Homologous Superfamily

Elicitin superfamily (IPR036470)

Short name: Elicitin_sf

Overlapping entries


Elicitins are small, highly-conserved proteins secreted by phytopathogenic fungi belonging to Phytophthora species [PMID: 7753775]. They are toxic proteins that induce a necrotic and systemic hypersensitive response in plants from the Solanaceae and Cruciferae families. Leaf necrosis provides immediate control of fungal invasion and induces systemic acquired resistance; both responses mediate basic protection against subsequent pathogen inoculation.

Members of this superfamily share a high level of sequence similarity, but they differ in net charge, dividing them into two classes: alpha and beta [PMID: 7753775, PMID: 24186785]. Alpha-elicitins are highly acidic, with a valine residue at position 13, whereas beta-elicitins are basic, with a lysine at the same position. Residue 13 is known to be involved in the control of necrosis and, being exposed, is thought to be involved in ligand/receptor binding [PMID: 24186785, PMID: 9385630]. Phenotypically, the two classes can be distinguished by their necrotic properties: beta-elicitins are 100-fold more toxic and provide better subsequent protection [PMID: 7753775].

The elicitin structure is composed of five helices arranged in an irregular disulfide-linked array and a small beta-hairpin.

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0009405 pathogenesis

Molecular Function

No terms assigned in this category.

Cellular Component

GO:0005576 extracellular region

Contributing signatures

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