First discovered in unicellular eukaryotes, centrins play crucial roles in basal body duplication and anchoring mechanisms. While the evolutionary status of the founding members of the family, Centrin2/Vfl2 and Centrin3/cdc31 has long been investigated, the evolutionary origin of other members of the family has received less attention. Using a phylogeny of ciliate centrins, we identify two other centrin families, the ciliary centrins and the centrins present in the contractile filaments (ICL centrins). In this paper, we carry on the functional analysis of still not well known centrins, the ICL1e subfamily identified in Paramecium, and show their requirement for correct basal body anchoring through interactions with Centrin2 and Centrin3. Using Paramecium as well as an Eukaryote-wide sampling of centrins from completely sequenced genomes, we revisited the evolutionary story of centrins. Their phylogeny shows that the centrins associated with the ciliate contractile filaments are widespread in eukaryotic lineages and could be as ancient as Centrin2 and Centrin3.
- Received January 14, 2017.
- Accepted April 11, 2017.
- © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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