Common and unique strategies of myoglobin evolution for deep-sea adaptation of diving mammals

Yasuhiro Isogai, Hiroshi Imamura, Setsu Nakae, Tomonari Sumi, Ken ichi Takahashi, Tsuyoshi Shirai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Myoglobin (Mb) is highly concentrated in the myocytes of diving mammals such as whales and seals, in comparison with land animals, and its molecular evolution has played a crucial role in their deep-sea adaptation. We previously resurrected ancestral whale Mbs and demonstrated the evolutional strategies for higher solubility under macromolecular crowding conditions. Pinnipeds, such as seals and sea lions, are also expert diving mammals with Mb-rich muscles. In the present study, we resurrected ancestral pinniped Mbs and investigated their biochemical and structural properties. Comparisons between pinniped and whale Mbs revealed the common and distinctive strategies for the deep-sea adaptation. The overall evolution processes, gaining precipitant tolerance and improving thermodynamic stability, were commonly observed. However, the strategies for improving the folding stability differed, and the pinniped Mbs exploited the shielding of hydrophobic surfaces more effectively than the whale Mbs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102920
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 20 2021


  • Biomolecules
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Evolutionary mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Common and unique strategies of myoglobin evolution for deep-sea adaptation of diving mammals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this