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Identification and expression analysis of ABC protein-encoding genes in Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasma gondii ATP-binding cassette superfamily

Identification and expression analysis of ABC protein-encoding genes in Toxoplasma gondii. Toxoplasma gondii ATP-binding cassette superfamily

Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 147(2): 177-192

The ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters are one of the largest evolutionarily conserved families of proteins. They are characterized by the presence of nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs), which are highly conserved among organisms. In the present study, we used human and protozoan ABC sequences, and ATP-binding consensus motifs to screen the Toxoplasma gondii TwinScan2 predicted proteins database. We identified 24 ABC open reading frames (ORFs), whose deduced amino acid sequences exhibited all the typical biochemical features of the ABC family members. Fifteen of them clustered into five of the seven families of human ABC proteins: six ABCBs (drug, peptides and lipid export), two ABCCs (organic anion conjugates and drug export), one ABCE (Rnase L inhibitor, RLI, antibiotic resistance and translation regulation), one ABCF (drug resistance and regulation of gene expression) and five ABCGs (drug export and resistance). The nine other ORFs were represented by four ABCHs (energy-generating subunits), four SMCs (structural maintenance of chromosomes) and one member of unclear origin, whose closest homologue was the yeast Elf1 protein (mRNA export factor). A notable feature of the Toxoplasma ABC superfamily seems to be the absence of genes encoding ABCA and ABCD members. Expression analysis of ABC genes in tachyzoite and bradyzoite stages revealed the presence of ABC transcripts for all genes studied. Further research on the implication of these ABC proteins will increase our knowledge of the basic biology of Toxoplasma and provide the opportunity to identify novel therapeutic targets. To our knowledge, this is the first report of ABC transporters in T. gondii.

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Accession: 012168933

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PMID: 16600400

DOI: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2006.02.008

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