Day 10 (1p31.1-1p22.3): CYR61, a protein secreted at wounds

Day 10 has 32 protein-coding genes. One is CYR61 (cysteine-rich angiogenic inducer 61), when encodes a protein that is secreted from cells into the extracellular matrix in response to wounds, tumors, and other sites of inflammation.

CYR61 is notable because the proteins we have seen so far have lived inside or on the surface of the cell. When a cell makes a protein like CYR61, how does it know to secrete it, while keeping others in the cell? The answer is in a sequence of amino acids at the beginning of the protein known as the signal peptide. Gunter Blöbel won the 1999 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for discovering signal peptides. The UniProt database highlights this sequence at the beginning of the CYR61 protein. Note that the amino acid sequence of the protein, unlike the 4-letter alphabet of DNA, is conveyed using a 20-letter alphabet.

CYR61 is found across bony vertebrates, meaning it originated over 420 million years ago.

Click here to see your CYR61 gene.

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