A putative nuclear growth factor-like globular nematode specific protein



Ranil Samantha Dassanayake* 1, Witharanage Wasana Prasadini Rodrigo2, Eric Hamilton Karunanayake2, Ovitigala Vithanage Don Sisira Jagathpriya Weerasena2, Naduviladath Vishvanath Chandrasekharan1




1Department of Chemistry, University of Colombo, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka; 2Institute of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Colombo, Colombo - 3, Sri Lanka




Article Type






received march 16, 2009; accepted April 16, 2009; published June 13, 2009



Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) are an effective approach for discovery of novel genes. In the current study, approximately 250 ESTs of the cattle parasitic nematode Setaria digitata were examined and a cDNA clone identified whose coding sequence could not be functionally annotated by searching over publicly available genome, protein, EST and STS databases. Here, we report the extensive characterization of this ORF (UP) and its homologues using a bioinformatics approach. Uncharacterized protein (SDUP) of S. digitata consists of 204 amino acids with a predicted molecular weight and isoelectric point of 22.8KDa and 9.94, respectively. A search carried out using SDUP over nucleotide, EST and protein databases at NCBI, NEMBASE3 and Parasite Genome Database (PGD) identified homologous counterparts from the human parasitic nematodes Wuchereria bancrofti (WB), Brugia malayi (BM), Onchocerca volvulus (OV), the mouse filarial worm Litomosoides sigmodontis (LS), swine parasitic nematodes Ascaris suum (AS) and diverged counterparts from the plant parasitic nematode Meloidogyne hapla (MH) and free living nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans (CE) and Caenorhabditis briggsae (CB). Phylogenetic analyses revealed the UPs to be undergoing divergent evolution. A search of the ESTs at PGD showed that UP is expressed in all the stages of BM. Secondary structure analyses of multiply-aligned sequences of homologues using Jpred server indicated UPs to be rich in beta-pleated structures. TMMHH server and beta barrel finder programme indicated, UPs to be neither transmembrane or beta barrels proteins but are likely to be globular proteins. Further, the Motif discovery tool of MEME identified three novel potential motifs for UPS, of which only two are present in CE, CB & MH. Analyses of UPs using Signal IP, TargetP, Psort servers predicted this group of proteins to be devoid of signal peptide cleavage sites, are not mitochondrial targeting peptides but appear to be localized to the nucleus, respectively. Further analyses of the UPs using ScanProsite server for phosphorylation revealed potential sites for cAMP- and cGMP-dependent protein kinase, Protein kinase C and Casein kinase II. Putative functional analysis using ProtFun 2.1 Server indicated UPs to be nonenzymatic, growth factor like protein. Finally, collating all the information derived from bioinformatics analyses, we conclude that the UPs of nematodes are most likely to be expressed at all stages in the life cycle, localized to the nucleus, regulated by phosphorylation, rich in beta-pleated strands and are growth factor like nematode specific proteins.



nematodes, Setaria digitata, bioinformatics, servers



Dassanayake et al, Bioinformation 3(9): 370-374 (2009)


Edited by

P. Kangueane






Biomedical Informatics




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