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Online Journal of Bioinformatics ©

Volume 14 (1): 76-95, 2013

New footprints into metazoan C-1 family cadherin evolution


Marcia Anahí Hasenahuer, Víctor Hugo Casco and María Fernanda Izaguirre.


Microscopy Laboratory Applied to Cell and Molecular Studies. Engineering School, Entre Ríos National University. Argentina.




Hasenahuer MA, Casco VH, Izaguirre MF., New footprints into metazoan C-1 family cadherin evolution, Onl J Bioinform.,14 (1): 76-95, 2013. Specific cell-cell adhesion and intracellular communication are key processes in multicellular animals wherein cadherin superfamily members are essential players. Evolutionary origin of the modern C-1 cadherin family in metazoans was determined using a Neighbor-Joining (NJ) algorithm and the EC1 first cadherin-repeat sequence avery short segment of the full length proteins responsible for adhesive recognition and their cytoplasmic domain. Searching for insights that reveal organizational changes in C-1cadherins, a phylogenetic analysis of full extracellular and cytoplasmic domains from 8 vertebrate species was performed, using Maximum Likelihood phylogenetic algorithm. The amino acid sequence homology between extracellular and cytoplasmic domains were analyzed and the protein structural data architecture was reviewed. The analysis of full extracellular length of C-1 cadherins suggests that the CDH13-solitary cadherin must be reclassified into classical type I cadherins. Specifically, it was demonstrated that EC2 to EC5 repeats addition to EC1 have significant evolutive information, changing the previously proposed molecular phylogeny. In contrast, the CDH26 solitary cadherin, in agreement with the Hulpiau and van Roy (10) proposal, must be placed between desmogleins and desmocollins. Taking together CDs-alignments and the different evolutive models proposed for the EC- and CD-based trees, it seems to be clear that EC and CD have evolved separately. Therefore, the differences between CD subfamilies could have developed the competence of cadherins to interact with different partner cytosolic proteins to participate in a different signal pathway controlling the cell life.


Key words: C-1 cadherins – phylogeny –metazoan