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Evol Bioinform Online. 2007 Aug 8;3:121-58.

Characterization and evolution of the cell cycle-associated mob domain-containing proteins in eukaryotes.

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Dipartimento di Biologia, University of Padova, Viale G. Colombo 3, 35121, Padova.


The MOB family includes a group of cell cycle-associated proteins highly conserved throughout eukaryotes, whose founding members are implicated in mitotic exit and co-ordination of cell cycle progression with cell polarity and morphogenesis. Here we report the characterization and evolution of the MOB domain-containing proteins as inferred from the 43 eukaryotic genomes so far sequenced. We show that genes for Mob-like proteins are present in at least 41 of these genomes, confirming the universal distribution of this protein family and suggesting its prominent biological function. The phylogenetic analysis reveals five distinct MOB domain classes, showing a progressive expansion of this family from unicellular to multicellular organisms, reaching the highest number in mammals. Plant Mob genes appear to have evolved from a single ancestor, most likely after the loss of one or more genes during the early stage of Viridiplantae evolutionary history. Three of the Mob classes are widespread among most of the analyzed organisms. The possible biological and molecular function of Mob proteins and their role in conserved signaling pathways related to cell proliferation, cell death and cell polarity are also presented and critically discussed.


Mob genes; apoptosis; cytokinesis; morphogenesis; phylogenesis; protein structure


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