Matrix metalloproteinases-9 (MMP-9) is an important cancer-associated, zinc-dependent endopeptidase. To investigate the natural selection hypothesis of MMP-9, the orthologous sequences from 12 vertebrates were compared and a molecular evolution analysis was performed. Results suggest that amino acid residues present in the middle region of the protein are more selectively constrained, whereas amino acid residues in the C-terminal region of the MM~P-9 protein including exon 13 showed lowest conservation level in non-primate species, suggesting that it is an exon with fast evolving rate compared to the others analyzed. InterProScan analysis shows that exon 13 was located in hemopexin (PEX) domain of MM~P-9. Positive selection was detected in PEX domain of MMP-9 protein between human and other species, which indicates that selective pressure may play a role in shaping the function of MM~P-9 in the course of evolution.
Volume 47, 2022
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