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Keywords:

  • antifungal drug resistance;
  • genome evolution;
  • Hemiascomycetes;
  • yeast;
  • ABC transporter

Abstract

The available genomic sequences of five closely related hemiascomycetous yeast species (Kluyveromyces lactis, Kluyveromyces waltii, Candida glabrata, Ashbya (Eremothecium) gossypii with Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a reference) were analysed to identify multidrug resistance (MDR) transport proteins belonging to the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) and major facilitator superfamilies (MFS), respectively. The phylogenetic trees clearly demonstrate that a similar set of gene (sub)families already existed in the common ancestor of all five fungal species studied. However, striking differences exist between the two superfamilies with respect to the evolution of the various subfamilies. Within the ABC superfamily all six half-size transporters with six transmembrane-spanning domains (TMs) and most full-size transporters with 12 TMs have one and only one gene per genome. An exception is the PDR family, in which gene duplications and deletions have occurred independently in individual genomes. Among the MFS transporters, the DHA2 family (TC 2.A.1.3) is more variable between species than the DHA1 family (TC 2.A.1.2). Conserved gene order relationships allow to trace the evolution of most (sub)families, for which the Kluyveromyces lactis genome can serve as an optimal scaffold. Cross-species sequence alignment of orthologous upstream gene sequences led to the identification of conserved sequence motifs (“phylogenetic footprints”). Almost half of them match known sequence motifs for the MDR regulators described in S. cerevisiae. The biological significance of those and of the novel predicted motifs awaits to be confirmed experimentally.