The pre-endosymbiont hypothesis: a new perspective on the origin and evolution of mitochondria.
Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2014 Mar;6(3)
Authors: Gray MW
Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is unquestionably the remnant of an α-proteobacterial genome, yet only ~10%-20% of mitochondrial proteins are demonstrably α-proteobacterial in origin (the "α-proteobacterial component," or APC). The evolutionary ancestry of the non-α-proteobacterial component (NPC) is obscure and not adequately accounted for in current models of mitochondrial origin. I propose that in the host cell that accommodated an α-proteobacterial endosymbiont, much of the NPC was already present, in the form of a membrane-bound metabolic organelle (the premitochondrion) that compartmentalized many of the non-energy-generating functions of the contemporary mitochondrion. I suggest that this organelle also possessed a protein import system and various ion and small-molecule transporters. In such a scenario, an α-proteobacterial endosymbiont could have been converted relatively directly and rapidly into an energy-generating organelle that incorporated the extant metabolic functions of the premitochondrion. This model (the "pre-endosymbiont hypothesis") effectively represents a synthesis of previous, contending mitochondrial origin hypotheses, with the bulk of the mitochondrial proteome (much of the NPC) having an endogenous origin and the minority component (the APC) having a xenogenous origin.
PMID: 24591518 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]