Phospho-islands and the evolution of phosphorylated amino acids in mammals

Mikhail Moldovan, Mikhail S. Gelfand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Protein phosphorylation is the best studied post-translational modification strongly influencing protein function. Phosphorylated amino acids not only differ in physico-chemical properties from non-phosphorylated counterparts, but also exhibit different evolutionary patterns, tending to mutate to and originate from negatively charged amino acids (NCAs). The distribution of phosphosites along protein sequences is non-uniform, as phosphosites tend to cluster, forming so-called phospho-islands. Methods: Here, we have developed a hidden Markov model-based procedure for the identification of phospho-islands and studied the properties of the obtained phosphorylation clusters. To check robustness of evolutionary analysis, we consider different models for the reconstructions of ancestral phosphorylation states. Results: Clustered phosphosites differ from individual phosphosites in several functional and evolutionary aspects including underrepresentation of phosphotyrosines, higher conservation, more frequent mutations to NCAs. The spectrum of tissues, frequencies of specific phosphorylation contexts, and mutational patterns observed near clustered sites also are different.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere10436
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2020


  • Context dynamics
  • Mammalian proteomes
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphorylation clusters
  • Phosphorylation contexts
  • Phosphorylation evolution
  • Phosphorylation islands
  • Protein modifications
  • Proteome evolution
  • Regulation


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