A gene family of small membrane proteins, represented by phospholemman and the gamma subunit of Na,K-ATPase, was defined and characterized by the analysis of more than 1000 related ESTs (expressed sequence tags). In addition to new and more complete cDNA sequence for known family members (including MAT-8, CHIF, and RIC), the findings included two new family members and new splicing variants. A large number of EST replicates made it possible to derive curated DNA sequence with higher confidence and accuracy than from the sequencing of individual clones. The family has a core motif of 35 invariant and conserved amino acids centered on a single transmembrane span. Features of each predicted protein product were compared, and tissue distributions were determined. The gene family was named FXYD (pronounced fix-id) in recognition of invariant amino acids in its signature motif. The abundant proteins are involved in the control of ion transport.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.