Functional diversity of ankyrin repeats in microbial proteins

Souhaila M. Al Khodor, Christopher T. Price, Awdhesh Kalia, Yousef Abu Kwaik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

114 Citations (Scopus)


The ankyrin repeat (ANK) is the most common protein-protein interaction motif in nature, and is predominantly found in eukaryotic proteins. Genome sequencing of various pathogenic or symbiotic bacteria and eukaryotic viruses has identified numerous genes encoding ANK-containing proteins that are proposed to have been acquired from eukaryotes by horizontal gene transfer. However, the recent discovery of additional ANK-containing proteins encoded in the genomes of archaea and free-living bacteria suggests either a more ancient origin of the ANK motif or multiple convergent evolution events. Many bacterial pathogens employ various types of secretion systems to deliver ANK-containing proteins into eukaryotic cells, where they mimic or manipulate various host functions. Studying the molecular and biochemical functions of this family of proteins will enhance our understanding of important host-microbe interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-139
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Microbiology
  • Virology

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