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Nearly neutral evolution in IFNL3 gene retains the immune function to detect and clear the viral infection in HCV
Published in Elsevier BV
Volume: 140
Pages: 107 - 116

IFNL3 gene plays a crucial role in immune defense against viruses. It induces the interferon stimulated genes (ISGs) with antiviral properties by activating the JAK-STAT pathway. In this study, we investigated the evolutionary force involved in shaping the IFNL3 gene to perform its downstream function as a regulatory gene in HCV clearance. We have selected 25 IFNL3 coding sequences with human gene as a reference sequence and constructed a phylogeny. Furthermore, rate of variation, substitution saturation test, phylogenetic informativeness and differential selection were also analysed. The codon evolution result suggests that nearly neutral mutation is the key pattern in shaping the IFNL3 evolution. The results were validated by subjecting the human IFNL3 protein variants to that of the native through a molecular dynamics simulation study. The molecular dynamics simulation clearly depicts the negative impact on the reported variants in human IFNL3 protein. However, these detrimental mutations (R157Q and R157W) were shown to be negatively selected in the evolutionary study of the mammals. Hence, the variation revealed a mild impact on the IFNL3 function and may be removed from the population through negative selection due to its high functional constraints. In a nutshell, our study may contribute the overall evidence in phylotyping and structural transformation that takes place in the non-synonymous substitutions of IFNL3 protein. Substantially, our obtained theoretical knowledge will lay the path to extend the experimental validation in HCV clearance.

About the journal
JournalData powered by TypesetProgress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
PublisherData powered by TypesetElsevier BV
Open Access0