In silico analysis of ubiquitin/ubiquitin-like modifiers and their conjugating enzymes in Entamoeba species

Shweta Arya, Gaurav Sharma, Preeti Gupta, Swati Tiwari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Covalent modification of proteins by ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like modifiers (Ubls) regulates many cellular functions in eukaryotes. These modifications are likely to be associated with pathogenesis, growth, and development of many protozoan parasites but molecular details about this pathway are unavailable for most protozoa. This study presents an analysis of the Ub pathway in three members of the Entamoeba species. Using bioinformatics tools we have identified all Ub and Ubl genes along with their corresponding activating, conjugating, and ligating enzymes (E1, E2s, and E3s) in three Entamoeba species, Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba dispar, and Entamoeba invadens. Phylogenetic trees were established for the identified E2s and RING finger E3s using maximum-likelihood method to infer the relationship among these proteins. In silico co-domain analysis of RING finger E3s implicates these proteins in a variety of functions. Several known and putative regulatory motifs were identified in the upstream regions of RING finger domain containing E3 genes. All E2 and E3 genes were analyzed in genomic context in E. histolytica and E. dispar. Most E2s and E3s were in syntenic positions in the two genomes. Association of these genes with transposable elements (TEs) was compared between E. histolytica and E. dispar. A closer association was found between RING finger E3s with TEs in E. histolytica. In summary, our analyses suggests that the complexity of the Ub pathway in Entamoeba species is close to that observed in higher eukaryotes. This study provides important data for further understanding the role of Ub pathway in the biology of these organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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