Authors: Sébastien Leterme, Olivier Bastien, Riccardo Aiese Cigliano, Alberto Amato, and Morgane Michaud


  • Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, CEA, INRAE, IRIG, LPCV, Grenoble, France
  • Sequentia Biotech SL, Barcelona, Spain

Publication: SageJournals

Date: December, 2023


Abstract: VPS13 is a lipid transfer protein family conserved among Eukaryotes and playing roles in fundamental processes involving vesicular transport and membrane expansion including autophagy and organelle biogenesis. VPS13 folds into a long hydrophobic tunnel, allowing lipid transport, decorated by distinct domains involved in protein localization and regulation. Whereas VPS13 organization and function have been extensively studied in yeast and mammals, information in organisms originating from primary endosymbiosis is scarce. In the higher plant Arabidopsis thaliana, four paralogs, AtVPS13S, X, M1, and M2, were identified, AtVPS13S playing a role in the regulation of root growth, cell patterning, and reproduction. In this work, we performed phylogenetic, as well as domain and structural modeling of VPS13 proteins in Archaeplastida in order to understand their general organization and evolutionary history. We confirmed the presence of human VPS13B orthologues in some phyla and described two new VPS13 families presenting a particular domain arrangement: VPS13R in Rhodophytes and VPS13Y in Chlorophytes and Streptophytes. By focusing on Viridiplantae, we were able to draw the evolutionary history of these proteins made by multiple gene gains and duplications as well as domain rearrangements. We showed that some Chlorophytes have only three (AtVPS13M, S, Y) whereas some Charophytes have up to six VPS13 paralogs (AtVPS13M1, M2, S, Y, X, B). We also highlighted specific structural features of VPS13M and X paralogs. This study reveals the complex evolution of VPS13 family and opens important perspectives for their functional characterization in photosynthetic organisms.