Accelerated evolution of the electron transport chain in anthropoid primates

Bibliographic Collection: 
CARTA-Inspired Publication
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Grossman, L. I.; Wildman, D. E.; Schmidt, T. R.; Goodman, M.
Year of Publication: 2004
Journal: Trends Genet
Volume: 20
Edition: 2004/10/12
Number: 11
Pagination: 578-85
Date Published: Nov
Type of Article: Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 0168-9525 (Print)0168-95
Accession Number: 15475118
Keywords: Animals, Electron Transport Chain Complex Proteins/*genetics/physiology, Electron Transport Complex III/genetics/physiology, Electron Transport Complex IV/genetics/physiology, Evolution, Haplorhini/*genetics/physiology, Humans, Molecular, Phylogeny

Mitochondria are both the power plant of the cell and a central integrator of signals that govern the lifespan, replication and death of the cell. Perhaps as a consequence, genes that encode components of the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC) are generally conserved. Therefore, it is surprising that many of these genes in anthropoid primates (New World monkeys, Old World monkeys and apes, including humans) have been major targets of darwinian positive selection. Sequence comparisons have provided evidence that marked increases of non-synonymous substitution rates occurred in anthropoid ETC genes that encode subunits of Complex III and IV, and the electron carrier molecule cytochrome c (CYC). Two important questions are: (i) how has evolution altered ETC function? and; (ii) how might functional changes in the ETC be linked to evolution of an expanded neocortical brain?


EnglandTrends Genet. 2004 Nov;20(11):578-85.

Alternate Journal: Trends in genetics : TIG
Author Address:

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 540 East Canfield Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.