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Genomics. 2005 Jul;86(1):100-11. Epub 2005 Apr 18.

The complete complement of C1q-domain-containing proteins in Homo sapiens.

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Biology Research, Nuvelo, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA.


The C-terminal domains of the A, B, C chains of C1q subcomponent of C1 complex represent a common structural motif, the C1q domain, that is found in a diverse range of proteins. We analyzed the human genome for the complete complement of this family and have identified a total of 31 independent gene sequences. The predominant organization of C1q-domain-containing (C1qDC) proteins includes a leading signal peptide, a collagen-like region of variable length, and a C-terminal C1q domain. There are 15 highly conserved residues within the C1q domain, among which 8 are invariant within the human gene set and these are predicted to cluster within the hydrophobic core of the protein. We suggest a 3-subfamily classification based on sequence homology. For some C1qDC-encoding genes, strict orthology has been retained throughout vertebrate evolution and these examples suggest a highly specific functional role for C1qDC proteins that has been under significant selective pressure. Alternatively, individual species have co-opted C1qDC proteins for roles that are highly specific to their biology, suggesting an evolutionary strategy of gene duplication and functional diversification. A more extensive analysis of the evolutionary relationship of C1qDC proteins reveals an ancient rooting, with clear members found in eubacterial species. Curiously, we have been unable to identify C1qDC-encoding genes in many eukaryotic genomcs, such as Sacchromyces cerivisae and C. elegans, suggesting that the retention or loss of this gene family throughout evolution has been sporadic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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