A gene encoding the plant-like alternative oxidase is present in Phytomonas but absent in Leishmania spp.

Jaap J. Van Hellemond, Bert Simons, Frank F. Millenaar, Aloysius G.M. Tielens*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The constituents of the respiratory chain are believed to differ among the trypanosomatids; bloodstream stages of African trypanosomes and Phytomonas promastigotes oxidize ubiquinol by a ubiquinol:oxygen oxidoreductase, also known as alternative oxidase, whereas Leishmania spp. oxidize ubiquinol via a classic cytochrome-containing respiratory chain. The molecular basis for this elementary difference in ubiquinol oxidation by the mitochondrial electron-transport chain in distinct trypanosomatids was investigated. The presence of a gene encoding the plant-like alternative oxidase could be demonstrated in Phytomonas and Trypanosoma brucei, trypanosomatids that are known to contain alternative oxidase activity. Our results further demonstrated that Leishmania spp. lack a gene encoding the plant-like alternative oxidase, and therefore, all stages of Leishmania spp. will lack the alternative oxidase protein. The observed fundamental differences between the respiratory chains of distinct members of the trypanosomatid family are thus caused by the presence or absence of a gene encoding the plant-like alternative oxidase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-430
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Eukaryotic Microbiology
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

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