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Mol Biol Evol. 2007 Dec;24(12):2763-74. Epub 2007 Sep 28.

The tetratricopeptide repeats of receptors involved in protein translocation across membranes.

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Center for Integrative Bioinformatics Vienna, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, Veterinary University of Vienna, Austria.


Transport of polypeptides across membranes is a general and essential process in every cell. This process is utilized by molecular machines composed of soluble and membrane-inserted proteins. At least one component of the molecular transport machines present in different membranes contains a subunit with a domain composed of 3 tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) motifs. These domains are important for protein-protein interaction, for example, recognition of chaperones. To understand the evolution of these TPR domain-containing receptors involved in protein translocation, we inferred their phylogenetic relationships. We show that the evolutionary rate of these TPR domains is reduced when compared with the remaining sequence. The reduction is explained by the interaction of the TPR domains with their substrates. Based on the TPR tree, we propose that Sec72 recognizes Hsp70 and that Tom34 recognizes Hsp90. The phylogeny can further be used to assign the localization of the Toc64 isoforms to mitochondria or chloroplasts. Our findings are discussed in the context of the evolutionary development of translocation systems with focus on the occurrence of Hsp70/Hsp90-recognizing TPR domains in these machineries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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