Dictyostelium discoideum mitochondrial DNA encodes a NADH

ubiquinone oxidoreductase subunit which is nuclear encoded in other eukaryotes

Robert A. Cole*, Martin B. Slade, Keith L. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)


Complex I, a key component of the mitochondrial electron transport system, is thought to have evolved from at least two separate enzyme systems prior to the evolution of mitochondria from a bacterial endosymbiont, but the genes for one of the enzyme systems are thought to have subsequently been transferred to the nuclear DNA. We demonstrated that the cellular slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum retains the ancestral characteristic of having mitochondria encoding at least one gene (80-kDa subunit) that is nuclear encoded in other eukaryotes. This is consistent with the cellular slime molds of the family Dictyosteliaceae having diverged from other eukaryotes at an early stage prior to the loss of the mitochondrial gene in the lineage giving rise to plants and animals. The D. discoideum mitochondrially encoded 80-kDa subunit of complex I exhibits a twofold-higher mutation rate compared with the homologous chromosomal gene in other eukaryotes, making it the most divergent eukaryotic form of this protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-621
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Molecular Evolution
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Complex I
  • Dictyostelium discoideum
  • Endosymbiotic
  • Mitochondrial evolution
  • NAD-reducing hydrogenase

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