Microbial Evolution & Genomics | Bioinformatics | Parasitology | Evolutionary/Comparative Genetics
The apicomplexan kinome: characterizing the protein kinase superfamily in the malaria parasite and its evolutionary relatives
Eric Talevich*, Amar Mirza, Natarajan Kannan
*Corresponding author: Eric Talevich
Institute of Bioinformatics , University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
Department of Biochemistry, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
F1000Posters 2012, 3: 937 (poster) [English]
International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology (ISMB) 2012, 14 - 16 Jul 2012, D14
The protozoan parasites that constitute the phylum apicomplexa cause devastating global diseases such as malaria, cryptosporidiosis and toxoplasmosis. Protein kinases are an enzyme superfamily that has been successfully targeted in human cancers and diabetes, but parasite kinases can also serve as targets. To identify promising targets, we seek to identify distinctive features of apicomplexan kinases that do not appear in mammalian hosts and other eukaryotes.
Using an evolution-guided approach, we identified and classified the full complement of eukaryotic protein kinases in the genomes of 15 apicomplexan species, and discovered distinct apicomplexan-specific subfamilies of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) and calcium-dependent protein kinase (CDPK) (1). Structural analysis revealed specific, conserved features that distinguish these novel subfamilies and could be effective drug targets.
While our analysis identified many divergent and lineage-specific kinases in the apicomplexa, we have only examined a few in detail. Integrating a variety of data sources beyond sequence and structure, many of which are already available through EuPathDB (2), may lead to more promising discoveries.
Copyrights: Figure 8 was reproduced with kind permission from: Talevich E, Mirza A et al (2011) BMC Evol Biol 1; 321 6(12).
No relevant competing interests disclosed.
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