PROSITE documentation PDOC00725
Gamma-thionins family signature


The following small plant proteins are evolutionary related:

  • γ-thionins from wheat endosperm (γ-purothionins) and barley (γ- hordothionins) which are toxic to animal cells and inhibit protein synthesis in cell free systems [1].
  • A flower-specific thionin (FST) from tobacco [2].
  • Antifungal proteins (AFP) from the seeds of Brassicaceae species such as radish, mustard, turnip and Arabidopsis thaliana [3].
  • Inhibitors of insect α-amylases from sorghum [4].
  • Probable protease inhibitor P322 from potato.
  • A germination-related protein from cowpea [5].
  • Anther-specific protein SF18 from sunflower [6]. SF18 is a protein that contains a γ-thionin domain at its N-terminus and a proline-rich C- terminal domain.
  • Soybean sulfur-rich protein SE60 [7].
  • Vicia faba antibacterial peptides fabatin-1 and -2.

In their mature form, these proteins generally consist of about 45 to 50 amino-acid residues. As shown in the following schematic representation, these peptides contain eight conserved cysteines involved in disulfide bonds.

          |          +-------------------+            |
          |          |                   |            |
        *******************|***|                | |
                           +---|----------------+ |
'C': conserved cysteine involved in a disulfide bond.
'*': position of the pattern.
Last update:

December 2004 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE method (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

GAMMA_THIONIN, PS00940; Gamma-thionins family signature  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsBruix M. Jimenez M.A. Santoro J. Gonzalez C. Colilla F.J. Mendez E. Rico M.
TitleSolution structure of gamma 1-H and gamma 1-P thionins from barley and wheat endosperm determined by 1H-NMR: a structural motif common to toxic arthropod proteins.
SourceBiochemistry 32:715-724(1993).
PubMed ID8380707

2AuthorsGu Q. Kawata E.E. Morse M.-J. Wu H.-M. Cheung A.Y.
TitleA flower-specific cDNA encoding a novel thionin in tobacco.
SourceMol. Gen. Genet. 234:89-96(1992).
PubMed ID1495489

3AuthorsTerras F.R.G. Torrekens S. van Leuven F. Osborn R.W. Vanderleyden J. Cammue B.P.A. Broekaert W.F.
TitleA new family of basic cysteine-rich plant antifungal proteins from Brassicaceae species.
SourceFEBS Lett. 316:233-240(1993).
PubMed ID8422949

4AuthorsBloch C. Jr. Richardson M.
TitleA new family of small (5 kDa) protein inhibitors of insect alpha-amylases from seeds or sorghum (Sorghum bicolar (L) Moench) have sequence homologies with wheat gamma-purothionins.
SourceFEBS Lett. 279:101-104(1991).
PubMed ID1995329

5AuthorsIshibashi N. Yamauchi D. Miniamikawa T.
TitleStored mRNA in cotyledons of Vigna unguiculata seeds: nucleotide sequence of cloned cDNA for a stored mRNA and induction of its synthesis by precocious germination.
SourcePlant Mol. Biol. 15:59-64(1990).
PubMed ID2103443

6AuthorsDomon C. Evrard J.L. Herdenberger F. Pillay D.T. Steinmetz A.
TitleNucleotide sequence of two anther-specific cDNAs from sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.).
SourcePlant Mol. Biol. 15:643-646(1990).
PubMed ID2102380

7AuthorsChoi Y. Choi Y.D. Lee J.S.
TitleNucleotide sequence of a cDNA encoding a low molecular weight sulfur-rich protein in soybean seeds.
SourcePlant Physiol. 101:699-700(1993).
PubMed ID8278516

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