Ankyrin domain proteins: abundant variable and useful in understanding the Wolbachia-insect symbiosis

Iturbe-Ormaetxe, I., Riegler, M., Miller, W., Leong, Y. S. and O'Neill, S. L. (2007). Ankyrin domain proteins: abundant variable and useful in understanding the Wolbachia-insect symbiosis. In: 54th Conference of the genetics Society of Australasia, Sydney Australia, (). 2007.


Author Iturbe-Ormaetxe, I.
Riegler, M.
Miller, W.
Leong, Y. S.
O'Neill, S. L.
Title of paper Ankyrin domain proteins: abundant variable and useful in understanding the Wolbachia-insect symbiosis
Conference name 54th Conference of the genetics Society of Australasia
Conference location Sydney Australia
Conference dates 2007
Publication Year 2007
Abstract/Summary Genes encoding for proteins containing ankyrin (ANK) repeats are particularly abundant in the genomes of the bacteria Wolbachia pipientis, ubiquitous endosymbionts that infect a wide range of arthropods and filarial nematodes. ANK genes are relatively rare in prokaryotes, including related α-proteobacteria, yet the Wolbachia strain that infects Drosophila melanogaster contains >23 such genes (2% of the total number of genes). ANK domains typically mediate protein-protein interactions in other organisms, but their role in Wolbachia is yet unknown. We have previously shown that ANK proteins are extremely variable between Wolbachia strains that induce different reproductive phenotypes in their hosts, such as strains that induce cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) and those that don’t induce CI. CI is a type of embryonic lethality used by Wolbachia to quickly invade insect populations. Despite extensive research into Wolbachia, the molecular basis of CI remains a mystery. The variability of ANK genes between strains that induce different phenotypes is very interesting, as the proteins encoded in these strains are predicted to have different subcellular localizations, interact with different proteins and potentially play different roles in the symbiosis. We also show that ANK genes, in combination with tandem repeats, are extremely useful as polymorphic markers for the typing of closely related Wolbachia strains, and they can be used in evolutionary studies. As part of our ongoing research, we have developed antibodies against the most interesting ANK proteins and we are currently analyzing their localization and gene expression across Drosophila developmental stages and tissues.
Subjects EX
Keyword Pathogens,
Parasites & Symbionts
Functional Genomics
Q-Index Code EX

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 15 Sep 2008, 13:25:49 EST by Sian Rodgie on behalf of School of Biological Sciences