Cronan Lab: Lipoyl transfer has a "moonlighting" function -- that is, development of a new function while retaining the original function
The study's findings were recently published in PNAS
Our ideas of protein function have undergone a marked transformation with the discovery of an aspect of enzyme evolution called "moonlighting." That is, a protein can acquire a second (moonlighting) function without concomitantly losing all or part of its original function. Mutations can enhance the moonlighting function without necessarily eliminating the ancestral function. This paper shows that even a very small protein is capable of moonlighting. This protein functions in two otherwise unrelated pathways of central metabolism. A surprise is that even bacteria that utilize a different version of one of these pathways retain the moonlighting ability.
Posted February 24, 2018.