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Centre for Extremophile Research

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Multienzyme Complexes in the Archaea

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CER Team






Staff - Prof. Michael Danson, Dr David Hough, Dr Alex Jeffries.

Archaeal genes have been found by members of the CER and collaborators that show siginificant identity to bacterial and eukaryotic 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase complexes. This family of enzyme complexes have been shown to serve catabolic roles in central metabolism pathways. The arrangement of the genes in operons, the presence of sequence elements such as promoters, conservation of functional amino acid residues and the predicted protein domain structure and observed enzymic activity of some of the seperate components, all elude to the presence of functional 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase complexes.

The evidence for these functional enzyme complexes in archaea suggests its presence in aerobic members of all three domains of life (Bacteria, Archaea and Eukaryotes) and in the common ancestor of the archaea and bacteria.

Expression vectors for the halophilic archaea are available, and functional expression of these genes from thermophilic archaea has been achieved in E.coli. Substrate specificity for the 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase, and other complexes from the archaea, is currently being determined.

2-oxoacid dehydrogenase complexes

2-oxoacid dehydrogenase genes


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