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Metallo Beta Lactamase Structural Phylogeny

The metallo-β-lactamases fall into two groups: Ambler class B subgroups B1 and B2 and Ambler class B subgroup B3. The two groups are so distantly related that there is no detectable sequence homology between members of the two different groups, but homology is clearly detectable at the protein structure level. The multiple structure alignment program MAPS has been used to align the structures of eight metallo-β-lactamases and five structurally homologous proteins from the metallo-β-lactamase superfamily, and that alignment has been used to construct a phylogenetic tree of the metallo-β-lactamases. The presence of genes from Eubacteria, Archaebacteria, and Eukaryota on that tree is consistent with a very ancient origin of the metallo-β-lactamase family.

The structures of proteins from subgroup B1+B2 are sufficiently similar to the structures of proteins from subgroup B3 that it is possible to identify homologous amino acids on the basis of their occupying virtually identical positions within the protein structure

The metallo-β-lactamases are members of a large, diverse, superfamily of proteins that share a similar four-layered αβ/βα structure