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J Biol Chem. 2013 Feb 15;288(7):5176-85. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M112.413617. Epub 2013 Jan 4.

Identification of a mammalian-type phosphatidylglycerophosphate phosphatase in the Eubacterium Rhodopirellula baltica.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


Cardiolipin is a glycerophospholipid found predominantly in the mitochondrial membranes of eukaryotes and in bacterial membranes. Cardiolipin interacts with protein complexes and plays pivotal roles in cellular energy metabolism, membrane dynamics, and stress responses. We recently identified the mitochondrial phosphatase, PTPMT1, as the enzyme that converts phosphatidylglycerolphosphate (PGP) to phosphatidylglycerol, a critical step in the de novo biosynthesis of cardiolipin. Upon examination of PTPMT1 evolutionary distribution, we found a PTPMT1-like phosphatase in the bacterium Rhodopirellula baltica. The purified recombinant enzyme dephosphorylated PGP in vitro. Moreover, its expression restored cardiolipin deficiency and reversed growth impairment in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant lacking the yeast PGP phosphatase, suggesting that it is a bona fide PTPMT1 ortholog. When ectopically expressed, this bacterial PGP phosphatase was localized in the mitochondria of yeast and mammalian cells. Together, our results demonstrate the conservation of function between bacterial and mammalian PTPMT1 orthologs.

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