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From the ‘‘Symposium Assembling the Poriferan Tree of Life’’: origin and evolution of mt tatC gene in Oscarellidae

Added on 2013-07-18 15:49:46 by Hooper, John
Pett, D.; Lavrov, D.V. 2013. The Twin-Arginine Subunit C in Oscarella: Origin, Evolution, and Potential Functional Significance. Integrative and Comparative Biology doi: 10.1093/icb/ict079.
The twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathway is a protein transport system that moves completely folded proteins across lipid membranes. Genes encoding components of the pathway have been found in the genomes of many Bacteria, Archaea, and eukaryotic organelles including chloroplasts, plant mitochondria, and the mitochondria of many protists. However, with a single exception, Tat genes are absent from the mitochondrial genomes of all animals. The only exception comes from the homoscleromorph sponges in the family Oscarellidae, whose mitochondrial genomes encode a gene for tatC, the largest subunit of the complex. Here, we explore the origin and evolution of the mitochondrial tatC gene in Oscarellidae, and use bioinformatic approaches to evaluate its functional significance. We conclude that tatC in Homoscleromorpha sponges was likely inherited from the ancestral proto-mitochondrial genome, implying multiple independent losses of the mitochondrial Tat pathway during the evolution of opisthokonts. In addition, bioinformatic evidence suggests that tatC comprises the entire Tat pathway in Oscarellidae, and that the Rieske Fe/S protein of mitochondrial complex III is its likely substrate.


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