A divergent ADP/ATP carrier in the hydrogenosomes of Trichomonas gallinae argues for an independent origin of these organelles.
SourceMolecular Microbiology, 51, 5, (2004), pp. 1439-1446
Article / Letter to editor
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Institute for Water and Wetland Research
SubjectEcological Microbiology; UMCN 5.3: Cellular energy metabolism
The evolution of mitochondrial ADP and ATP exchanging proteins (AACs) highlights a key event in the evolution of the eukaryotic cell, as ATP exporting carriers were indispensable in establishing the role of mitochondria as ATP-generating cellular organelles. Hydrogenosomes, i.e. ATP- and hydrogen-generating organelles of certain anaerobic unicellular eukaryotes, are believed to have evolved from the same ancestral endosymbiont that gave rise to present day mitochondria. Notably, the hydrogenosomes of the parasitic anaerobic flagellate Trichomonas seemed to be deficient in mitochondrial-type AACs. Instead, HMP 31, a different member of the mitochondrial carrier family (MCF) with a hitherto unknown function, is abundant in the hydrogenosomal membranes of Trichomonas vaginalis. Here we show that the homologous HMP 31 of closely related Trichomonas gallinae specifically transports ADP and ATP with high efficiency, as do genuine mitochondrial AACs. However, phylogenetic analysis and its resistance against bongkrekic acid (BKA, an efficient inhibitor of mitochondrial-type AACs) identify HMP 31 as a member of the mitochondrial carrier family that is distinct from all mitochondrial and hydrogenosomal AACs studied so far. Thus, our data support the hypothesis that the various hydrogenosomes evolved repeatedly and independently.
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