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Eukaryot Cell. 2002 Aug;1(4):643-52.

Evolutionary analyses of ABC transporters of Dictyostelium discoideum.

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Center for Molecular Genetics, Division of Biology, University of California--San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0368, USA.


The ABC superfamily of genes is one of the largest in the genomes of both bacteria and eukaryotes. The proteins encoded by these genes all carry a characteristic 200- to 250-amino-acid ATP-binding cassette that gives them their family name. In bacteria they are mostly involved in nutrient import, while in eukaryotes many are involved in export. Seven different families have been defined in eukaryotes based on sequence homology, domain topology, and function. While only 6 ABC genes in Dictyostelium discoideum have been studied in detail previously, sequences from the well-advanced Dictyostelium genome project have allowed us to recognize 68 members of this superfamily. They have been classified and compared to animal, plant, and fungal orthologs in order to gain some insight into the evolution of this superfamily. It appears that many of the genes inferred to have been present in the ancestor of the crown organisms duplicated extensively in some but not all phyla, while others were lost in one lineage or the other.

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