Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.321, No.3, 547-556, 2004
Post genomic analysis of permeases from the amino acid/auxin family in protozoan parasites
The "amino acid/auxin permeases" is probably the most represented family of transporters in the Trypanosoma cruzi genome. Using a high-throughput searching routine and preliminary data from the T. cruzi genome project, more than 15,000 sequences were iteratively assembled into contigs, and 60 open reading frames corresponding to different putative amino acid transporters, clustered in 12 groups, were detected and characterized in silico. T. cruzi genomic organization of such sequences showed that these putative amino acid transporter genes are in an unusually large number and arranged in repeat clusters comprising about 0.2% of the genome. These data suggest that the family has evolved following tandem duplication events and constitutes a novel family of variable proteins in protozoan organisms. The mRNA expression of the predicted genes was demonstrated in infective and non-infective parasite forms. Orthologous sequences were also identified in other unicellular parasites such as Leishmania spp., Plasmodium spp., and Trypanosoma brucei. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.