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Open Access Research article

Comparative analysis of fungal protein kinases and associated domains

Idit Kosti1, Yael Mandel-Gutfreund1, Fabian Glaser2* and Benjamin A Horwitz1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel

2 Bioinformatics Knowledge Unit, The Lorry I. Lokey Interdisciplinary Center for Life Sciences and Engineering, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:133  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-133

Published: 24 February 2010

Abstract

Background

Protein phosphorylation is responsible for a large portion of the regulatory functions of eukaryotic cells. Although the list of sequenced genomes of filamentous fungi has grown rapidly, the kinomes of recently sequenced species have not yet been studied in detail. The objective of this study is to apply a comparative analysis of the kinase distribution in different fungal phyla, and to explore its relevance to understanding the evolution of fungi and their taxonomic classification. We have analyzed in detail 12 subgroups of kinases and their distribution over 30 species, as well as their potential use as a classifier for members of the fungal kingdom.

Results

Our findings show that despite the similarity of the kinase distribution in all fungi, their domain distributions and kinome density can potentially be used to classify them and give insight into their evolutionary origin. In general, we found that the overall representation of kinase groups is similar across fungal genomes, the only exception being a large number of tyrosine kinase-like (TKL) kinases predicted in Laccaria bicolor. This unexpected finding underscores the need to continue to sequence fungal genomes, since many species or lineage-specific properties may remain to be discovered. Furthermore, we found that the domain organization significantly varies between the fungal species. Our results suggest that protein kinases and their functional domains strongly reflect fungal taxonomy.

Conclusions

Comparison of the predicted kinomes of sequenced fungi suggests essential signaling functions common to all species, but also specific adaptations of the signal transduction networks to particular species.