CYSTM, a novel cysteine-rich transmembrane module with a role in stress tolerance across eukaryotes

Bioinformatics. 2010 Jan 15;26(2):149-52. doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btp647. Epub 2009 Nov 17.


Using sensitive sequence profile analysis, we identify a hitherto uncharacterized cysteine-rich, transmembrane (TM) module, CYSTM, found in a wide range of tail-anchored membrane proteins across eukaryotes. This superfamily includes Schizosaccharomyces Uvi15, Arabidopsis PCC1, Digtaria CDT1 and Saccharomyces proteins YDL012C and YDR210W, which have all been implicated in resistance/response to stress or pathogens. Based on the pattern of conserved cysteines and data from different chemical genetics studies, we suggest that CYSTM proteins might have critical role in responding to deleterious compounds at the plasma membrane via chelation or redox-based mechanisms. Thus, CYSTM proteins are likely to be part of a novel cellular protective mechanism that is widely active in eukaryotes, including humans.

Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Cysteine / metabolism*
  • Databases, Protein
  • Eukaryota
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Schizosaccharomyces / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein / methods*
  • Software*
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Cysteine