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Tubulins in Trichomonas vaginalis: molecular characterization of alpha-tubulin genes, posttranslational modifications, and homology modeling of the tubulin dimer

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christophe Noel


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We have isolated and analysed an alpha-tubulin-encoding gene (atub1) in an early-diverging eukaryote, Trichomonas vaginalis. The complete atub1 open reading frame included 1.356 bp encoding a polypeptide of 452 amino-acyl residues. A second alpha-tubulin gene (atub2) was amplified by PCR using primers derived from consensus alpha-tubulin amino acid sequences. Both T. vaginalis alpha-tubulin sequences showed high identity to those described in other parabasalids (94.4%-97.3%), and exhibited a high degree of similarity to sequences from Metazoa (such as pig brain) and diplomonads (such as Giardia). Despite large evolutionary distances previously observed between trichomonads and mammals, the three-dimensional model of the T. vaginalis tubulin dimer was very similar to that of pig brain. Possible correlations between alpha-tubulin sequences and posttranslational modifications (PTMs) were examined. Our observations corroborated previous data obtained in T. vaginalis using specific anti-PTMs antibodies. As described in the related species Tritrichomonas mobilensis, microtubules are likely acetylated, non-tyrosinated, glutamylated, and non-glycylated in T. vaginalis. Evolutionary considerations concerning the time of appearance of these tubulin PTMs are also discussed since trichomonads are potentially one of the earliest diverging eukaryotic lineages.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Noel C; Gerbod D; Fast NM; Wintjens R; Delgado-Viscogliosi P; Doolittle WF; Viscogliosi E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology

Year: 2001

Volume: 48

Issue: 6

Pages: 647-654

ISSN (print): 1066-5234

ISSN (electronic): 1550-7408

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.2001.tb00204.x


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