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Comparative Phylogeny of the NDH-1 Complexes of Cyanobacteria

Comparative Phylogeny of the NDH-1 Complexes of Cyanobacteria

Neil Miller

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

NDH-1 Complexes are a vital part of cellular respiration, with homologues found in all domains of life. They receive electrons from a reductant pool and utilize the redox energy to pump protons across a membrane. The generated proton motive force is then used to synthesize ATP. Cyanobacteria utilize these complexes in a unique way. Throughout their evolution subunits were copied and changed, providing the ability for CO2 hydration to HCO3-, allowing the accumulation of inorganic carbon inside the cell membrane to compensate for Rubisco’s poor affinity for CO2. While the functions of the complexes have been studied extensively, the evolution of the structure of CO2 hydrating complexes vs. respiratory complexes has not been explored. By comparing the sequences and putative structures of the CO2 hydrating subunits to well-studied NDH-1 complexes from Escherichia coli and Thermus thermophilus, the relationship between evolution, structure, and function of the Cyanobacterial NDH-1 complexes is explored.