Protein targeting in parasites with cryptic mitochondria
Burri L, Keeling PJ
International Journal for Parasitology (2006)
Category: mitochondria-evolution, mitochondria-transport, protein transport, protein-membrane ¤ Added: Oct 19, 2006 ¤ Rating: ◊◊
Many highly specialised parasites have adapted to their environments by simplifying different aspects of their morphology or biochemistry. One interesting case is the mitochondrion, which has been subject to strong reductive evolution in parallel in several different parasitic groups. In extreme cases, mitochondria have degenerated so much in physical size and functional complexity that they were not immediately recognised as mitochondria, and are now referred to as ‘cryptic’. Cryptic mitochondrion-derived organelles can be classified as either hydrogenosomes or mitosomes. In nearly all cases they lack a genome and all organellar proteins are nucleus-encoded and expressed in the cytosol. The same is true for the majority of proteins in canonical mitochondria, where the proteins are directed to the organelle by specific targeting sequences (transit peptides) that are recognised by translocases in the mitochondrial membrane. In this review, we compare targeting sequences of different parasitic systems with highly reduced mitochondria and give an overview of how the import machinery has been modified in hydrogenosomes and mitosomes.