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Evolutionary perspective on mammalian inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) biology

Borghi, Filipy; Saiardi, Adolfo; (2023) Evolutionary perspective on mammalian inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) biology. Biochemical Society Transactions 10.1042/BST20230483. Green open access

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Abstract

Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP), the polymeric form of phosphate, is attracting ever-growing attention due to the many functions it appears to perform within mammalian cells. This essay does not aim to systematically review the copious mammalian polyP literature. Instead, we examined polyP synthesis and functions in various microorganisms and used an evolutionary perspective to theorise key issues of this field and propose solutions. By highlighting the presence of VTC4 in distinct species of very divergent eucaryote clades (Opisthokonta, Viridiplantae, Discoba, and the SAR), we propose that whilst polyP synthesising machinery was present in the ancestral eukaryote, most lineages subsequently lost it during evolution. The analysis of the bacteria-acquired amoeba PPK1 and its unique polyP physiology suggests that eukaryote cells must have developed mechanisms to limit cytosolic polyP accumulation. We reviewed the literature on polyP in the mitochondria from the perspective of its endosymbiotic origin from bacteria, highlighting how mitochondria could possess a polyP physiology reminiscent of their 'bacterial' beginning that is not yet investigated. Finally, we emphasised the similarities that the anionic polyP shares with the better-understood negatively charged polymers DNA and RNA, postulating that the nucleus offers an ideal environment where polyP physiology might thrive.

Type: Article
Title: Evolutionary perspective on mammalian inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) biology
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1042/BST20230483
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1042/BST20230483
Language: English
Additional information: Open access for this article was enabled by the participation of University College London in an all-inclusive Read & Publish agreement with Portland Press and the Biochemical Society under a transformative agreement with JISC.
Keywords: evolution, inorganic polyphosphate, inositol pyrophosphate, metabolism, mitochondria, nucleus
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Lab for Molecular Cell Bio MRC-UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10179589
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