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In silico ionomics segregates parasitic from free-living eukaryotes

Greganova, Eva and Steinmann, Michael and Mäser, Pascal and Fankhauser, Niklaus. (2013) In silico ionomics segregates parasitic from free-living eukaryotes. Genome biology and evolution, Vol. 5, H. 10. pp. 1902-1909.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6194549

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Abstract

Ion transporters are fundamental to life. Due to their ancient origin and conservation in sequence, ion transporters are also particularly well suited for comparative genomics of distantly related species. Here, we perform genome-wide ion transporter profiling as a basis for comparative genomics of eukaryotes. From a given predicted proteome, we identify all bona fide ion channels, ion porters, and ion pumps. Concentrating on unicellular eukaryotes (n = 37), we demonstrate that clustering of species according to their repertoire of ion transporters segregates obligate endoparasites (n = 23) on the one hand, from free-living species and facultative parasites (n = 14) on the other hand. This surprising finding indicates strong convergent evolution of the parasites regarding the acquisition and homeostasis of inorganic ions. Random forest classification identifies transporters of ammonia, plus transporters of iron and other transition metals, as the most informative for distinguishing the obligate parasites. Thus, in silico ionomics further underscores the importance of iron in infection biology and suggests access to host sources of nitrogen and transition metals to be selective forces in the evolution of parasitism. This finding is in agreement with the phenomenon of iron withholding as a primordial antimicrobial strategy of infected mammals.
Faculties and Departments:09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH)
09 Associated Institutions > Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) > Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology > Parasite Chemotherapy (Mäser)
UniBasel Contributors:Greganova, Eva and Mäser, Pascal
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Bibsysno:Link to catalogue
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1759-6653
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:31 Jan 2014 09:49
Deposited On:31 Jan 2014 09:49

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