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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Evolutionary relationships among eubacteria, cyanobacteria, and chloroplasts: evidence from the rpoC1 gene of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120.

RNA polymerases of cyanobacteria contain a novel core subunit, gamma, which is absent from the RNA polymerases of other eubacteria. The genes encoding the three largest subunits of RNA polymerase, including gamma, have been isolated from the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. The genes are linked in the order rpoB, rpoC1, rpoC2 and encode the beta, gamma, and beta' subunits, respectively. These genes are analogous to the rpoBC operon of Escherichia coli, but the functions of rpoC have been split in Anabaena between two genes, rpoC1 and rpoC2. The DNA sequence of the rpoC1 gene was determined and shows that the gamma subunit corresponds to the amino-terminal half of the E. coli beta' subunit. The gamma protein contains several conserved domains found in the largest subunits of all bacterial and eukaryotic RNA polymerases, including a potential zinc finger motif. The spliced rpoC1 gene from spinach chloroplast DNA was expressed in E. coli and shown to encode a protein immunologically related to Anabaena gamma. The similarities in the RNA polymerase gene products and gene organizations between cyanobacteria and chloroplasts support the cyanobacterial origin of chloroplasts and a divergent evolutionary pathway among eubacteria.[1]


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