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Eukaryot Cell. 2005 Dec;4(12):2106-14.

RNA-binding domain proteins in Kinetoplastids: a comparative analysis.

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  • 1Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnológicas-Instituto Tecnológico de Chascomús, CONICET-UNSAM, Av. Gral Paz 5445, 1650 Buenos Aires, Argentina.


RNA-binding proteins are important in many aspects of RNA processing, function, and destruction. One class of such proteins contains the RNA recognition motif (RRM), which consists of about 90 amino acid residues, including the canonical RNP1 octapeptide: (K/R)G(F/Y)(G/A)FVX(F/Y). We used a variety of homology searches to classify all of the RRM proteins of the three kinetoplastids Trypanosoma brucei, Trypanosoma cruzi, and Leishmania major. All three organisms have similar sets of RRM-containing protein orthologues, suggesting common posttranscriptional processing and regulatory pathways. Of the 75 RRM proteins identified in T. brucei, only 13 had clear homologues in other eukaryotes, although 8 more could be given putative functional assignments. A comparison with the 18 RRM proteins of the obligate intracellular parasite Encephalitozoon cuniculi revealed just 3 RRM proteins which appear to be conserved at the primary sequence level throughout eukaryotic evolution: poly(A) binding protein, the rRNA-processing protein MRD1, and the nuclear cap binding protein.

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