The Hydrogenosomes


The hydrogenosomes are unusual organelles present in certain anaerobic unicellular eukaryotes such as trichomonads, cilliates, amoeboflagellates and fungi. They were discovered independetly at the Rockefeller University in New York (Lindmark and Muller, J. Biol. Chem., 248:7724-7728, 1973) and at the Charles University in Prague (Cerkasovova, A., Lukasova, G., Cerkasov J., and Kulda, J., J. Protozool., 20:537, 1973) more than 30 years ago.












However, the origin of these organelles is still question of debates:

1. Are they derivatives of mitochondria?

2. Did they evolve independently from anaerobic bacteria?

3. Did they derive from peroxisomes?

4. Did hydrogenosomes and mitochondria evolve from a common proteobacterial ancestor?


Our recent investigations of components mediating FeS cluster assembly in hydrogenosomes as well as discovery of NADH dehydrogenase modul of mitochondrial complex I favor #4 hypothesis.

Tachezy, J., Sanchez, L.C., Müller, M. 2001. Mitochondrial type iron-sulfur cluster assembly in the amitochondriate eukaryotes Trichomonas vaginalis and Giardia intestinalis indicated by the phylogeny of IscS, a key protein of this process. Mol. Biol. Evol. 18: 1919-1928. pubmed

Sutak, R., Dolezal, P., Fiumera, L.H., Hrdy, I., Dancis, A., Delgadillo-Correa, M., Johnson, P.J., Müller, M., Tachezy, J. 2004. Mitochondrial-type assembly of iron-sulfur centers in the hydrogenosomes of the amitochondriate eukaryote, Trichomonas vaginalis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 101: 10368-10373. pubmed

Hrdy, I., Hirt, R.P., Dolezal, P., Bardonova, L., Foster, P.G., Tachezy, J., Embley, M. 2004. Trichomonas hydrogenosomes contain the NADH dehydrogenase module of mitochondrial complex I. Nature, 432: 618-622. pubmed

Dolezal, P., Smid, O., Rada, P., Zubacova, Z., Bursac, D., Sutak, R., Nebesarova, J., Lithgow, T., Tachezy, J. 2005. Giardia mitosomes and trichomonad hydrogenosomes share a common mode of protein targeting. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2;102(31):10924-9. pubmed

Dolezal, P., Likic, V., Tachezy, J., Lithgow, T. 2006. Evolution of the molecular machines for protein import into mitochondria. Science. 313:314-318. pubmed

Pütz, S., Dolezal, P., Gelius-Dietrich, G., Bohacova, L., Tachezy, J., Henze, K. 2006. Fe-hydrogenase maturases in the hydrogenosomes of Trichomonas vaginalis . Eukariotic Cell. 5:579-586. pubmed