Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 41, Issue 6, pp 760–774 | Cite as

Molecular evolution of the histidine biosynthetic pathway

  • Renato Fani
  • Pietro Liò
  • Antonio Lazcano
Articles

Abstract

The available sequences of genes encoding the enzymes associated with histidine biosynthesis suggest that this is an ancient metabolic pathway that was assembled prior to the diversification of the Bacteria, Archaea, and Eucarya. Paralogous duplications, gene elongation, and fusion events involving different his genes have played a major role in shaping this biosynthetic route. Evidence that the hisA and the hisF genes and their homologues are the result of two successive duplication events that apparently took place before the separation of the three cellular lineages is extended. These two successive gene duplication events as well as the homology between the hisH genes and the sequences encoding the TrpG-type amidotransferases support the idea that during the early stages of metabolic evolution at least parts of the histidine biosynthetic pathway were mediated by enzymes of broader substrate specificities. Maximum likelihood trees calculated for the available sequences of genes encoding these enzymes have been obtained. Their topologies support the possibility of an evolutionary proximity of archaebacteria with low GC Gram-positive bacteria. This observation is consistent with those detected by other workers using the sequences of heat-shock proteins (HSP70), glutamine synthetases, glutamate dehydrogenases, and carbamoylphosphate synthetases.

Key words

Histidine biosynthesis Evolution of metabolic pathways Molecular evolution 

Abbreviations

as

amino acid

ORF

open reading frame

bp

base pair

kb

103 bp

CarA

carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (EC 6.3.5.5)

GAT

glutamine amidotransferase

GuaA

GMP synthetase (EC 6.3.4.1)

PabA

4-amino-4-deoxychorismate synthase (EC 4.1.3-)

PyrG

GTP synthetase (EC 6.3.4.2)

AICAR

5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-l-β-d ribofuranosyl 5′-monophosphate

HAL

l-histidinal

HOL

l-histidinol

HP

histidinol phosphate

IAP

imidazole acetol-phosphate

IGP

imidazole glycerol phosphate

PR

phosphoribosyl

PRFAR

N-[(5′-phosphoribulosyl) formimino]-5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide

5′-ProFAR

N1-[(5′-phosphoribosyl) formimino]-5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide

PRPP

phosphoribosyl-pyrophosphate

RFLP

restriction fragment length polymorphism

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renato Fani
    • 1
  • Pietro Liò
    • 1
  • Antonio Lazcano
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e GeneticaUniversità degli Studi di FirenzeFirenzeItaly
  2. 2.Facultad de CienciasUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMéxicoMexico

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