The Evolution of Energy-Transducing Systems. Studies with Archaebacteria

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The Evolution of Energy-Transducing Systems. Studies with Archaebacteria

  • Helga, Stan-Lotter
Publication Date
Jul 31, 1996
SETI Institute


The dicyclohexyl carbodiimide (DCCD)- binding site of the membrane ATPase from Halobacterium saccharovorum was investigated during earlier periods of this Cooperative Agreement and was localized to a cyanogen bromide fragment of subunit 2 from amino acids 379 (Glu) to 442 (Met). Although the exact position of the reactive amino acid (probably a glutamic acid) has not yet been determined, the data, together with recently obtained immuno reactions and sequences of Cyanogen Bromide (CNBr) fragments from E.coli F-ATPase, suggested subunit interactions in the halobacterial ATPase which had not been recognized before. They also provided evidence for the presence of a gamma subunit in the halobacterial ATPase, and for a stretch of a amino acids similar to the catch between beta and gamma in bovine F-ATPase. The evolutionary implications of these findings are twofold: first, halobacterial (or archaebacterial) ATPases appear as complex as those from higher organisms - no simpler versions of these membrane enzymes are known to date; second, a monophyletic origin of the energy-transducing ATPases is becoming more apparent, and - together with other data - the split into V- and F-ATPases may have occurred much later than had been previously thought (i.e., after the split into Archaea and Bacteria). Other work included the characterization of an extremely halophilic isolate (Halococcus salifodinae) from Permian salt sediments. This organism appeared to be an autotrophic halobacterium; its incorporation of C02 was investigated.

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