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J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2003 May-Jun;50(3):210-4.

Analysis of genes of mitochondrial origin in the genus Entamoeba.

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Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK.


The amitochondriate protistan parasite Entamoeba histolytica has lost most mitochondrial functions secondarily but has retained a reduced organelle of mitochondrial origin, the mitosome. We here investigate the presence, origins, and expression in other species of Entamoeba of three genes of mitochondrial origin--pyridine nucleotide transhydrogenase and the mitochondrial-type chaperonins cpn60 and hsp70. The genes appear to be present in all species and specifically related, confirming that the E. histolytica mitosomal genes were not acquired recently by lateral transfer from another organism. Detection of expression was not possible in all cases under the culture conditions used, but several genes were induced during recovery from exposure to a heat shock. This includes the transhydrogenase, which to our knowledge has not been shown previously to be a heat-shock protein.

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