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J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2004 May-Jun;51(3):364-73.

Evolutionary origins of Hsp90 chaperones and a deep paralogy in their bacterial ancestors.

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University of Oxford, Department of Zoology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, United Kingdom.


The 82-90 kD family of molecular chaperone proteins has homologs in eukaryotes (Hsp90) and many eubacteria (HtpG) but not in Archaebacteria. We used representatives of all four different eukaryotic paralogs (cytosolic, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), chloroplast, mitochondrial) together with numerous eubacterial HtpG proteins for phylogenetic analyses to investigate their evolutionary origins. Our trees confirm that none of the organellar Hsp90s derives from the endosymbionts of early eukaryotes. Contrary to previous suggestions of distant origins through lateral gene transfer (LGT) all eukaryote Hsp90s are related to Gram-positive eubacterial HtpG proteins. The nucleocytosolic, ER and chloroplast Hsp90 paralogs are clearly mutually related. The origin of mitochondrial Hsp90 is more obscure, as these sequences are deeply nested within eubacteria. Our trees also reveal a deep split within eubacteria into a group of mainly long-branching sequences (including the eukaryote mitochondrial Hsp90s) and another group comprising exclusively short-branching HtpG proteins, from which the cytosolic/ER versions probably arose. Both versions are present in several eubacterial phyla, suggesting gene duplication very early in eubacterial evolution and multiple independent losses thereafter. We identified one probable case of LGT within eubacteria. However, multiple losses can simply explain the evolutionary pattern of the eubacterial HtpG paralogs and predominate over LGT. We suggest that the actinobacterial ancestor of eukaryotes harbored genes for both eubacterial HtpG paralogs, as the actinobacterium Streptomyces coelicolor still does; one could have given rise to the mitochondrial Hsp90 and the other, following another duplication event in the ancestral eukaryote, to the cytosolic and ER Hsp90 homologs.

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