A novel ubiquitous protein ‘chaperonin’ supports the endosymbiotic origin of mitochondrion and plant chloroplast
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The deduced amino acid sequences for a major mitochondrial protein (designated P1, related to the 'chaperonin' family of proteins) from human and Chinese hamster cells show extensive similarity (greater than 60% identity observed over the entire length) with a related protein present in evolutionarily as divergent organisms as Escherichia coli, Coxiella burnetii, Mycobacterium species, cyanobacteria as well as in yeast mitochondria and higher plant chloroplasts. Of the different groups of bacteria for which sequence data is available, maximum similarity of the mammalian/yeast P1 protein is observed with the corresponding protein from purple bacteria (especially C. burnetii) while the protein from plant chloroplasts exhibited highest similarity with the corresponding protein from cyanobacteria. The sequence data for this protein thus support the contention that the endosymbiont that gave rise to mitochondrion was a member of purple bacteria, while plant chloroplast originated from a member of the cyanobacterial lineage.
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