Evolutionary Analysis of the B56 Gene Family of PP2A Regulatory Subunits
Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is an abundant serine/threonine phosphatase that functions as a tumor suppressor in numerous cell-cell signaling pathways, including Wnt, myc, and ras. The B56 subunit of PP2A regulates its activity, and is encoded by five genes in humans. B56 proteins share a central core domain, but have divergent amino- and carboxy-termini, which are thought to provide isoform specificity. We performed phylogenetic analyses to better understand the evolution of the B56 gene family. We found that B56 was present as a single gene in eukaryotes prior to the divergence of animals, fungi, protists, and plants, and that B56 gene duplication prior to the divergence of protostomes and deuterostomes led to the origin of two B56 subfamilies, B56αβε and B56γδ. Further duplications led to three B56αβε genes and two B56γδ in vertebrates. Several nonvertebrate B56 gene names are based on distinct vertebrate isoform names, and would best be renamed. B56 subfamily genes lack significant divergence within primitive chordates, but each became distinct in complex vertebrates. Two vertebrate lineages have undergone B56 gene loss, Xenopus and Aves. In Xenopus, B56δ function may be compensated for by an alternatively spliced transcript, B56δ/γ, encoding a B56δ-like amino-terminal region and a B56γ core.