1887

Abstract

Ankyrin-repeat (ANK) protein-interaction domains are common in cellular proteins but are relatively rare in viruses. Chordopoxviruses, however, encode a large number of ANK domain-containing ORFs of largely unknown function. Recently, a second protein-interaction domain, an F-box-like motif, was identified in several poxvirus ANK proteins. Cellular F-box proteins recruit substrates to the ubiquitination machinery of the cell, a putative function for ANK/poxviral F-box proteins. Using publicly available genome sequence data we examined all 328 predicted ANK proteins encoded by 27 chordopoxviruses that represented the eight vertebrate poxvirus genera whose members encode ANK proteins. Within these we identified 15 putative ANK protein orthologue groups within orthopoxviruses, five within parapoxviruses, 23 within avipoxviruses and seven across members of the genera , , , and . Sequence comparisons showed that members of each of these four clusters of orthologues were not closely related to members of any of the other clusters. Of these ORFs, 67 % encoded a C-terminal poxviral F-box-like motif, whose absence could largely be attributed to fragmentation of ORFs. Our findings suggest that the large family of poxvirus ANK proteins arose by extensive gene duplication and divergence that occurred independently in four major genus-based groups after the groups diverged from each other. It seems likely that the ancestor ANK proteins of poxviruses contained both the N-terminal ANK repeats and a C-terminal F-box-like domain, with the latter domain subsequently being lost in a small subset of these proteins.

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2011-11-01
2022-05-27
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