The origin of eukaryotes is one of the central transitions in the history of life; without eukaryotes there would be no complex multicellular life. The most accepted scenarios suggest the endosymbiosis of a mitochondrial ancestor with a complex archaeon, even though the details regarding the host and the triggering factors are still being discussed. Accordingly, phylogenetic analyses have demonstrated archaeal affiliations with key informational systems, while metabolic genes are often related to bacteria, mostly to the mitochondrial ancestor. Despite of this, there exists a large number of protein families and folds found only in eukaryotes. In this study, we have analyzed structural superfamilies and folds that probably appeared during eukaryogenesis. These folds typically represent relatively small binding domains of larger multidomain proteins. They are commonly involved in biological processes that are particularly complex in eukaryotes, such as signaling, trafficking/cytoskeleton, ubiquitination, transcription and RNA processing, but according to recent studies, these processes also have prokaryotic roots. Thus the folds originating from an eukaryotic stem seem to represent accessory parts that have contributed in the exp...Continue Reading
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Recent advances in genomic sequencing has led to the discovery of new strains of Archaea and shed light on their evolutionary history. Discover the latest research on Archaeogenetics here.