Molecular fusion events in carcinogenic organisms: a bioinformatics study for the detection of fused proteins between viruses, bacteria and eukaryotes.

Eleni Papakonstantinou, Kalliopi Io Diakou, Thanasis Mitsis, Konstantina Dragoumani, Flora Bacopoulou, Vasilis Megalooikonomou, Sophia Kossida, George P Chrousos, Dimitrios Vlachakis


Molecular fusion events have a prominent role in the initial steps of carcinogenesis. In this study, a bioinformatics analysis was performed between four organisms that are known to induce cancer development in humans: two viruses, Human Herpesvirus 4, and Human T-cell leukaemia virus, one bacterium, Helicobacter Pylori, and one trematode, Schistosoma mansoni. The annotated proteomes from these organisms were analysed using the SAFE software to identify protein fusion events, which may provide insight into protein function similarities and possible merging events during the course of evolution. Based on the results, five fused proteins with very similar functions were detected, whereas proteins with different functions that might act in the same molecular complex or biochemical pathway were not found. Thus, this study analysed the above four well-known cancer-related organisms with de novo bioinformatics programs and provided useful information on protein fusion events, hopefully leading to deeper understanding of carcinogenenesis.


molecular fusion events; carcinogenesis; bioinformatics

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