The p32K Structural Protein of the Atadenovirus Might Have Bacterial Relatives
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The primary structure of a novel adenoviral protein referred to as p32K and found exclusively in members of the proposed new genus Atadenovirus was analyzed. The p32K gene sequence was determined from two bovine and one snake adenovirus types. Altogether five different p32K sequences were examined, two of them were obtained from the Gene Bank. The C-terminal part of the protein is conserved and shares similarity with certain bacterial small acid soluble proteins (SASPs). The sequence similarity seems coupled with functional relatedness, i.e. both protein groups are found in structures where the genome of the “dormant” organism is packaged in tight nucleoprotein complexes. In these complexes the DNA is protected against harmful environmental effects until the new reproductive cycle is started with specific protease cleavage of the packaging proteins. Although there is no experimental clue about the role of the p32K proteins, we hypothesize phylogenetic relationship between the two protein groups based on the sequence similarity and the supposed functional similarity. The alignments of these protein groups shows that the conserved part of the p32Ks probably is the result of the duplication of a shorter sequence similar to the SASPs of the Bacilli.
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