Background: The superfamily of ABC proteins is among the largest known in nature. Its members are mainly, but not exclusively, involved in the transport of a broad range of substrates across biological membranes. Many contribute to multidrug resistance in microbial pathogens and cancer cells. The diversity of ABC proteins in fungi is comparable with those in multicellular animals, but so far fungal ABC proteins have barely been studied.
Results: We performed a phylogenetic analysis of the ABC proteins extracted from the genomes of 27 fungal species from 18 orders representing 5 fungal phyla thereby covering the most important groups. Our analysis demonstrated that some of the subfamilies of ABC proteins remained highly conserved in fungi, while others have undergone a remarkable group-specific diversification. Members of the various fungal phyla also differed significantly in the number of ABC proteins found in their genomes, which is especially reduced in the yeast S. cerevisiae and S. pombe.
Conclusions: Data obtained during our analysis should contribute to a better understanding of the diversity of the fungal ABC proteins and provide important clues about their possible biological functions.