Lipid transfer proteins in plants
We are interested in the enigmatic plant-specific extracellular non-specific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs). These are small, basic proteins characterized by a tunnel-like hydrophobic cavity, capable of transferring various lipid molecules between lipid bilayers. Almost all nsLTPs carry an N-terminal signal peptide directing the protein to the apoplastic space. Many nsLTPs also carry a sequence motif for the post-translational addition of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchor. The nsLTPs were initailly identified in seed plants where they are encoded by large gene families.We have performed an analysis of the evolutionary history of the nsLTP family using genomic and EST information from non-seed land plants and green algae to determine: (1) when the nsLTP family arose, (2) how often new nsLTP subfamilies have been created, and (3) how subfamilies differ in their patterns of expansion and loss in different plant lineages.
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Last updated: 06/23/11