, Volume 108, Issue 1, pp 25-34

Specific Expansion of Protein Families in the Radioresistant Bacterium Deinococcus Radiodurans

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Computer analysis of the complete genome of Deinococcus radioduransR1 reveals a number of protein families, which are over-represented in this organism, compared to most other bacteria with known genome sequences. These families include both previously characterized and uncharacterized proteins. Most of the families whose functions are known or could be predicted seem to be related to stress-response and elimination of damage products (cell-cleaning). The two most prominent family expansions are the Nudix (MutT) family of pyrophosphohydrolases and a previously unnoticed family of proteins related to Bacillus subtilisDinB that could possess a metal-dependent enzymatic activity whose exact nature remains to be determined. Several proteins of the expanded families, particularly the Nudix family, are fused to other domains and form multidomain proteins that are so far unique for Deinococcus. The domain composition of some of these proteins indicates that they could be involved in novel DNA-repair pathways. Such unique proteins are good targets for knock-out and gene expression studies, which are aimed to shed light on the unusual features of this interesting10.6pt bacterium.