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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential targeting of closely related ECM glycoproteins: the pherophorin family from Volvox.

The alga Volvox carteri represents one of the simplest multicellular organisms. Its extracellular matrix ( ECM) is modified under developmental control, e.g. under the influence of the sex-inducing pheromone that triggers development of males and females at a concentration below 10(-16) M. A novel ECM glycoprotein (pherophorin-S) synthesized in response to this pheromone was identified and characterized. Although being a typical member of the pherophorins, which are identified by a C-terminal domain with sequence homology to the sex-inducing pheromone, pherophorin-S exhibits a completely novel set of properties. In contrast to the other members of the family, which are found as part of the insoluble ECM structures of the cellular zone, pherophorin-S is targeted to the cell-free interior of the spherical organism and remains in a soluble state. A main structural difference is the presence of a polyhydroxyproline spacer in pherophorin-S that is linked to a saccharide containing a phosphodiester bridge between two arabinose residues. Sequence comparisons indicate that the self-assembling proteins that create the main parts of the complex Volvox ECM have evolved from a common ancestral gene.[1]


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