[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The major facilitator superfamily (MFS) is the largest known superfamily of secondary carriers found in the biosphere. It is ubiquitously distributed throughout virtually all currently recognized organismal phyla. This superfamily currently (2012) consists of 74 families, each of which is usually concerned with the transport of a certain type of substrate. Many of these families, defined phylogenetically, do not include even a single member that is functionally characterized. In this article, we probe the evolutionary origins of these transporters, providing evidence that they arose from a single 2-transmembrane segment (TMS) hairpin structure that triplicated to give a 6-TMS unit that duplicated to a 12-TMS protein, the most frequent topological type of these permeases. We globally examine MFS protein topologies, focusing on exceptional proteins that deviate from the norm. Nine distantly related families appear to have members with 14 TMSs in which the extra two are usually centrally localized between the two 6-TMS repeat units. They probably have arisen by intragenic duplication of an adjacent hairpin. This alternative topology probably arose multiple times during MFS evolution. Convincing evidence for MFS permeases with fewer than 12 TMSs was not forthcoming, leading to the suggestion that all 12 TMSs are required for optimal function. Some homologs appear to have 13, 14, 15 or 16 TMSs, and the probable locations of the extra TMSs were identified. A few MFS permeases are fused to other functional domains or are fully duplicated to give 24-TMS proteins with dual functions. Finally, the MFS families with no known function were subjected to genomic context analyses leading to functional predictions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gram-negative bacteria have developed a limited repertoire of solutions for secreting proteins from the cytoplasmic compartment to the exterior of the cell. Amongst the spectrum of secreted proteins are the intimins and invasins (the Int/Inv family; TC# 1.B.54) which are characterized by an N-terminal β-barrel domain and a C-terminal surface localized passenger domain. Despite the important role played by members of this family in diseases mediated by several species of the Enterobacteriaceae, there has been little appreciation for the distribution and diversity of these proteins amongst Gram-negative bacteria. Furthermore, there is little understanding of the molecular events governing secretion of these proteins to the extracellular milieu.
In silico approaches were used to analyze the domain organization and diversity of members of this secretion family. Proteins belonging to this family are predominantly associated with organisms from the γ-proteobacteria. Whilst proteins from the Chlamydia, γ-, β- and ε-proteobacteria possess β-barrel domains and passenger domains of various sizes, Int/Inv proteins from the α-proteobacteria, cyanobacteria and chlorobi possess only the predicted β-barrel domains. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that with few exceptions these proteins cluster according to organismal type, indicating that divergence occurred contemporaneously with speciation, and that horizontal transfer was limited. Clustering patterns of the β-barrel domains correlate well with those of the full-length proteins although the passenger domains do so with much less consistency. The modular subdomain design of the passenger domains suggests that subdomain duplication and deletion have occurred with high frequency over evolutionary time. However, all repeated subdomains are found in tandem, suggesting that subdomain shuffling occurred rarely if at all. Topological predictions for the β-barrel domains are presented.
Based on our in silico analyses we present a model for the biogenesis of these proteins. This study is the first of its kind to describe this unusual family of bacterial adhesins.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(12):e14403. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ArsA ATPase of E. coli plays an essential role in arsenic detoxification. Published evidence implicates ArsA in the energization of As(III) efflux via the formation of an oxyanion-translocating complex with ArsB. In addition, eukaryotic ArsA homologues have several recognized functions unrelated to arsenic resistance. By aligning ArsA homologues, constructing phylogenetic trees, examining ArsA encoding operons, and estimating the probable coevolution of these homologues with putative transporters and auxiliary proteins unrelated to ArsB, we provide evidence for new functions for ArsA homologues. They may play roles in carbon starvation, gas vesicle biogenesis, and arsenic resistance. The results lead to the proposal that ArsA homologues energize four distinct and nonhomologous transporters, ArsB, ArsP, CstA, and Acr3.
International Journal of Microbiology 01/2010; 2010:187373.