Low-carbon acclimation in carboxysome-less and photorespiratory mutants of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803.
ABSTRACT Using metabolic and transcriptomic phenotyping, we studied acclimation of cyanobacteria to low inorganic carbon (LC) conditions and the requirements for coordinated alteration of metabolism and gene expression. To analyse possible metabolic signals for LC sensing and compensating reactions, the carboxysome-less mutant ΔccmM and the photorespiratory mutant ΔglcD1/D2 were compared with wild-type (WT) Synechocystis. Metabolic phenotyping revealed accumulation of 2-phosphoglycolate (2PG) in ΔccmM and of glycolate in ΔglcD1/D2 in LC- but also in high inorganic carbon (HC)-grown mutant cells. The accumulation of photorespiratory metabolites provided evidence for the oxygenase activity of RubisCO at HC. The global gene expression patterns of HC-grown ΔccmM and ΔglcD1/D2 showed differential expression of many genes involved in photosynthesis, high-light stress and N assimilation. In contrast, the transcripts of LC-specific genes, such as those for inorganic carbon transporters and components of the carbon-concentrating mechanism (CCM), remained unchanged in HC cells. After a shift to LC, ΔglcD1/D2 and WT cells displayed induction of many of the LC-inducible genes, whereas ΔccmM lacked similar changes in expression. From the coincidence of the presence of 2PG in ΔccmM without CCM induction and of glycolate in ΔglcD1/D2 with CCM induction, we regard a direct role for 2PG as a metabolic signal for the induction of CCM during LC acclimation as less likely. Instead, our data suggest a potential role for glycolate as a signal molecule for enhanced expression of CCM genes.
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ABSTRACT: The cornerstone of autotrophy, the CO(2)-fixing enzyme, d-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), is hamstrung by slow catalysis and confusion between CO(2) and O(2) as substrates, an "abominably perplexing" puzzle, in Darwin's parlance. Here we argue that these characteristics stem from difficulty in binding the featureless CO(2) molecule, which forces specificity for the gaseous substrate to be determined largely or completely in the transition state. We hypothesize that natural selection for greater CO(2)/O(2) specificity, in response to reducing atmospheric CO(2):O(2) ratios, has resulted in a transition state for CO(2) addition in which the CO(2) moiety closely resembles a carboxylate group. This maximizes the structural difference between the transition states for carboxylation and the competing oxygenation, allowing better differentiation between them. However, increasing structural similarity between the carboxylation transition state and its carboxyketone product exposes the carboxyketone to the strong binding required to stabilize the transition state and causes the carboxyketone intermediate to bind so tightly that its cleavage to products is slowed. We assert that all Rubiscos may be nearly perfectly adapted to the differing CO(2), O(2), and thermal conditions in their subcellular environments, optimizing this compromise between CO(2)/O(2) specificity and the maximum rate of catalytic turnover. Our hypothesis explains the feeble rate enhancement displayed by Rubisco in processing the exogenously supplied carboxyketone intermediate, compared with its nonenzymatic hydrolysis, and the positive correlation between CO(2)/O(2) specificity and (12)C/(13)C fractionation. It further predicts that, because a more product-like transition state is more ordered (decreased entropy), the effectiveness of this strategy will deteriorate with increasing temperature.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2006; 103(19):7246-51. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Disruption of the ccmM gene in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 causes a deficiency of carboxysomes and impairs growth in ambient CO2. The effect of this gene defect on cellular metabolism was investigated using electron microscopy, biochemical and fluorescence analysis. Mutant cells were devoid of the characteristic dense polyhedral bodies called carboxysomes. The photosynthetic oxygen evolution was considerably lower in mutant cells compared to wild type, while Rubisco activity in cell extracts was similar. During photosynthetic CO2-dependent oxygen evolution, Rubisco Vmax dropped from 142 micromol mg-1 chlorophyll h-1 (WT) to 77 micromol mg-1 chlorophyll h-1 in the mutant cells, and the Km for Ci (inorganic carbon) increased from 0.5 mM (WT) to 40 mM. The fluorescent indicator, acridine yellow, was used for non-invasive measurements of cytoplasmic pH changes in whole cells induced by addition of Ci, making use of the decrease in fluorescence yield that accompanies cytoplasmic acidification. The experimental results indicate that control of the cytoplasmic pH is linked to the internal carbon pool (Ci). Both wild-type and ccmM-deficient cells showed a linear response of acridine yellow fluorescence quenching and, thus, of internal acidification, with respect to externally added inorganic carbon. However, the fluorescence analysis of mutant (carboxysome-free) cells indicated slower kinetics of Ci accumulation.Plant Biology 08/2005; 7(4):342-7. · 2.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The cmp operon of the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus strain PCC 7942, encoding the subunits of the ABC-type bicarbonate transporter, is activated under CO2-limited growth conditions in a manner dependent on CmpR, a LysR family transcription factor of CbbR subfamily. The 0.7 kb long regulatory region of the operon carried a single promoter, which responded to CO2 limitation. Using the luxAB reporter system, three cis-acting elements involved in the low-CO2 activation of transcription, each consisting of a pair of LysR recognition signatures overlapping at their ends, were identified in the regulatory region. CmpR was shown to bind to the regulatory region, yielding several DNA-protein complexes in gel shift assays. Addition of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (> 1 mM) or 2-phosphoglycolate (> 10 microM) enhanced the binding of CmpR in a concentration-dependent manner, promoting formation of large DNA-protein complexes. Given the involvement of O2 in adaptive responses of cyanobacteria to low-CO2 conditions, our results suggest that 2-phosphoglycolate, which is produced by oxygenation by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate under CO2-limited conditions, acts as the co-inducer in the activation of the cmp operon by CmpR.Molecular Microbiology 04/2008; 68(1):98-109. · 4.96 Impact Factor