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Evolution of the lipocalin family as inferred from a protein sequence phylogeny

AuthorsGutiérrez, Gabriel; Ganfornina, M. D. ; Sánchez, Diego
Molecular evolution
Protein phylogeny
Issue Date2000
CitationBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics 1482(1-2): 35-45 (2000)
AbstractThe lipocalins constitute a family of proteins that have been found in eubacteria and a variety of eukaryotic cells, where they play diverse physiological roles. It is the primary goal of this review to examine the patterns of change followed by lipocalins through their complex history, in order to stimulate scientists in the field to experimentally contrast our phylogeny-derived hypotheses. We reexamine our previous work on lipocalin phylogeny and update the phylogenetic analysis of the family. Lipocalins separate into 14 monophyletic clades, some of which are grouped in well supported superclades. The lipocalin tree was rooted with the bacterial lipocalin genes under the assumption that they have evolved from a single common ancestor with the metazoan lipocalins, and not by horizontal transfer. The topology of the rooted tree and the species distribution of lipocalins suggest that the newly arising lipocalins show a higher rate of amino acid sequence divergence, a higher rate of gene duplication, and their internal pocket has evolved towards binding smaller hydrophobic ligands with more efficiency.
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