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Evol Bioinform Online. 2015 Sep 1;11:189-96. doi: 10.4137/EBO.S29779. eCollection 2015.

In Silico Characterization of Functional Divergence of Two Cathelicidin Variants in Indian Sheep.

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School of Animal Biotechnology, Post Graduate Institute of Veterinary Education and Research, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.
Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, College of Veterinary Sciences, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.


The present work focuses on the in silico characterization of functional divergence of two ovine cathelicidin coding sequence (cds) variants (ie, Cath1 and Cath2) of Indian sheep. Overlapping partial cds of both the cathelicidin variants were cloned in pJet1.2/blunt vector and sequenced. Evolutionary analysis of the Cath2 and Cath1 indicated that the mammalian cathelicidins clustered separately from avian fowlicidins. The avian fowlicidins, which are very different from mammalian cathelicidins (Caths), clearly displayed signatures of purifying selection. The pairwise sequence alignments of translated amino acid sequences of these two sheep cathelicidins showed gaps in the antimicrobial domain of Cath1 variant; however, the amino terminal cathelin regions of both the Caths were conserved. Amino acid sequence analysis of full-length cathelicidins available at public database revealed that Cath1, Cath2, and Cath7 of different ruminant species (including our Cath1 and Cath2 variants) formed individual clads, suggesting that these types have evolved to target specific types of microbes. In silico analysis of Cath1 and Cath2 peptide sequences indicated that the C-terminal antimicrobial peptide domain of Cath2 is more immunogenic than that of the ovine Cath1 due to its higher positive antigenic index, making Cath1 a promising antigen for production of monoclonal antibodies.


antimicrobial peptides; ovine Cathelicidins; phylogeny; positive selection; sequence analysis

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