Detection and characterization of fungal-specific proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2006 Nov;70(11):2646-52. doi: 10.1271/bbb.60251. Epub 2006 Nov 7.


In this study, I searched for fungal-specific proteins in the genome of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, inferred from a comparison of amino acid sequences. I used the GTOP (Genomes to Protein structures and functions) database of the DDBJ (DNA Data Bank of Japan), which consists of 21 genomes from Archaea, 203 genomes from Bacteria, and 50 genomes from Eucarya (including 18 fungal genomes). Among 5,874 proteins of S. cerevisiae, 1,551 have homologs only in Eucarya, and 504 of the 1,551 have homologs only in fungi. To find fungal-specific proteins, homologs of the homologs have been searched repeatedly. As a result, 132 of the 504 are characterized as fungal-specific proteins. The genes encoding the 132 fungal-specific proteins are not included in the list of essential genes for viability in the S. cerevisiae genome deletion project. Among the 132 proteins, 99 are S. cerevisiae-specific, and no protein that is distributed among 10 or more of the 18 fungal species exists. In addition, most of the fungal-specific proteins are very small and functionally unknown. My results show that the fungal-specific proteins have short evolutionary histories, suggesting that S. cerevisiae produces novel proteins and that ancestral fungi also produced small proteins most of which have disappeared or have been combined with other proteins during fungal evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Computational Biology
  • Databases, Genetic
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phylogeny
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism*


  • Amino Acids
  • Fungal Proteins