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Biochem Soc Trans. 2011 Aug;39(4):961-5. doi: 10.1042/BST0390961.

Distant cousins: genomic and sequence diversity within the BPI fold-containing (BPIF)/PLUNC protein family.

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Academic Unit of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Infection and Immunity, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK.


PLUNC (palate, lung and nasal epithelium clone) proteins make up the largest branch of the BPI (bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein)/LBP (lipopolysaccharide-binding protein) family of lipid-transfer proteins. PLUNCs make up one of the most rapidly evolving mammalian protein families and exhibit low levels of sequence similarity coupled with multiple examples of species-specific gene acquisition and gene loss. Vertebrate genomes contain multiple examples of genes that do not meet our original definition of what is required to be a member of the PLUNC family, namely conservation of exon numbers/sizes, overall protein size, genomic location and the presence of a conserved disulfide bond. This suggests that evolutionary forces have continued to act on the structure of this conserved domain in what are likely to be functionally important ways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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