Faithful chromosome segregation relies on kinetochores, the large protein complexes that connect chromatin to spindle microtubules. Although human and yeast kinetochores are largely homologous, they track microtubules with the unrelated protein complexes Ska (Ska-C, human) and Dam1 (Dam1-C, yeast). We here uncovered that Ska-C and Dam1-C are both widespread among eukaryotes, but in an exceptionally inverse manner, supporting their functional analogy. Within the complexes, all Ska-C and various Dam1-C subunits are ancient paralogs, showing that gene duplication shaped these complexes. We examined various evolutionary scenarios to explain the nearly mutually exclusive patterns of Ska-C and Dam1-C in present-day species. We propose that Ska-C was present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor, that subsequently Dam1-C displaced Ska-C in an early fungus and was horizontally transferred to diverse non-fungal lineages, displacing Ska-C in these lineages too.
- Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone
- Evolution, Molecular
- Gene Duplication
- Gene Transfer, Horizontal
- Microtubule-Associated Proteins
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Journal Article