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Viruses 2015, 7(2), 709-738;

Poxviral Ankyrin Proteins

School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Virus Research Unit, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Elliot J. Lefkowitz and Chris Upton
Received: 31 December 2014 / Revised: 5 February 2015 / Accepted: 9 February 2015 / Published: 16 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poxvirus Evolution)
PDF [1477 KB, uploaded 12 May 2015]


Multiple repeats of the ankyrin motif (ANK) are ubiquitous throughout the kingdoms of life but are absent from most viruses. The main exception to this is the poxvirus family, and specifically the chordopoxviruses, with ANK repeat proteins present in all but three species from separate genera. The poxviral ANK repeat proteins belong to distinct orthologue groups spread over different species, and align well with the phylogeny of their genera. This distribution throughout the chordopoxviruses indicates these proteins were present in an ancestral vertebrate poxvirus, and have since undergone numerous duplication events. Most poxviral ANK repeat proteins contain an unusual topology of multiple ANK motifs starting at the N-terminus with a C-terminal poxviral homologue of the cellular F-box enabling interaction with the cellular SCF ubiquitin ligase complex. The subtle variations between ANK repeat proteins of individual poxviruses suggest an array of different substrates may be bound by these protein-protein interaction domains and, via the F-box, potentially directed to cellular ubiquitination pathways and possible degradation. Known interaction partners of several of these proteins indicate that the NF-κB coordinated anti-viral response is a key target, whilst some poxviral ANK repeat domains also have an F-box independent affect on viral host-range. View Full-Text
Keywords: poxvirus; ankyrin; F-box; ubiquitin; NF-κB; phylogenetics; evolution poxvirus; ankyrin; F-box; ubiquitin; NF-κB; phylogenetics; evolution

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Herbert, M.H.; Squire, C.J.; Mercer, A.A. Poxviral Ankyrin Proteins. Viruses 2015, 7, 709-738.

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