Identification of camelid specific residues in mitochondrial ATP synthase subunits
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ATP synthase is an enzyme involved in oxidative phosphorylation from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells. In mammals it comprises at least 16 subunits from which the mitochondrial encoded ATP6 and ATP8 are essential. Mitochondrial genes variations have been suggested to allow rapid human and animal adaptation to new climates and dietary conditions (Mishmar et al. 2003). Camelidae taxa are uniquely adapted to extremely hot and dry climates of African-Asian territories and to cold and hypoxic environments of the South American Andean region. We sequenced and analyzed ATP6 and ATP8 genes in all camelid species. Based on the available structural data and evolutionary conservation of the deduced proteins we identified features proper of the group. In Old World camels the ATP8, important in the assembly of the F0 complex, showed a number of positively charged residues higher than in the other aligned species. In ATP6 we found the camelid specific substitutions Q47H and I106V that occur in sites highly conserved in other species. We speculate that these changes may have functional importance.
KeywordsCamelidae ATP6 and ATP8 Specific residues Environment adaptation
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