, Volume 259, Issue 4, pp 424-428

A conserved BURP domain defines a novel group of plant proteins with unusual primary structures

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We have identified a new class of plant proteins containing a common C-terminal region, which we have termed the BURP domain. These proteins are defined not only by the BURP domain, but also by the overall similarity in their modular construction. The BURP domain proteins consist of either three or four modules: (i) an N-terminal hydrophobic domain – a presumptive transit peptide, joined to (ii) a short conserved segment or other short segment, (iii) an optional segment consisting of repeated units which is unique to each member, and (iv) the C-terminal BURP domain. These individual modules appear to be combined to form two main classes of BURP domain proteins. The BURP domain proteins, despite the similarities in their primary structural features, show no obvious similarities in the tissues or conditions under which they are expressed. The presence of the conserved BURP domain in diverse plant proteins suggests an important and fundamental functional role for this domain.

Received: 30 April 1998 / Accepted: 10 June 1998