, Volume 92, Issue 2, pp 129-138

Evolutionary implications of the family of 14-3-3 brain protein homologs in Arabidopsis thaliana

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The GF14 family of proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana consists of a homologous group of polypeptides ranging in size from ∼27 kDa to ∼32 kDa. As a group, GF14 proteins are also homologous to a family of mammalian proteins most commonly referred to as 14-3-3 proteins. Several distinct and different biochemical activities have been historically attributed to the various isoforms of the mammalian 14-3-3 proteins. These data present the possibility that the various activities are performed by functionally distinct lineages of the gene family. Here we present phylogenetic analyses based on the derived amino acid sequences of five GF14 isoforms expressed in Arabidopsis suspension-cultured cells. A high degree of sequence integrity is apparent in the various Arabidopsis isoforms, and the overall structures of the plant forms are quite conserved with regard to the structures of the known mammalian forms. These gene phylogenies indicate no evolutionary conservation of specific isoform lineages within both plants and animals. Rather, the evolutionary history of this protein appears to be characterized by a separate radiation of plant and animal forms from a common ancestral sequence. Even though the plant and animal forms have evolved independently since that ancestral split, large domains are conserved in both major lineages.