Zoothamnium arbuscula strain Kawagoe is a giant sessile peritrich ciliated protozoa that possesses a contractile organelle called a spasmoneme. We report here on the molecular characterization and provide an opportunity to discuss the evolutionary relationships of the Z. arbuscula spasmin; spasmins belong to the calmodulin superfamily and are the major components of spasmoneme filaments. We analysed and obtained the whole sequence of the spasmin 1 gene and a partial sequence of the spasmin 2 gene. It is surprising that the sequence of spasmin 1 does not contain introns and encodes an open reading frame of 531 bp. It predicts a product of 177 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 19659 Da and a pI of 4.68. The amino acid sequence has two putative calcium-binding domains. One of them is a functional domain, as defined by the EF-hand consensus. The varieties of spasmins were revealed by comparison with amino acid components and molecular relationships of spasmin 1 protein and other spasmins. A comparison of the amino acid sequence between the Z. arbuscula spasmin and known centrins indicates that spasmins have a one residue deletion in the EF-hand domain-2 and four residue insertions in domain-4, as does the Vorticella spasmin. However, there are large variations in the amino acid sequence at domain-4 within spasmin 1, spasmin 2 and the Vorticella spasmin.
- Calcium-binding protein
- Ciliated protozoa
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology