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    ABSTRACT: CYP51 family of cytochromes P450 (sterol 14-alpha-demethylases) comprises the representatives from different kingdoms of living world, thus positioning itself as the most ancient member of the superfamily. In the course of the present research the collection of 36 full-length CYP51 amino acid sequences was submitted to cluster analysis. Each node of the clustering dendrogram corresponds to the groups of proteins, located on the branches descending from the node. By making the multiple alignment of each group of protein sequences we obtained the node-specific consensus sequences. The informational content of the consensus was defined as the presence of the compact conserved sites, the motifs. The assessment of informational content was computed using Sherman's non-parametric statistical criterion. The high informational content was observed for the 100% conserved consensus sequences of the following CYP51,s groups: fungi, animal+plant, plant+protista and bacteria. These selected consensus sequences were next aligned all together to get the final consensus for the whole family. To enrich the informational content of the CYP51 consensus the level of its conservation was dropped to 75%. Regions of statistically significant conservation were unraveled in the CYP51 consensus sequence. These regions (motifs) were then correlated with the information on secondary structure elements and substrate recognition sites reported for CYP51 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Seven motifs appeared to be obligatory for every CYP51 protein. The motifs thus obtained were searched for among all the known cytochrome P450 proteins. Some motifs were found to be absolutely specific for 14-alpha-demethylases, whereas others were common to different species of cytochromes P450.
    Biomeditsinskaya Khimiya. 11/2004; 50(6):554-65.