In vitro and in silico cloning of Xenopus laevis SOD2 cDNA and its phylogenetic analysis

Michele Purrello, Cinzia Di Pietro, Marco Ragusa, Alfredo Pulvirenti, Rosalba Giugno, Valentina Di Pietro, Giovanni Emmanuele, Salvo Travali, Marina Scalia, Dennis Shasha, Alfredo Ferro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


By using the methodology of both wet and dry biology (i.e., RT-PCR and cycle sequencing, and biocomputational technology, respectively) and the data obtained through the Genome Projects, we have cloned Xenopus laevis SOD2 (MnSOD) cDNA and determined its nucleotide sequence. These data and the deduced protein primary structure were compared with all the other SOD2 nucleotide and amino acid sequences from eukaryotes and prokaryotes, published in public databases. The analysis was performed by using both Clustal W, a well known and widely used program for sequence analysis, and AntiClustAl, a new algorithm recently created and implemented by our group. Our results demonstrate a very high conservation of the enzyme amino acid sequence during evolution, which proves a close structure-function relationship. This is to be expected for very ancient molecules endowed with critical biological functions, performed through a specific structural organization. The nucleotide sequence conservation is less pronounced: this too was foreseeable, due to neutral mutations and to the species-specific codon usage. The data obtained by using AntiClustAl are comparable with those produced with Clustal W, which validates this algorithm as an important new tool for biocomputational analysis. Finally, it is noteworthy that evolutionary trees, drawn by using all the available data on SOD2 nucleotide sequences and amino acid and either Clustal W or AntiClustAl, are comparable to those obtained through phylogenetic analysis based on fossil records.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalDNA and cell biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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