Genome-wide Analysis of WD40 Protein Family in Human

Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 19;6:39262. doi: 10.1038/srep39262.


The WD40 proteins, often acting as scaffolds to form functional complexes in fundamental cellular processes, are one of the largest families encoded by the eukaryotic genomes. Systematic studies of this family on genome scale are highly required for understanding their detailed functions, but are currently lacking in the animal lineage. Here we present a comprehensive in silico study of the human WD40 family. We have identified 262 non-redundant WD40 proteins, and grouped them into 21 classes according to their domain architectures. Among them, 11 animal-specific domain architectures have been recognized. Sequence alignment indicates the complicated duplication and recombination events in the evolution of this family. Through further phylogenetic analysis, we have revealed that the WD40 family underwent more expansion than the overall average in the evolutionary early stage, and the early emerged WD40 proteins are prone to domain architectures with fundamental cellular roles and more interactions. While most widely and highly expressed human WD40 genes originated early, the tissue-specific ones often have late origin. These results provide a landscape of the human WD40 family concerning their classification, evolution, and expression, serving as a valuable complement to the previous studies in the plant lineage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Microfilament Proteins / chemistry
  • Microfilament Proteins / classification
  • Microfilament Proteins / genetics*
  • Multigene Family
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment


  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Plant Proteins