Histone H1-like, lysine-rich low complexity amino acid extensions in mosquito ribosomal proteins RpL23a and RpS6 have evolved independently

Vida P. Hernandez, A. M. Fallon

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Histone H1-like amino acid extensions have been described at the amino terminus of Drosophila RpL22 and RpL23a, and at the carboxyl terminus of mosquito ribosomal protein RpS6. An in silico search suggested that RpL23a, but not RpL22, in Anopheles gambiae has an amino-terminal extension. Because low complexity amino acid extensions are not common on eukaryotic ribosomal proteins, and their functions are unknown, we cloned cDNAs encoding RpL23a from Aedes albopictus and Anopheles stephensi mosquito cell lines. RpL23a proteins in Aedes and Anopheles mosquitoes are rich in lysine (∼25%), alanine (∼21%), and praline (∼8%), have a mass of ∼40 kDa, a pl of 11.4 to 11.5, and contain an N-terminal extension of approximately 260 amino acid residues. The N-terminal extension in mosquito RpL23a is about 100 amino acids longer than that in the Drosophila RpL23a homolog, and contains several repeated amino acid motifs. Analysis of exon-intron organization in the An. gambiae and in D. melanogaster genes suggests that a short first exon encodes a series of 11 amino acid residues conserved in RpL23a proteins from Drosophila, mosquitoes, and the moth, Bombyx mori. The histone H1-like sequence in RpL23a is encoded entirely within the second exon. The C-terminal 126 amino acid residues of the RpL23a protein, encoded by exon 3 in Drosophila, and by exons 3 and 4 in Anopheles gambiae, are well conserved, and correspond to Escherichia coli RpL23 with the addition of the eukaryotic N-terminal nuclear localization sequence. Sequence comparisons indicate that the histone H1-like extensions on mosquito RpS6 and RpL23a have evolved independently of each other, and of histone H1 proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-110
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Drosophila
  • Histone
  • Intrinsic disorder
  • Low complexity region
  • Mosquito
  • Ribosomal protein RpL23a


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