The enzyme butyrylcholinesterase (BChE; EC 18.104.22.168.8) has a
well-defined pharmacologic function in hydrolyzing succinylcholine, a
muscle relaxant used in anesthetic practice. It could have other roles,
though much less well defined, such as modulating the phenotypic
expression of dyslipidemia and metabolic syndrome. Serum levels of the
enzyme are affected by dietary fat, obesity, hyperlipidemia and
diabetes mellitus .
With genomic sequences from many species being available in the public domain ,
it is possible to annotate proteins in evolutionarily terms. Such
analysis is particularly useful for proteins with poorly defined
physiological role, such as BchE. A phylogenetic analysis of amino
acid/ nucleotide sequences could throw light on 'how the family might
have been derived during evolution' .
The analysis is represented as an evolutionary tree, which is a
two-dimensional graph; it shows evolutionary relationships of genes
from different organisms.
Here we (a) studied the level of BChE among persons with diabetes
mellitus (b) constructed the phylogenetic tree of 25 BChE genes from
publicly available sequence data.