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During the endosymbiotic evolution of mitochondria, the genes for aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases were transferred to the ancestral nucleus. A further reduction of mitochondrial function resulted in mitochondrion-related organisms (MRO) with a loss of the organelle genome. The fate of the now redundant ancestral mitochondrial aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase genes is uncertain. The derived protein sequence for arginyl-tRNA synthetase from thirty mitosomal organisms have been classified as originating from the ancestral nuclear or mitochondrial gene and compared to the identity element at position 20 of the cognate tRNA that distinguishes the two enzyme forms. The evolutionary choice between loss and retention of the ancestral mitochondrial gene for arginyl-tRNA synthetase reflects the coevolution of arginyl-tRNA synthetase and tRNA identity elements. © 2021. The Author(s).


Gabor L Igloi. The Evolutionary Fate of Mitochondrial Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases in Amitochondrial Organisms. Journal of molecular evolution. 2021 Aug;89(7):484-493

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PMID: 34254168

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