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Li, Z., Blissard, G. (2015). The vacuolar protein sorting genes in insects: A comparative genome view.  Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 62(): 211--225.
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In eukaryotic cells, regulated vesicular trafficking is critical for directing protein transport and for recycling and degradation of membrane lipids and proteins. Through carefully regulated transport vesicles, the endomembrane system performs a large and important array of dynamic cellular functions while maintaining the integrity of the cellular membrane system. Genetic studies in yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae have identified approximately 50 vacuolar protein sorting (VPS) genes involved in vesicle trafficking, and most of these genes are also characterized in mammals. The VPS proteins form distinct functional complexes, which include complexes known as ESCRT, retromer, CORVET, HOPS, GARP, and PI3K-III. Little is known about the orthologs of VPS proteins in insects. Here, with the newly annotated Manduca sexta genome, we carried out genomic comparative analysis of VPS proteins in yeast, humans, and 13 sequenced insect genomes representing the Orders Hymenoptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Phthiraptera, Lepidoptera, and Coleoptera. Amino acid sequence alignments and domain/motif structure analyses reveal that most of the components of ESCRT, retromer, CORVET, HOPS, GARP, and PI3K-III are evolutionarily conserved across yeast, insects, and humans. However, in contrast to the VPS gene expansions observed in the human genome, only four VPS genes (VPS13, VPS16, VPS33, and VPS37) were expanded in the six insect Orders. Additionally, VPS2 was expanded only in species from Phthiraptera, Lepidoptera, and Coleoptera. These studies provide a baseline for understanding the evolution of vesicular trafficking across yeast, insect, and human genomes, and also provide a basis for further addressing specific functional roles of VPS proteins in insects.

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    Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol.
    Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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