Identification and characterization of the Bcl-2- associated athanogene (BAG) protein family in rice
The Bcl-2-associated athanogene (BAG) proteins are involved in the regulation of Hsp70/HSC70 in animals. There are six BAG genes in human that encode nine isoforms with different subcellular locations. Arabidopsis thaliana is reported to contain seven BAG proteins. We searched BAG proteins in Oryza sativa using profile-sequence (Pfam) and profile-profile (FFAS) algorithms and found six homologs. The BAG protein family in O. sativa can be grouped into two classes based on the presence of other conserved domains. Class I consists of four OsBAG genes (1 to 4) containing an additional ubiquitin-like domain, structurally similar to the human BAG1 proteins and might be BAG1 orthologs in plants. Class II consists of two OsBAG genes (5 and 6) containing calmodulin-binding domain. Multiple sequence alignment and structural models of O. sativa BAG proteins showed conservation of surface charge (except OsBAG5) and critical residues for the binding of BAG domain to Hsp70 nucleotide binding domain (NB). Meta analysis of microarray data showed that OsBAG genes are up or down regulated under different stresses (biotic and abiotic). Data obtained from real-time PCR of OsBAG genes under heat stress showed that maximum induction in the expression of all the genes occurred after one hour exposure to heat stress, while reduction in the expression was observed in the following time course and ultimately returned to the basal level at 24 h treatment. These results suggest that OsBAG genes might play important role at the onset of heat stress. A further detailed study may explore the exact function of the members of this gene family and help to make understanding of programmed cell death (PCD) mechanism in plants.
Key words: Rice, ubiquitin-like domain, nucleotide-binding domain, real-time PCR.