A new family of glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored β(1-3)glucanosyltransferases (Gelp), recently identified and characterized in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, showed functional similarity to the Gas/Phr/Epd protein families, which are involved in yeast morphogenesis. Sequence comparisons and hydrophobic cluster analysis (HCA) showed that all the Gas/Phr/Epd/Gel proteins belong to a new family of glycosylhydrolases, family 72. We confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis and biochemical analysis that the two conserved glutamate residues (the putative catalytic residues of this family, as determined by HCA) are involved in the active site of this family of glycosylhydrolases.

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Author notes

The nucleotide sequence data reported in this paper for Gelp have been submitted to the EMBL, Genbank® DDBJ and GSDB Nucleotide Sequence Databases under the accession numbers AF072700 for GEL1, AF208039 for GEL2 and AF208040 for GEL3.