Mechanisms of Protein Evolution II was held as an SMBE Satellite Meeting February 7-9, 2013 on the campus of University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, CO. An amusing video describing the meeting was produced by James McInerney:
In the meeting, many themes touching on protein evolution were touched upon and several of the talks are mentioned below. Andy Clark (Cornell) described a Drosophila species that exists only with a specific species of cactus and metabolizes another alkaloid instead of cholesterol that the cactus produces in high abundance, linking the enzymology of cholesterol metabolism to biochemistry of enzymes in individual species and dN/dS. Carrie Olson-Manning (Duke) presented her recent MBE paper on pathway evolution and some unpublished data linking adaptive substitutions observed from MK tests to the structural context. Nicolas Lartillot (Montreal) presented a new phylogenetic model that accounts for biased gene conversion. Jay Storz (Nebraska) presented on high altitude adaptation in mice. Mary O'Connell (Dublin) gave an overview of the use of positive selection screens in a biomedical context. Jeff Kieft (Colorado) presented a translation initiation motif that may enable evolutionary exploration of new translated proteins. James McInerney (Maynooth) presented on the origins of differing networks of interacting genes in eukaryotic genomes. Naomi Ward (Wyoming) presented on the origins of membrane structures in PVC bacteria. Tony Dean (Minnesota) presented on the evolution of enzyme mechanisms. Michael Lynch (Indiana) described a model for the evolution of protein multimerization state. Jeff Thorne (North Carolina State) described a model for the evolution of p53 considering human-specific interactions.
The best oral presentation by a graduate student award went to Jeffrey Boucher (Brandeis). The best poster presentation by a graduate student award went to Olga Kamneva (Wyoming).