The evolution of insect Metallothioneins

Mei Luo, Cedric Finet, Haosu Cong, Hong-Yi Wei & Henry Chung
Metallothioneins (MTs) are a family of cysteine-rich metal-binding proteins that are important in the chelating and detoxification of toxic heavy metals. Until now, the short length and the low sequence complexity of MTs has hindered the inference of robust phylogenies, hampering the study of their evolution. To address this longstanding question, we applied an iterative BLAST search pipeline that allowed us to build a unique dataset of more than 300 MT sequences in insects. By...
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