Endosymbiosis and the design of eukaryotic electron transport.

Biochimica et biophysica acta

PubMedID: 14507427

Berry S. Endosymbiosis and the design of eukaryotic electron transport. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003;1606(1-3):57-72.
The bioenergetic organelles of eukaryotic cells, mitochondria and chloroplasts, are derived from endosymbiotic bacteria. Their electron transport chains (ETCs) resemble those of free-living bacteria, but were tailored for energy transformation within the host cell. Parallel evolutionary processes in mitochondria and chloroplasts include reductive as well as expansive events: On one hand, bacterial complexes were lost in eukaryotes with a concomitant loss of metabolic flexibility. On the other hand, new subunits have been added to the remaining bacterial complexes, new complexes have been introduced, and elaborate folding patterns of the thylakoid and mitochondrial inner membranes have emerged. Some bacterial pathways were reinvented independently by eukaryotes, such as parallel routes for quinol oxidation or the use of various anaerobic electron acceptors. Multicellular organization and ontogenetic cycles in eukaryotes gave rise to further modifications of the bioenergetic organelles. Besides mitochondria and chloroplasts, eukaryotes have ETCs in other membranes, such as the plasma membrane (PM) redox system, or the cytochrome P450 (CYP) system. These systems have fewer complexes and simpler branching patterns than those in energy-transforming organelles, and they are often adapted to non-bioenergetic functions such as detoxification or cellular defense.