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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(1), 91;

The Distribution of Lectins across the Phylum Nematoda: A Genome-Wide Search

Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Cheorl-Ho Kim
Received: 18 November 2016 / Revised: 20 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 4 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Lectins: From Model Species to Crop Plants)
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Nematodes are a very diverse phylum that has adapted to nearly every ecosystem. They have developed specialized lifestyles, dividing the phylum into free-living, animal, and plant parasitic species. Their sheer abundance in numbers and presence in nearly every ecosystem make them the most prevalent animals on earth. In this research nematode-specific profiles were designed to retrieve predicted lectin-like domains from the sequence data of nematode genomes and transcriptomes. Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that play numerous roles inside and outside the cell depending on their sugar specificity and associated protein domains. The sugar-binding properties of the retrieved lectin-like proteins were predicted in silico. Although most research has focused on C-type lectin-like, galectin-like, and calreticulin-like proteins in nematodes, we show that the lectin-like repertoire in nematodes is far more diverse. We focused on C-type lectins, which are abundantly present in all investigated nematode species, but seem to be far more abundant in free-living species. Although C-type lectin-like proteins are omnipresent in nematodes, we have shown that only a small part possesses the residues that are thought to be essential for carbohydrate binding. Curiously, hevein, a typical plant lectin domain not reported in animals before, was found in some nematode species. View Full-Text
Keywords: nematode; C-type lectin; hevein; bioinformatic analysis nematode; C-type lectin; hevein; bioinformatic analysis

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Bauters, L.; Naalden, D.; Gheysen, G. The Distribution of Lectins across the Phylum Nematoda: A Genome-Wide Search. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 91.

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