phosphosites are still scarce. In this study, we inspected if the co-evolution property can be used as an indicator to explore function of phosphosites through investigating co-evolutionary relationship between functionally associated phosphosites in human. In practice, the evolution attributes of phosphosites were represented with phylogenetic profiles, and then co-evolutionary correlations of functionally associated phosphosites were detected on three levels: (1) phosphosites within one protein; (2) phosphosites in different proteins participating in the same signal transduction pathways, and (3) general phosphosites. Results of the detection show that co-evolution is a general property of functionally associated phosphosites. This finding suggests to some degree that it is feasible to use the co-evolution property in exploring the function of phosphosites and investigating the functional association between them.
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Acknowledgments We greatly appreciate the anonymous reviewers for their help to improve the manuscript. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of SA-SIBS scholarship program. This work was supported by the National Basic Research program of China (973) (No. 2011CB910204), the Main Direction Program of Knowledge Innovation of Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. KSCX2-EW-R-04), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31100957, No. 31070752, No. 31301032), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation Fund (No. 20110490758), and Shanghai Postdoctoral Scientific Program (13R21417300).
© 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
- Functional association
- Phosphorylation site
- Phylogenetic profile
- Post-translational modification