University of Oulu

Sowa ST, Bosetti C, Galera-Prat A, Johnson MS, Lehtiö L. An Evolutionary Perspective on the Origin, Conservation and Binding Partner Acquisition of Tankyrases. Biomolecules. 2022; 12(11):1688.

An evolutionary perspective on the origin, conservation and binding partner acquisition of tankyrases

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Author: Sowa, Sven T.1; Bosetti, Chiara1; Galera-Prat, Albert1;
Organizations: 1Faculty for Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine & Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, 90220 Oulu, Finland
2Structural Bioinformatics Laboratory, Biochemistry, Faculty of Science and Engineering and InFLAMES Research Flagship Center, Åbo Akademi University, 20520 Turku, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-02-02


Tankyrases are poly-ADP-ribosyltransferases that regulate many crucial and diverse cellular processes in humans such as Wnt signaling, telomere homeostasis, mitotic spindle formation and glucose metabolism. While tankyrases are present in most animals, functional differences across species may exist. In this work, we confirm the widespread distribution of tankyrases throughout the branches of multicellular animal life and identify the single-celled choanoflagellates as earliest origin of tankyrases. We further show that the sequences and structural aspects of TNKSs are well-conserved even between distantly related species. We also experimentally characterized an anciently diverged tankyrase homolog from the sponge Amphimedon queenslandica and show that the basic functional aspects, such as poly-ADP-ribosylation activity and interaction with the canonical tankyrase binding peptide motif, are conserved. Conversely, the presence of tankyrase binding motifs in orthologs of confirmed interaction partners varies greatly between species, indicating that tankyrases may have different sets of interaction partners depending on the animal lineage. Overall, our analysis suggests a remarkable degree of conservation for tankyrases, and that their regulatory functions in cells have likely changed considerably throughout evolution.

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Series: Biomolecules
ISSN: 2218-273X
ISSN-E: 2218-273X
ISSN-L: 2218-273X
Volume: 12
Issue: 11
Article number: 1688
DOI: 10.3390/biom12111688
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
Funding: The work was funded by the Jane and Aatos Erkko Foundation.
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (