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Open Access Research article

Phylogenetic analysis of fungal ABC transporters

Andriy Kovalchuk12* and Arnold JM Driessen12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute and Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, Kerklaan 30, 9751 NN HAREN, The Netherlands

2 Kluyver Centre for Genomics of Industrial Fermentation, P.O. Box 5057, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:177  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-177

Published: 16 March 2010

Abstract

Background

The superfamily of ABC proteins is among the largest known in nature. Its members are mainly, but not exclusively, involved in the transport of a broad range of substrates across biological membranes. Many contribute to multidrug resistance in microbial pathogens and cancer cells. The diversity of ABC proteins in fungi is comparable with those in multicellular animals, but so far fungal ABC proteins have barely been studied.

Results

We performed a phylogenetic analysis of the ABC proteins extracted from the genomes of 27 fungal species from 18 orders representing 5 fungal phyla thereby covering the most important groups. Our analysis demonstrated that some of the subfamilies of ABC proteins remained highly conserved in fungi, while others have undergone a remarkable group-specific diversification. Members of the various fungal phyla also differed significantly in the number of ABC proteins found in their genomes, which is especially reduced in the yeast S. cerevisiae and S. pombe.

Conclusions

Data obtained during our analysis should contribute to a better understanding of the diversity of the fungal ABC proteins and provide important clues about their possible biological functions.