Celebrating successful PhD defence

On April 12th Bojan Krtenic Successfully Defended His PhD Thesis With The Title: A classification framework for diverse protein superfamilies: application to the GNAT acetyltransferases Best regards



N-terminal acetylation is one of the most common protein modifications. It has been reported in all domains of life. The percentage of proteome susceptible to N-terminal acetylation increases with the complexity of organism. Around 10% of bacterial proteome is acetylated, as opposed to 90% of human proteome being modified this way. The abundance of acetylation indicates its importance in normal cell functioning. However, not much is known about the true role of N-terminal acetylation.

To learn more about protein N-terminal acetylation, it is important to learn more about the enzymes responsible for catalyzing this reaction. These enzymes are called N-terminal acetyltransferases and eight of them have thus far been confirmed in eukaryotic cells. Their final number is still not known. In order to discover whether there are more N-terminal acetyltransferases, we created a classification framework for the entire eukaryotic part of the acetyltransferase superfamily of enzymes.

The classification framework has been built using a combination of bioinformatics methods, which involved sequence similarity networks, sequence motif search and comparison and phylogenetic analyses. Through combination of these methods, we classified N-terminal acetyltransferases in the context of the entire superfamily and predicted several enzymes with new specificities. Two of our predictions were confirmed experimentally.

Based on the classification framework for acetyltransferases, we created a workflow for analyzing diverse enzyme superfamilies and made it available to everyone to use.