Thirty-plus functional families from a single motif

Authors

  • Lihua Yu,

    1. BioMolecular Engineering Research Center, College of Engineering, Boston University, 36 Cummington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
    Current affiliation:
    1. Astra Zeneca R+D Boston, 35 Gatehouse Drive, Waltham, Massachusetts 02451
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  • Temple F. Smith,

    Corresponding author
    1. BioMolecular Engineering Research Center, College of Engineering, Boston University, 36 Cummington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
    • BMERC, 36 Cummington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02215
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  • Chrysanthe Gaitatzes

    1. Boston University School of Medicine, 80 East Concord Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02118
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Abstract

It is now possible to identify over 30 functional subfamilies among the WD-repeat-containing proteins found in the completed genomes. The majority of these subfamilies have at least one member for which experimental data allow assignment to a cellular pathway or process. Half of the 63 WD-repeat-containing proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, half of the 70 in Caenorhabditis elegans, and a third of the 100 plus predicted in Drosophila can be assigned to 23 of these functional subfamilies. Perhaps indicative of the future, 33 WD-repeat-containing proteins from the partial genome of Arabidopsis thaliana can now be assigned to 18 of these subfamilies. These assignments have been made possible by combining traditional sequence similarity with an implied common beta propeller structural context to obtain measures of protein-protein surface similarity. The beta propeller structural context is represented in the form of a Hidden Markov Model. The procedure is completely automated.

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