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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2004 Dec 6;1742(1-3):133-40.

Evolutionary perspective on annexin calcium-binding domains.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Edificio Santiago Gascon, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oviedo, 33006 Oviedo, Spain.


Molecular systematic analysis of the annexin gene superfamily characterized the evolutionary origin, frequency and range of structural variation in calcium interaction domains that are considered intrinsic for membrane targeting and ion channel function. Approximately 36% of annexin repeat domains in an estimated 100 distinct subfamilies contained amino acid changes consistent with the functional loss of type two calcium-binding sites. At least 11% of annexin domains contained a novel K/H/RGD motif conserved in particular subfamilies and manifest in all phyla, apparently via convergent evolution. The first yeast annexin from Yarrowia lipolytica was classified in the ANXC1 subfamily with fungal and mycetozoan representatives. This clade had intact calcium-binding sites but disruption of the normally well-conserved, mid-repeat 4 region implicated in calcium channel regulation. Conversely, a tandem pair of novel annexins from the amphioxus Branchiostoma floridae resembled annexin A13 in gene structure and conserved the charged amino acids associated with the internal hydrophilic pore, but were devoid of external type 2 calcium-binding sites and incorporated K/RGD motifs instead, like annexin A9. The selective erosion of calcium-binding sites in annexin domains and the occurrence of alternate ligands in the same exposed, interhelical loops are pervasive features of the superfamily. This suggests greater complexity than previously appreciated in the mechanisms controlling annexin membrane interaction and calcium channel operation.

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