Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 1233–1242 | Cite as

cDNA-derived identification of novel thionin precursors in Viscum album that contain highly divergent thionin domains but conserved signal and acidic polypeptide domains

  • Gesine Schrader-Fischer
  • Klaus Apel
Research Article


The existence of new thionin variants in Viscum album has been deduced from cDNA sequences. Unlike the viscotoxins and related thionins previously found in different members of the Viscaceae, these novel thionins contain eight rather than six cysteine residues. In this respect they resemble thionins described previously from various cereals and from Pyrularia pubera, which also contain eight cysteine residues at identical positions. All of the new thionins of V. album are encoded as higher-molecular-weight precursors consisting of a signal peptide, a thionin domain and an acidic polypeptide domain. While the deduced amino acid sequences of the thionin domains of different precursor molecules are highly divergent, the two other domains are conserved among all of the variants and are distinct from the corresponding domains of thionin precursors of other plant species.

Key words

evolution of protein domains thionins Viscum album viscotoxin 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gesine Schrader-Fischer
    • 1
  • Klaus Apel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für PflanzenwissenschaftenSwiss Institute of Technology (ETH)ZürichSwitzerland

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