Seven in absentia protein familyThe seven in absentia (sina) gene was first identified in Drosophila. The Drosophila Sina protein is essential for the determination of the R7 pathway in photoreceptor cell development: the loss of functional Sina results in the transformation of the R7 precursor cell to a non- neuronal cell type. The Sina protein contains an N-terminal RING finger domain pfam00097. Through this domain, Sina binds E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (UbcD1) Sina also interacts with Tramtrack (TTK88) via PHYL. Tramtrack is a transcriptional repressor that blocks photoreceptor determination, while PHYL down-regulates the activity of TTK88. In turn, the activity of PHYL requires the activation of the Sevenless receptor tyrosine kinase, a process essential for R7 determination. It is thought that thus Sina targets TTK88 for degradation, therefore promoting the R7 pathway. Murine and human homologs of Sina have also been identified. The human homolog Siah-1 also binds E2 enzymes (UbcH5) and through a series of physical interactions, targets beta-catenin for ubiquitin degradation. Siah-1 expression is enhanced by p53, itself promoted by DNA damage. Thus this pathway links DNA damage to beta-catenin degradation. Sina proteins, therefore, physically interact with a variety of proteins. The N-terminal RING finger domain that binds ubiquitin conjugating enzymes is described in pfam00097, and does not form part of the alignment for this family. The remainder C-terminal part is involved in interactions with other proteins, and is included in this alignment. In addition to the Drosophila protein and mammalian homologs, whose similarity was noted previously, this family also includes putative homologs from Caenorhabditis elegans, Arabidopsis thaliana.