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Plant Signal Behav. 2014;9(4):e28242. doi: 10.4161/psb.28242.

Phylogenetic analysis of the expansion of the MATH-BTB gene family in the grasses.

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a Department of Molecular Biology; Faculty of Science and Mathematics; University of Zagreb; Zagreb, Croatia.


MATH-BTB proteins are known to act as substrate-specific adaptors of cullin3 (CUL3)-based ubiquitin E3 ligases to target protein for ubiquitination. In a previous study we reported the presence of 31 MATH-BTB genes in the maize genome and determined the regulatory role of the MATH-BTB protein MAB1 during meiosis to mitosis transition. In contrast to maize, there are only 6 homologous genes in the model plant Arabidopsis, while this family has largely expanded in grasses. Here, we report a phylogenetic analysis of the MATH-BTB gene family in 9 land plant species including various mosses, eudicots, and grasses. We extend a previous classification of the plant MATH-BTB family and additionally arrange the expanded group into 5 grass-specific clades. Synteny studies indicate that expansion occurred to a large extent due to local gene duplications. Expression studies of 3 closely related MATH-BTB genes in maize (MAB1-3) indicate highly specific expression pattern. In summary, this work provides a solid base for further studies comparing genetic and functional information of the MATH-BTB family especially in the grasses.


E3 ligases; MAB1; MATH-BTB; maize; phylogeny; synteny; tandem/segmental gene duplication

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