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BMC Genomics. 2005 Aug 30;6:112.

GH97 is a new family of glycoside hydrolases, which is related to the alpha-galactosidase superfamily.

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State Institute for Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms, I-Dorozhny proezd, 1, Moscow 117545, Russia.



As a rule, about 1% of genes in a given genome encode glycoside hydrolases and their homologues. On the basis of sequence similarity they have been grouped into more than ninety GH families during the last 15 years. The GH97 family has been established very recently and initially included only 18 bacterial proteins. However, the evolutionary relationship of the genes encoding proteins of this family remains unclear, as well as their distribution among main groups of the living organisms.


The extensive search of the current databases allowed us to double the number of GH97 family proteins. Five subfamilies were distinguished on the basis of pairwise sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis. Iterative sequence analysis revealed the relationship of the GH97 family with the GH27, GH31, and GH36 families of glycosidases, which belong to the alpha-galactosidase superfamily, as well as a more distant relationship with some other glycosidase families (GH13 and GH20).


The results of this study show an unexpected sequence similarity of GH97 family proteins with glycoside hydrolases from several other families, that have (beta/alpha)8-barrel fold of the catalytic domain and a retaining mechanism of the glycoside bond hydrolysis. These data suggest a common evolutionary origin of glycosidases representing different families and clans.

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