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The Anabaena sensory rhodopsin transducer defines a novel superfamily of prokaryotic small-molecule binding domains

Overview of attention for article published in Biology Direct, August 2009
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The Anabaena sensory rhodopsin transducer defines a novel superfamily of prokaryotic small-molecule binding domains
Published in
Biology Direct, August 2009
DOI 10.1186/1745-6150-4-25
Pubmed ID

Robson F De Souza, Lakshminarayan M Iyer, L Aravind


The Anabaena sensory rhodopsin transducer (ASRT) is a small protein that has been claimed to function as a signaling molecule downstream of the cyanobacterial sensory rhodopsin. However, orthologs of ASRT have been detected in several bacteria that lack rhodopsin, raising questions about the generality of this function. Using sequence profile searches we show that ASRT defines a novel superfamily of beta-sandwich fold domains. Through contextual inference based on domain architectures and predicted operons and structural analysis we present strong evidence that these domains bind small molecules, most probably sugars. We propose that the intracellular versions like ASRT probably participate as sensors that regulate a diverse range of sugar metabolism operons or even the light sensory behavior in Anabaena by binding sugars or related metabolites. We also show that one of the extracellular versions define a predicted sugar-binding structure in a novel cell-surface lipoprotein found across actinobacteria, including several pathogens such as Tropheryma, Actinomyces and Thermobifida. The analysis of this superfamily also provides new data to investigate the evolution of carbohydrate binding modes in beta-sandwich domains with very different topologies.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 24 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 1 4%
Chile 1 4%
Brazil 1 4%
Unknown 21 88%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Researcher 5 21%
Student > Master 5 21%
Student > Ph. D. Student 4 17%
Professor > Associate Professor 3 13%
Professor 3 13%
Other 4 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 12 50%
Chemistry 4 17%
Physics and Astronomy 2 8%
Immunology and Microbiology 1 4%
Neuroscience 1 4%
Other 1 4%
Unknown 3 13%