Chinese Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 1454–1464 | Cite as

Structure-based function prediction of the expanding mollusk tyrosinase family

  • Ronglian Huang (黄荣莲)
  • Li Li (李莉)
  • Guofan Zhang (张国范)


Tyrosinase (Ty) is a common enzyme found in many different animal groups. In our previous study, genome sequencing revealed that the Ty family is expanded in the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas). Here, we examine the larger number of Ty family members in the Pacific oyster by high-level structure prediction to obtain more information about their function and evolution, especially the unknown role in biomineralization. We verified 12 Ty gene sequences from Crassostrea gigas genome and Pinctada fucata martensii transcriptome. By using phylogenetic analysis of these Tys with functionally known Tys from other molluscan species, eight subgroups were identified (CgTy_s1, CgTy_s2, MolTy_s1, MolTy-s2, MolTy-s3, PinTy-s1, PinTy-s2 and PviTy). Structural data and surface pockets of the dinuclear copper center in the eight subgroups of molluscan Ty were obtained using the latest versions of prediction online servers. Structural comparison with other Ty proteins from the protein databank revealed functionally important residues (HA1, HA2, HA3, HB1, HB2, HB3, Z1–Z9) and their location within these protein structures. The structural and chemical features of these pockets which may related to the substrate binding showed considerable variability among mollusks, which undoubtedly defines Ty substrate binding. Finally, we discuss the potential driving forces of Ty family evolution in mollusks. Based on these observations, we conclude that the Ty family has rapidly evolved as a consequence of substrate adaptation in mollusks.


tyrosinase mollusk ligand binding pocket substrate diversity evolution 


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We thank ZHE Zheng for her assistance at the facility.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material, approximately 2.8 MB.
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Supplementary material, approximately 791 KB.
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Tab.1s Templates and ab initio information of homology modeling


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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronglian Huang (黄荣莲)
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Li Li (李莉)
    • 1
    • 3
  • Guofan Zhang (张国范)
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Experimental Marine Biology, Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesQingdaoChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Laboratory for Marine Biology and BiotechnologyQingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and TechnologyQingdaoChina
  4. 4.Marine Pearl Culture Lab, Fishery CollegeGuangDong Ocean UniversityZhanjiangChina

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