To contribute to our understanding of the genome complexity of sugarcane, we undertook a large-scale expressed sequence tag (EST) program. More than 260,000 cDNA clones were partially sequenced from 26 standard cDNA libraries generated from different sugarcane tissues. After the processing of the sequences, 237,954 high-quality ESTs were identified. These ESTs were assembled into 43,141 putative transcripts. Of the assembled sequences, 35.6% presented no matches with existing sequences in public databases. A global analysis of the whole SUCEST data set indicated that 14,409 assembled sequences (33% of the total) contained at least one cDNA clone with a full-length insert. Annotation of the 43,141 assembled sequences associated almost 50% of the putative identified sugarcane genes with protein metabolism, cellular communication/signal transduction, bioenergetics, and stress responses. Inspection of the translated assembled sequences for conserved protein domains revealed 40,821 amino acid sequences with 1415 Pfam domains. Reassembling the consensus sequences of the 43,141 transcripts revealed a 22% redundancy in the first assembling. This indicated that possibly 33,620 unique genes had been identified and indicated that >90% of the sugarcane expressed genes were tagged
Phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate synthetase (PRS-EC:188.8.131.52) is an important enzyme present in several metabolic pathways, thus forming a complex family of isoenzymes. However, plant PRS enzymes have not been extensively investigated. In this study, a sugarcane prs gene has been characterized from the Sugar Cane Expressed Sequence Tag Genome Project. This gene contains a 984-bp open reading frame encoding a 328-amino acid protein. The predicted amino acid sequence has 77% and 78% amino acid sequence identity to Arabidopsis thaliana and Spinacia oleracea PRS4, respectively. The assignment of sugarcane PRS as a phosphate-independent PRS isoenzyme (Class II PRS) is verified following enzyme assay and phylogenetic reconstruction of PRS homologues. To gain further insight into the structural framework of the phosphate independence of sugarcane PRS, a molecular model is described. This model reveals the formation of two conserved domains elucidating the structural features involved in sugarcane PRS phosphate independence. The recombinant PRS retains secondary structure elements and a quaternary arrangement consistent with known PRS homologues, based on circular dichroism measurements.
Nucleotide synthesis is of central importance to all cells. In most organisms, the purine nucleotides are synthesized de novo from non-nucleotide precursors such as amino acids, ammonia and carbon dioxide. An understanding of the enzymes involved in sugarcane purine synthesis opens the possibility of using these enzymes as targets for chemicals which may be effective in combating phytopathogen. Such an approach has already been applied to several parasites and types of cancer. The strategy described in this paper was applied to identify sugarcane clusters for each step of the de novo purine synthesis pathway. Representative sequences of this pathway were chosen from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database and used to search the translated sugarcane expressed sequence tag (SUCEST) database using the available basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) facility. Retrieved clusters were further tested for the statistical significance of the alignment by an implementation (PRSS3) of the Monte Carlo shuffling algorithm calibrated using known protein sequences of divergent taxa along the phylogenetic tree. The sequences were compared to each other and to the sugarcane clusters selected using BLAST analysis, with the resulting table of p-values indicating the degree of divergence of each enzyme within different taxa and in relation to the sugarcane clusters. The results obtained by this strategy allowed us to identify the sugarcane proteins participating in the purine synthesis pathway.
Phosphoribosylpyrophosphate synthases (PRS; EC 184.108.40.206) are enzymes that are of central importance in several metabolic pathways in all cells. The sugar cane PRS enzyme contains 328 amino acids with a molecular weight of 36.6 kDa and represents the ®rst plant PRS to be crystallized, as well as the ®rst phosphateindependent PRS to be studied in molecular detail. Sugar cane PRS was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, puri®ed and crystallized using the hangingdrop vapour-diffusion method. Using X-ray diffraction experiments it was determined that the crystals belong to the orthorhombic system, with space group P2 1 2 1 2 and unit-cell parameters a = 213.2, b = 152.6, c = 149.3 A Ê . The crystals diffract to a maximum resolution of 3.3 A Ê and a complete data set to 3.5 A Ê resolution was collected and analysed.
Septins, often described as the fourth component of the cytoskeleton, are structural proteins found in a vast variety of living beings. They are related to small GTPases and thus, generally, present GTPase activity which may play an important (although incompletely understood) role in their organization and function. Septins polymerase into long non-polar filaments, in which each subunit interacts with two others by alternating interfaces, NC and G. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae four septins are organized in the following manner, [Cdc11-Cdc12-Cdc3-Cdc10-Cdc10-Cdc3-Cdc12-Cdc11]n in order to form filaments. Although septins were originally discovered in yeast and much is known regarding their biochemistry and function, only limited structural information about them is currently available. Here we present crystal structures of Cdc3/Cdc10 which provide the first view of the physiological interfaces formed by yeast septins. The G-interface has properties which place it in between that formed by SEPT2/SEPT6 and SEPT7/SEPT3 in human filaments. Switch I from Cdc10 contributes significantly to the interface, whereas in Cdc3 it is largely disorded. However, the significant negative charge density of the latter suggests it may have a unique role. At the NC-interface, we describe an elegant means by which the sidechain of a glutamine from helix α0 imitates a peptide group in order to retain hydrogen-bond continuity at the kink between helices α5 and α6 in the neighbouring subunit, thereby justifying the conservation of the helical distortion. Its absence from Cdc11, along with this structure′s other unusual features are critically discussed by comparison with Cdc3 and Cdc10.
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