The bilaterian roots of cordon-bleuReport as inadecuate

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BMC Research Notes

, 6:393

First Online: 30 September 2013Received: 22 July 2013Accepted: 19 September 2013DOI: 10.1186-1756-0500-6-393

Cite this article as: Schultz, J. & Terhoeven, N. BMC Res Notes 2013 6: 393. doi:10.1186-1756-0500-6-393


BackgroundThe actin cytoskeleton is essential for many physiological processes of eukaryotic cells. The emergence of new actin fibers is initiated by actin nucleators. Whereas most of them are evolutionary old, the cordon-bleu actin nucleator is classified as vertebrate specific.

FindingsUsing sensitive methods for sequence similarity detection, we identified homologs of cordon-bleu not only in non-vertebrate chordates but also in arthropods, molluscs, annelids and platyhelminthes. These genes contain only a single WH2 domain and therefore resemble more the vertebrate cordon-bleu related 1 protein than the three WH2 domain containing cordon-bleu. Furthermore, we identified a homolog of the N-terminal, ubiquitin like, cobl domain of cordon-bleu in the cnidarian Nematostella vectensis.

ConclusionOur results suggest that the ur-form of the cordon-bleu protein family evolved already with the emergence of the bilateria by the combination of existing cobl and WH2 domains. Following a vertebrate specific gene-duplication, one copy gained two additional WH2 domains leading to the actin nucleating cordon-bleu. The function of the ur-form of the cordon-bleu protein family is so far unknown. The identification of a homolog in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster could facilitate its experimental characterization.

KeywordsActin nucleation WH2 domain Cobl domain Gene duplication  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Jörg Schultz - Niklas Terhoeven


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