Monday, September 17, 2007

Small ligand binding beta-grasp domains and the origins of Vitamin B12 uptake in animals

We recently showed that the Vitamin B12 binding proteins typified by transcobalamin, required for B12 uptake in animals, has been derived through lateral transfer from the Gram-positive bacteria prior to the divergence of the extant animal lineages. These proteins contain a novel version of the b-grasp (ubiquitin-like) fold that has been adapted for binding small molecules like B12. In bacteria and archaea is shows a rich diversity of architectures including fusions to Helix-turn-helix domains in one-component transcription factors
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