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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 2012, Article ID 256848, 14 pages
Review Article

On the Diversification of the Translation Apparatus across Eukaryotes

1Division of Basic Research, National Institute for Cancer (INCan), Avenida San Fernando No. 22, Col. Sección XVI, Tlalpan, 14080 Mexico City, Mexico
2Centre for Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Life Sciences Building (B85), Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
3Genome Biology Department, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, Building 131, Garran Road, Acton, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
4Goodman Cancer Centre and Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, 1160 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1A3
5Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University Health Centre, Royal Victoria Hospital, 687 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3A 1A1

Received 11 December 2011; Accepted 7 March 2012

Academic Editor: Brian Wigdahl

Copyright © 2012 Greco Hernández et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diversity is one of the most remarkable features of living organisms. Current assessments of eukaryote biodiversity reaches 1.5 million species, but the true figure could be several times that number. Diversity is ingrained in all stages and echelons of life, namely, the occupancy of ecological niches, behavioral patterns, body plans and organismal complexity, as well as metabolic needs and genetics. In this review, we will discuss that diversity also exists in a key biochemical process, translation, across eukaryotes. Translation is a fundamental process for all forms of life, and the basic components and mechanisms of translation in eukaryotes have been largely established upon the study of traditional, so-called model organisms. By using modern genome-wide, high-throughput technologies, recent studies of many nonmodel eukaryotes have unveiled a surprising diversity in the configuration of the translation apparatus across eukaryotes, showing that this apparatus is far from being evolutionarily static. For some of the components of this machinery, functional differences between different species have also been found. The recent research reviewed in this article highlights the molecular and functional diversification the translational machinery has undergone during eukaryotic evolution. A better understanding of all aspects of organismal diversity is key to a more profound knowledge of life.