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Meeting Abstract

Functional analysis of prokaryotic homologs of programmed cell death factors


Dunin-Horkawicz,  S       
Department Protein Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen, Max Planck Society;

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Krakowski, K., Łabędzka-Dmoch, K., Golik, P., & Dunin-Horkawicz, S. (2022). Functional analysis of prokaryotic homologs of programmed cell death factors. In Meeting of the EMBO Young Investigator Network on Computational Methods in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology of Microbes (pp. 15).

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000E-5257-4
Programmed cell death (PCD) is typically associated with multicellular eukaryotes. However, to some extent, this phenomenon can be also observed in simpler organisms, including bacteria. Previously we have identified eukaryotic-like bacterial protein networks (ELB) encompassing many homologs of eukaryotic PCD systems. The ELB networks are especially extensive in prokaryotes characterized by a multicellular stage in their life; however, their function remains unknown. The central component of PCD systems in eukaryotes is the large, homooligomeric complex (Apaf-1, CED-4, and DARK in humans, worms, and flies, respectively) that is the main component of the apoptosome. The aim of this study is to investigate the ability of eukaryotic and bacterial Apaf-1 homologs to induce cell death in yeast, which natively lacks the Apaf-1 homolog. Bioinformatic analysis on early-branching Eukaryota resulted in the discovery of distant Apaf-1 homologs. Further search, using hidden Markov models, revealed an abundance of other homologs in prokaryotes (components of the ELB networks). Laboratory work is underway towards the introduction of selected Apaf-1 homologs into yeast.