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An archaebacterial homolog of pelota, a meiotic cell division protein in eukaryotes

Mark A. Ragan, John M. Logsdon Jr., Christoph W. Sensen, Robert L. Charlebois, W. Ford Doolittle
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.1996.tb08522.x 151-155 First published online: 1 November 1996


An open reading frame (pelA) specifying a homolog of pelota and DOM34, proteins required for meiotic cell division in Drosophila melanogaster and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, respectively, has been cloned, sequenced and identified from the archaebacterium Sulfolobus solfataricus. The S. solfataricus PelA protein is about 20% identical with pelota, DOM34 and the hypothetical protein R74.6 of Caenorhabditis elegans. The presence of a pelota homolog in archaebacteria implies that the meiotic functions of the eukaryotic protein were co-opted from, or added to, other functions existing before the emergence of eukaryotes. The nuclear localization signal and negatively charged carboxy-terminus characteristic of eukaryotic pelota-like proteins are absent from the S. solfataricus homolog, and hence may be indicative of the acquired eukaryotic function(s).

  • (Sulfolobus solfataricus)
  • Archaea
  • Archaebacterium
  • Meiosis
  • Pelota
  • DOM34