Publications - Published papers

Please find below publications of our group. Currently, we list 53 papers. Some of the publications are in collaboration with the group of Peter Stadler and are also listed in the publication list for his group. Access to published papers (access) is restricted to our local network and chosen collaborators.
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The ancestor of modern Holozoa acquired the CCA-adding enzyme from Alphaproteobacteria by horizontal gene transfer

Heike Betat, Tobias Mede, Sandy Tretbar, Lydia Steiner, Peter F. Stadler, Mario Mörl, and Sonja J. Prohaska

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Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Jun 27. pii: gkv631

Abstract


Transfer RNAs (tRNAs) require the absolutely conserved sequence motif CCA at their 3′-ends, representing the site of aminoacylation. In the majority of organisms, this trinucleotide sequence is not encoded in the genome and thus has to be added post-transcriptionally by the CCA-adding enzyme, a specialized nucleotidyltransferase. In eukaryotic genomes this ubiquitous and highly conserved enzyme family is usually represented by a single gene copy. Analysis of published sequence data allows us to pin down the unusual evolution of eukaryotic CCA-adding enzymes. We show that the CCA-adding enzymes of animals originated from a horizontal gene transfer event in the stem lineage of Holozoa, i.e. Metazoa (animals) and their unicellular relatives, the Choanozoa. The tRNA nucleotidyltransferase, acquired from an α-proteobacterium, replaced the ancestral enzyme in Metazoa. However, in Choanoflagellata, the group of Choanozoa that is closest to Metazoa, both the ancestral and the horizontally transferred CCA-adding enzymes have survived. Furthermore, our data refute a mitochondrial origin of the animal tRNA nucleotidyltransferases.

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