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The archaeal-bacterial lipid divide, could a distinct lateral proton route hold the answer?

AuthorsMencía, Mario
Membrane lipids
Ester lipids
Lateral proton transfer
Membrane interface
Proton gradient
Issue Date2020
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationBiology Direct 15(1): 7 (2020)
AbstractThe archaea-bacteria lipid divide is one of the big evolutionary enigmas concerning these two domains of life. In short, bacterial membranes are made of fatty-acid esters whereas archaeal ones contain isoprenoid ethers, though at present we do not have a good understanding on why they evolved differently. The lateral proton transfer mode of energy transduction in membranes posits that protons utilize the solvation layer of the membrane interface as the main route between proton pumps and ATPases, avoiding dissipation of energy to the bulk phase. In this article I present the hypothesis on a proton-transport route through the ester groups of bacterial phospholipids as an explanation for the evolutionary divergence seen between bacteria and archaea.
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1186/s13062-020-00262-7
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