PPE family (IPR000030)

Short name: PPE_family

Overlapping homologous superfamilies

Family relationships



The human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis harbours a large number of genes that encode proteins whose N-termini contain the characteristic motifs Pro-Glu (PE) or Pro-Pro-Glu (PPE). A subgroup of the PE proteins contains polymorphic GC-rich sequences (PGRS), while a subgroup of the PPE proteins contains major polymorphic tandem repeats (MPTR). The function of most of these proteins remains unknown [PMID: 19602151]. However, the PE_PGRS proteins from Mycobacterium marinum are secreted by components of the ESX-5 system that belongs to the recently defined type VII secretion systems [PMID: 18981138]. It has also been reported that the PE_PGRS family of proteins contains multiple calcium-binding and glycine-rich sequence motifs GGXGXD/NXUX. This sequence repeat constitutes a calcium-binding parallel beta-roll or parallel beta-helix structure and is found in RTX toxins secreted by many Gram-negative bacteria [PMID: 18267304].

This mycobacterial family is named after a conserved amino-terminal region of about 180 amino acids, the PPE motif. The carboxy termini of proteins belonging to the PPE family are variable, and on the basis of this region at least three groups can be distinguished. The MPTR subgroup is characterised by tandem copies of a motif NXGXGNXG. The second subgroup contains a conserved motif at about position 350. The third group shares only similarity in the amino terminal region. The function of these proteins is uncertain but it has been suggested that they may be related to antigenic variation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis [PMID: 9634230].

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.