The coral Acropora loripes genome reveals an alternative pathway for cysteine biosynthesis in animals

Salazar, Octavio R., Prasanna N, Arun, Cui, Guoxin, Bay, Line K., van Oppen, Madeleine J.H., Webster, Nicole S., and Aranda, Manuel (2022) The coral Acropora loripes genome reveals an alternative pathway for cysteine biosynthesis in animals. Science Advances, 8 (38). eabq0304.

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Abstract

The metabolic capabilities of animals have been derived from well-studied model organisms and are generally considered to be well understood. In animals, cysteine is an important amino acid thought to be exclusively synthesized through the transsulfuration pathway. Corals of the genus Acropora have lost cystathionine β-synthase, a key enzyme of the transsulfuration pathway, and it was proposed that Acropora relies on the symbiosis with dinoflagellates of the family Symbiodiniaceae for the acquisition of cysteine. Here, we identify the existence of an alternative pathway for cysteine biosynthesis in animals through the analysis of the genome of the coral Acropora loripes. We demonstrate that these coral proteins are functional and synthesize cysteine in vivo, exhibiting previously unrecognized metabolic capabilities of animals. This pathway is also present in most animals but absent in mammals, arthropods, and nematodes, precisely the groups where most of the animal model organisms belong to, highlighting the risks of generalizing findings from model organisms.

Item ID: 76402
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2375-2548
Copyright Information: © 2022 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2023 02:56
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310999 Zoology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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