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Evolution of Fe/S cluster biogenesis in the anaerobic parasite Blastocystis.

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Evolution of Fe/S cluster biogenesis in the anaerobic parasite Blastocystis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 26;109(26):10426-31

Authors: Tsaousis AD, Ollagnier de Choudens S, Gentekaki E, Long S, Gaston D, Stechmann A, Vinella D, Py B, Fontecave M, Barras F, Lukeš J, Roger AJ

Abstract
Iron/sulfur cluster (ISC)-containing proteins are essential components of cells. In most eukaryotes, Fe/S clusters are synthesized by the mitochondrial ISC machinery, the cytosolic iron/sulfur assembly system, and, in photosynthetic species, a plastid sulfur-mobilization (SUF) system. Here we show that the anaerobic human protozoan parasite Blastocystis, in addition to possessing ISC and iron/sulfur assembly systems, expresses a fused version of the SufC and SufB proteins of prokaryotes that it has acquired by lateral transfer from an archaeon related to the Methanomicrobiales, an important lineage represented in the human gastrointestinal tract microbiome. Although components of the Blastocystis ISC system function within its anaerobic mitochondrion-related organelles and can functionally replace homologues in Trypanosoma brucei, its SufCB protein has similar biochemical properties to its prokaryotic homologues, functions within the parasite’s cytosol, and is up-regulated under oxygen stress. Blastocystis is unique among eukaryotic pathogens in having adapted to its parasitic lifestyle by acquiring a SUF system from nonpathogenic Archaea to synthesize Fe/S clusters under oxygen stress.

PMID: 22699510 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]