Discovering Gavialis gangeticus selenoproteins



Selenium is an essential micronutrient in different organisms, but it can not be found in its free form due to its high toxicity. Therefore, selenium will be found as a component of seleniumcystein (Sec) in selenoproteins. Sec is codified by the TGA codon which also codifies for STOP codon. Because of this characteristic, selenoprotein identification and notation is very difficult.

The aim of this project is the characterization of Gavialis gangeticus selenoproteins. In order to make it out we have searched them by homology with known selenoproteins in other genomes. More concretely, we have used as reference the chicken's genome because birds are phylogenetically the closest animals to G. gangeticus for which we have selenoprotein notation in SelenoDB. In addition, we have also used the human genome as reference because it has the best characterization. Afterwards, we have searched for SECIS elements in predicted genes.

Results show that a total of 22 selenoproteins, 11 machinery proteins and 13 Cys-homologues have been characterized. In conclusion, this investigation represents a step forward in selenoprotein field because it provides new knowledge of undescribed species to date.