A small Tim homohexamer in the relict mitochondrion of Cryptosporidium

Felicity Alcock, Chaille Webb, Pavel Dolezal, Victoria L Hewitt, Miguel A Shingu-Vazquez, Vladimir Likic, Ana Traven, Trevor J Lithgow

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17 Citations (Scopus)


The apicomplexan parasite Cryptosporidium parvum possesses a mitosome, a relict mitochondrion with a greatly reduced metabolic capability. This mitosome houses a mitochondrial-type protein import apparatus, but elements of the protein import pathway have been reduced, and even lost, through evolution. The small Tim protein family is a case in point. The genomes of C. parvum and related species of Cryptosporidium each encode just one small Tim protein, CpTimS. This observation challenged the tenet that small Tim proteins are always found in pairs as alpha(3)beta(3) hexamers. We show that the atypical CpTimS exists as a relatively unstable homohexamer, shedding light both on the early evolution of the small Tim protein family and on small Tim hexamer formation in contemporary eukaryotes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113 - 122
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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