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Open Access Research article

Structure-function evolution of the Transforming acidic coiled coil genes revealed by analysis of phylogenetically diverse organisms

Ivan H Still*, Ananthalakshmy K Vettaikkorumakankauv, Anthony DiMatteo and Ping Liang

Author Affiliations

Department of Cancer Genetics, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Elm and Carlton Streets, Buffalo, New York 14263, USA

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BMC Evolutionary Biology 2004, 4:16  doi:10.1186/1471-2148-4-16

Published: 18 June 2004

Abstract

Background

Examination of ancient gene families can provide an insight into how the evolution of gene structure can relate to function. Functional homologs of the evolutionarily conserved transforming acidic coiled coil (TACC) gene family are present in organisms from yeast to man. However, correlations between functional interactions and the evolution of these proteins have yet to be determined.

Results

We have performed an extensive database analysis to determine the genomic and cDNA sequences of the TACCs from phylogenetically diverse organisms. This analysis has determined the phylogenetic relationship of the TACC proteins to other coiled coil proteins, the resolution of the placement of the rabbit TACC4 as the orthologue of human TACC3, and RHAMM as a distinct family of coiled coil proteins. We have also extended the analysis of the TACCs to the interaction databases of C. elegans and D. melanogaster to identify potentially novel TACC interactions. The validity of this modeling was confirmed independently by the demonstration of direct binding of human TACC2 to the nuclear hormone receptor RXRβ.

Conclusion

The data so far suggest that the ancestral TACC protein played a role in centrosomal/mitotic spindle dynamics. TACC proteins were then recruited to complexes involved in protein translation, RNA processing and transcription by interactions with specific bridging proteins. However, during evolution, the TACC proteins have now acquired the ability to directly interact with components of these complexes (such as the LSm proteins, nuclear hormone receptors, GAS41, and transcription factors). This suggests that the function of the TACC proteins may have evolved from performing assembly or coordination functions in the centrosome to include a more intimate role in the functional evolution of chromatin remodeling, transcriptional and posttranscriptional complexes in the cell.