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Evolution of the Molecular Machines for Protein Import into Mitochondria

This article discusses the way in which protein import pathways were established to create mitochondria. In creating mitochondria some 2 billion years ago, the first eukaryotes needed to establish protein import machinery in the membranes of what was a bacterial endosymbiont. Some of the preexisting protein translocation apparatus of the endosymbiont appears to have been commandeered, including molecular chaperones, the signal peptidase, and some components of the protein-targeting machinery. However, the protein translocases that drive protein import into mitochondria have no obvious counterparts in bacteria, making it likely that these machines were created de novo. The presence of similar translocase subunits in all eukaryotic genomes sequenced to date suggests that all eukaryotes can be considered descendants of a single ancestor species that carried an ancestral ‚Äúprotomitochondria.‚ÄĚ

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Classifications


Resource Type: Journal article/Issue, Illustration, Table
Audience Level: Undergraduate lower division 13-14, Undergraduate upper division 15-16, Graduate, Professional (degree program), Continuing education

Author and Copyright


Authors and Editors: Pavel Dolezal of Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Melbourne, Vladimir Lakic of Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute, Jan Tachezy of Department of Parasitology, Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute, Trevor Lithgow of Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Charles University
Publisher: AAAS
Format: text/html
Copyright and other restrictions: Yes
Cost: No

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Collection:
American Association for the Advancement of Science


     
   

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