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Traffic. 2010 May;11(5):579-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2010.01044.x. Epub 2010 Jan 20.

Early origin of genes encoding subunits of biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex-1, -2 and -3.

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Department of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Gonda 6357B, 695 Charles E. Young Dr. S., Los Angeles, CA 90095-7088, USA.


Biogenesis of lysosome-related organelles complex (BLOC)-1, -2 and -3 are three multi-subunit protein complexes that are deficient in various forms of Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome, a human disease characterized by abnormal formation of lysosome-related organelles. Contrasting views have arisen on the evolutionary origin of these protein complexes. One view is that the BLOCs represent a recent evolutionary 'acquisition' unique to metazoans. However, the yeast proteins Mon1, Ccz1 and She3 have been reported to display homology to the HPS1 and HPS4 subunits of BLOC-3 and the BLOS2 subunit of BLOC-1, respectively. In this work, we have systematically searched for orthologs of BLOC subunits in the annotated genomes of over 160 species of eukaryotes, including metazoans and fungi in the Opisthokonta group as well as highly divergent organisms. We have found orthologs of six of the eight BLOC-1 subunits, two of the three BLOC-2 subunits, and the two BLOC-3 subunits, in some non-opisthokonts such as Dictyostelium discoideum, suggesting an early evolutionary origin for these complexes. On the other hand, we have obtained no evidence in support of the notion that yeast She3 would be an ortholog of BLOS2, and found that yeast Mon1 and Ccz1, despite displaying restricted homology to portions of HPS1 and HPS4, are unlikely to represent the orthologs of these BLOC-3 subunits. Potential orthologs of Mon1 and Ccz1 were found in humans and several other eukaryotes.

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