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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Genome-wide analysis of CCCH zinc finger family in Arabidopsis and rice

Dong Wang, Yinghui Guo, Changai Wu, Guodong Yang, Yingying Li and Chengchao Zheng*

Author Affiliations

State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong 271018, P.R. China

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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:44  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-44

Published: 27 January 2008

Abstract

Background

Genes in the CCCH family encode zinc finger proteins containing the motif with three cysteines and one histidine residues. They have been known to play important roles in RNA processing as RNA-binding proteins in animals. To date, few plant CCCH proteins have been studied functionally.

Results

In this study, a comprehensive computational analysis identified 68 and 67 CCCH family genes in Arabidopsis and rice, respectively. A complete overview of this gene family in Arabidopsis was presented, including the gene structures, phylogeny, protein motifs, and chromosome locations. In addition, a comparative analysis between these genes in Arabidopsis and rice was performed. These results revealed that the CCCH families in Arabidopsis and rice were divided into 11 and 8 subfamilies, respectively. The gene duplication contributed to the expansion of the CCCH gene family in Arabidopsis genome. Expression studies indicated that CCCH proteins exhibit a variety of expression patterns, suggesting diverse functions. Finally, evolutionary analysis showed that one subfamily is higher plant specific. The expression profile indicated that most members of this subfamily are regulated by abiotic or biotic stresses, suggesting that they could have an effective role in stress tolerance.

Conclusion

Our comparative genomics analysis of CCCH genes and encoded proteins in two model plant species provides the first step towards the functional dissection of this emerging family of potential RNA-binding proteins.