Close Evolutionary Relatedness of α-Amylases from Archaea and Plants
The amino acid sequences of 22 α-amylases from family 13 of glycosyl hydrolases were analyzed with the aim of revealing the evolutionary relationships between the archaeal α-amylases and their eubacterial and eukaryotic counterparts. Two evolutionary distance trees were constructed: (i) the first one based on the alignment of extracted best-conserved sequence regions (58 residues) comprising β2, β3, β4, β5, β7, and β8 strand segments of the catalytic (α/β)8-barrel and a short conserved stretch in domain B protruding out of the barrel in the β3 →α3 loop, and (ii) the second one based on the alignment of the substantial continuous part of the (α/β)8-barrel involving the entire domain B (consensus length: 386 residues). With regard to archaeal α-amylases, both trees compared brought, in fact, the same results; i.e., all family 13 α-amylases from domain Archaea were clustered with barley pI isozymes, which represent all plant α-amylases. The enzymes from Bacillus licheniformis and Escherichia coli, representing liquefying and cytoplasmic α-amylases, respectively, seem to be the further closest relatives to archaeal α-amylases. This evolutionary relatedness clearly reflects the discussed similarities in the amino acid sequences of these α-amylases, especially in the best-conserved sequence regions. Since the results for α-amylases belonging to all three domains (Eucarya, Eubacteria, Archaea) offered by both evolutionary trees are very similar, it is proposed that the investigated conserved sequence regions may indeed constitute the ``sequence fingerprints'' of a given α-amylase.
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