Evolution of the bacterial phosphotransferase system: from carriers and enzymes to group translocators

Biochem Soc Trans. 2005 Feb;33(Pt 1):220-4. doi: 10.1042/BST0330220.


The bacterial phosphotransferase system (PTS) is a structurally and functionally complex system with a surprising evolutionary history. The substrate-recognizing protein constituents of the PTS (Enzymes II) derive from at least four independent sources. Some of the non-PTS precursor constituents have been identified, and evolutionary pathways taken have been proposed. Our analyses suggest that two of these independently evolving systems are still in transition, not yet having acquired the full-fledged characteristics of PTS Enzyme II complexes. The work described provides detailed insight into the process of catalytic protein evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / enzymology*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / genetics
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Phosphotransferases / genetics
  • Phosphotransferases / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Phosphotransferases