Highly divergent actins from Karyorelictean, Heterotrich, and Litostome Ciliates

Oanh T.P. Kim, Kei Yura, G. O. Nobuhiro, Terue Harumoto*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


We have cloned, sequenced, and characterized cDNA of actins from five ciliate species of three different classes of the phylum Ciliophora: Karyorelictea (Loxodes striatus), Heterotrichea (Blepharisma japonicum, Blepharisma musculus), and Litostomatea (Didinium nasutum, Dileptus margaritifer). Loxodes striatus uses UGA as the stop codon and has numerous in-frame UAA and UAG, which are translated into glutamine. The other four species use UAA as the stop codon and have no in-frame UAG nor UGA. The putative amino acid sequences of the newly determined actin genes were found to be highly divergent as expected from previous findings of other ciliate actins. These sequences were also highly divergent from other ciliate actins, indicating that actin genes are highly diverse even within the phylum Ciliophora. Phylogenetic analysis showed high evolutionary rate of ciliate actins. Our results suggest that the evolutionary rate was accelerated because of the differences in molecular interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • Blepharisma japonicum
  • Blepharisma musculus
  • Didinium nasutum
  • Dileptus margaritifer
  • Genetic code deviation
  • Loxodes striatus
  • Stop codon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology


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