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Promiscuous dimerization between the Caenorhabditis elegans IF proteins and a hypothesis to explain how multiple IFs persist over evolutionary time.

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Schünemann,  J.
Department of Cellular Logistics, MPI for biophysical chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Karabinos, A., Schünemann, J., & Parry, D. A. D. (2019). Promiscuous dimerization between the Caenorhabditis elegans IF proteins and a hypothesis to explain how multiple IFs persist over evolutionary time. Journal of Molecular Evolution, 87(7-8), 221-230. doi:10.1007/s00239-019-09904-5.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-AEEB-0
Abstract
Our previous calculations of ionic interactions indicated that the Caenorhabditis elegans intermediate filament (IF) IFA proteins, in addition to IFA/IFB-1 heterodimers, may also form homodimers. In order to prove the significance of these calculations, we analysed the dimerization potential of the IFA chains in blot overlays. Unexpectedly, we found here that the dimerization of the IFA-1 protein was of both homotypic and heterotypic nature, and involved all proteins immobilized on the membrane (IFA-1, IFA-2, IFA-4, IFB-1, IFB-2, IFC-1, IFC-2, IFD-1, IFD-2 and IFP-1). A similar interaction profile, though less complex, was observed for two biotinylated proteins (IFA-2 and IFA-4). These and previous results indicate that the IFA proteins are able to form many different heteropolymeric and homopolymeric complexes in the C. elegans tissue, but that only those triggered by the IFA-specific IFB-1 protein result in mature IFs. Moreover, the calculations of the possible ionic interactions between the individual rod sequences as well as their various deletion variants indicated a special role in this process for the middle part of the C. elegans IF coil 1B segment that is deleted in all vertebrate cytoplasmic IFs. We hypothesized here, therefore, that the striking promiscuity of the C. elegans IFs originally involved a nuclear lamin which, due to a two-heptad-long rod deletion, prevented formation of a functional lamin/cIF dimer. This, in concert with an efficient dimerization and a strict tissue-specific co-expression, may allow expansion and maintenance of the multiple Caenorhabditis IFs. A possible implication for evolution of chordate IFs proteins is also discussed.