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Fungal Genet Biol. 2008 Jun;45(6):1008-15. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2008.02.003. Epub 2008 Feb 21.

Specificity of commercial anti-spectrin antibody in the study of fungal and Oomycete spectrin: cross-reaction with proteins other than spectrin.

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Laboratory of Bioenergetics and Microbiology, University of Geneva, ch. des Embrouchis 10, CH 1254 Jussy-Geneva, Switzerland.


Spectrin was first described in erythrocytes where it forms a filamentous network in the cytoplasmic face of the plasma membrane and participates in the membrane's structural integrity in addition to controlling the lateral mobility of integral membrane proteins. In fungi, spectrin-like proteins have been described in the plasma membrane, concentrated mainly in the region of maximum apical expansion. This localization led to the idea of a spectrin based membrane skeleton in fungi participating in mechanical integrity of the plasma membrane, generating and maintaining cell polarity. The occurrence of spectrin-like proteins in filamentous fungi, yeasts and Oomycetes, however, is questionable since the presence of such proteins has only been demonstrated with immunochemical methods using antibodies whose specificity is unclear. There is no evidence of a gene coding for the high molecular weight alphabeta-spectrin in the genome of these organisms. Mass spectrometric analysis of the anti alphabeta-spectrin immunoreacting peptides from Neurospora crassa and Phytophthora infestans identified them as elongation factor 2 (NCU07700.4) and Hsp70 (PITG_13237.1), respectively. An attempt was made to correlate the reactivity of anti-spectrin antibody to a common feature of these three proteins i.e., spectrin, elongation factor 2 and heat shock protein 70, in that they all have a hydrophobic region implicated in chaperon activity.

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