The relationship of proteins
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry have for the first time uncovered the proteome of 100 organisms from all domains of life. Proteins control life as one of the most important biomolecules - as enzymes, receptors, signal or structural building blocks. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Biochemistry have for the first time uncovered the proteomes of 100 different organisms. The selected specimens come from all three domains of life: bacteria, archaeae and eukaryotes. Using mass spectrometry, 340,000 unique proteins were measured. Related proteins conserved througout evolution can now be compared quantitatively for the first time. The results were published in Nature.
What do the house mouse Mus Musculus, the organism Haloferax Mediterranei that lives in thermal springs and the intestinal bacterium Escherischia coli have in common? Nothing one would assume, because these three organisms are far distant in their evolutionary ancestry. Each belongs to one of the three different domains, the highest classification category of living organisms: eukaryotes, archaeae or bacteria. All three organisms use similar biomolecules called proteins which are important for their survival. In order to discover new similarities and differences between these and other organisms, researchers from the MPI of Biochemistry, in collaboration with research institutions from Munich and Copenhagen, have analyzed in addition to these three organisms, the proteome of a total of 100 organisms from all domains of life. The proteome is the sum total of the proteins of a cell or living organism. Johannes Müller, one of the two first authors of the study, explains: "Nowadays, evolutionary phylogeny is analysed on the basis of the similarity of certain gene segments. Genes, are the blueprints for proteins. With the current study we have looked at the different gene products, the proteins. We can now determine whether the individual organisms not only carry the building instructions for the proteins, but also produce them.”