Evolution of SPS
Selenoproteins incorporate selenocysteine, a nonstandard amino acid containing selenium (from Greek σελήνη selene meaning “Moon”). This artwork depicts the evolution of selenophosphate synthetase proteins (SPS): selenoprotein genes SPS2 (moons) are paired with their paralogs SPS1 (leaves) which emerged independently in various branches of metazoa. At the bottom, an event of gene duplication and subfunctionalization is represented, with duplicated genes following on separate evolutionary trails.
Illustration on acrylic paint on paper by Milena Biolcati Rinaldi. Concept by Marco Mariotti.
Research paper: Mariotti et al., 2015, Genome Res, 25:1256-67.