Chimeric nitrogenase-like enzymes of (bacterio)chlorophyll biosynthesis.
ABSTRACT: Nitrogenase-like light-independent protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (DPOR) is involved in chlorophyll biosynthesis. Bacteriochlorophyll formation additionally requires the structurally related chlorophyllide oxidoreductase (COR). During catalysis, homodimeric subunit BchL(2) or ChlL(2) of DPOR transfers electrons to the corresponding heterotetrameric catalytic subunit, (BchNB)(2) or (ChlNB)(2). Analogously, subunit BchX(2) of the COR enzymes delivers electrons to subunit (BchYZ)(2). Various chimeric DPOR enzymes formed between recombinant subunits (BchNB)(2) and BchL(2) from Chlorobaculum tepidum or (ChlNB)(2) and ChlL(2) from Prochlorococcus marinus and Thermosynechococcus elongatus were found to be enzymatically active, indicating a conserved docking surface for the interaction of both DPOR protein subunits. Biotin label transfer experiments revealed the interaction of P. marinus ChlL(2) with both subunits, ChlN and ChlB, of the (ChlNB)(2) tetramer. Based on these findings and on structural information from the homologous nitrogenase system, a site-directed mutagenesis approach yielded 10 DPOR mutants for the characterization of amino acid residues involved in protein-protein interaction. Surface-exposed residues Tyr(127) of subunit ChlL, Leu(70) and Val(107) of subunit ChlN, and Gly(66) of subunit ChlB were found essential for P. marinus DPOR activity. Next, the BchL(2) or ChlL(2) part of DPOR was exchanged with electron-transferring BchX(2) subunits of COR and NifH(2) of nitrogenase. Active chimeric DPOR was generated via a combination of BchX(2) from C. tepidum or Roseobacter denitrificans with (BchNB)(2) from C. tepidum. No DPOR activity was observed for the chimeric enzyme consisting of NifH(2) from Azotobacter vinelandii in combination with (BchNB)(2) from C. tepidum or (ChlNB)(2) from P. marinus and T. elongatus, respectively.
Project description:During (bacterio)chlorophyll biosynthesis of many photosynthetically active organisms, dark operative protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (DPOR) catalyzes the two-electron reduction of ring D of protochlorophyllide to form chlorophyllide. DPOR is composed of the subunits ChlL, ChlN, and ChlB. Homodimeric ChlL(2) bearing an intersubunit [4Fe-4S] cluster is an ATP-dependent reductase transferring single electrons to the heterotetrameric (ChlN/ChlB)(2) complex. The latter contains two intersubunit [4Fe-4S] clusters and two protochlorophyllide binding sites, respectively. Here we present the crystal structure of the catalytic (ChlN/ChlB)(2) complex of DPOR from the cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus at a resolution of 2.4 A. Subunits ChlN and ChlB exhibit a related architecture of three subdomains each built around a central, parallel beta-sheet surrounded by alpha-helices. The (ChlN/ChlB)(2) crystal structure reveals a [4Fe-4S] cluster coordinated by an aspartate oxygen alongside three cysteine ligands. Two equivalent substrate binding sites enriched in aromatic residues for protochlorophyllide substrate binding are located at the interface of each ChlN/ChlB half-tetramer. The complete octameric (ChlN/ChlB)(2)(ChlL(2))(2) complex of DPOR was modeled based on the crystal structure and earlier functional studies. The electron transfer pathway via the various redox centers of DPOR to the substrate is proposed.
Project description:Bacteriochlorophyll a biosynthesis requires the stereo- and regiospecific two electron reduction of the C7-C8 double bond of chlorophyllide a by the nitrogenase-like multisubunit metalloenzyme, chlorophyllide a oxidoreductase (COR). ATP-dependent COR catalysis requires interaction of the protein subcomplex (BchX)2 with the catalytic (BchY/BchZ)2 protein to facilitate substrate reduction via two redox active iron-sulfur centers. The ternary COR enzyme holocomplex comprising subunits BchX, BchY, and BchZ from the purple bacterium Roseobacter denitrificans was trapped in the presence of the ATP transition state analog ADP·AlF4(-). Electron paramagnetic resonance experiments revealed a [4Fe-4S] cluster of subcomplex (BchX)2. A second [4Fe-4S] cluster was identified on (BchY/BchZ)2. Mutagenesis experiments indicated that the latter is ligated by four cysteines, which is in contrast to the three cysteine/one aspartate ligation pattern of the closely related dark-operative protochlorophyllide a oxidoreductase (DPOR). In subsequent mutagenesis experiments a DPOR-like aspartate ligation pattern was implemented for the catalytic [4Fe-4S] cluster of COR. Artificial cluster formation for this inactive COR variant was demonstrated spectroscopically. A series of chemically modified substrate molecules with altered substituents on the individual pyrrole rings and the isocyclic ring were tested as COR substrates. The COR enzyme was still able to reduce the B ring of substrates carrying modified substituents on ring systems A, C, and E. However, substrates with a modification of the distantly located propionate side chain were not accepted. A tentative substrate binding mode was concluded in analogy to the related DPOR system.
Project description:Microbial life in exposed terrestrial surface layers in continental Antarctica is faced with extreme environmental conditions, including scarcity of organic matter. Bacteria in these exposed settings can therefore be expected to use alternative energy sources such as solar energy, abundant during the austral summer. Using Illumina MiSeq sequencing, we assessed the diversity and abundance of four conserved protein encoding genes involved in different key steps of light-harvesting pathways dependent on (bacterio)chlorophyll (pufM, bchL/chlL, and bchX genes) and rhodopsins (actinorhodopsin genes), in exposed soils from the Sør Rondane Mountains, East Antarctica. Analysis of pufM genes, encoding a subunit of the type 2 photochemical reaction center found in anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria, revealed a broad diversity, dominated by Roseobacter- and Loktanella-like sequences. The bchL and chlL, involved in (bacterio)chlorophyll synthesis, on the other hand, showed a high relative abundance of either cyanobacterial or green algal trebouxiophyceael chlL reads, depending on the sample, while most bchX sequences belonged mostly to previously unidentified phylotypes. Rhodopsin-containing phototrophic bacteria could not be detected in the samples. Our results, while suggesting that Cyanobacteria and green algae are the main phototrophic groups, show that light-harvesting bacteria are nevertheless very diverse in microbial communities in Antarctic soils.
Project description:Dark-operative protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (DPOR) is a key enzyme to produce chlorophyll in the dark. Among photosynthetic eukaryotes, all three subunits chlL, chlN, and chlB are encoded by plastid genomes. In some gymnosperms, two codons of chlB mRNA are changed by RNA editing to codons encoding evolutionarily conserved amino acid residues. However, the effect of these substitutions on DPOR activity remains unknown. We first prepared cyanobacterial ChlB variants with amino acid substitution(s) to mimic ChlB translated from pre-edited mRNA. Their activities were evaluated by measuring chlorophyll content of dark-grown transformants of a chlB-lacking mutant of the cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya boryana that was complemented with pre-edited mimic chlB variants. The chlorophyll content of the transformant cells expressing the ChlB variant from the fully pre-edited mRNA was only one-fourth of the control cells. Co-purification experiments of ChlB with Strep-ChlN suggested that a stable complex with ChlN is greatly impaired in the substituted ChlB variant. We then confirmed that RNA editing efficiency was markedly greater in the dark than in the light in cotyledons of the black pine Pinus thunbergii. These results indicate that RNA editing on chlB mRNA is important to maintain appropriate DPOR activity in black pine chloroplasts.
Project description:The bchA locus of Rhodobacter capsulatus codes for the chlorin reductase enzyme in the bacteriochlorophyll synthesis pathway. Previous work has suggested that this locus might encompass a single gene. We have sequenced the bchA locus and found it to contain three coding segments, which we designate bchX, bchY, and bchZ. Each coding segment contains its own translational initiation sequence and follows codon utilization patterns consistent with those of previously published R. capsulatus genes. When various regions of the bchA locus and flanking sequences were subcloned into an expression vector and expressed in Escherichia coli, the three coding segments were all expressed as separate peptides. Finally, conservation of amino acid sequences between bchX and a subunit of the protochlorophyllide reductase (bchL, 34% identity) and the nitrogenase Fe protein (nifH, 30 to 37% identity) suggests structural and mechanistic commonalities among all three proteins.
Project description:Chlorophyllous pigments are essential for photosynthesis. Bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) b has the characteristic C8-ethylidene group and therefore is the sole naturally occurring pigment having an absorption maximum at near-infrared light wavelength. Here we report that chlorophyllide a oxidoreductase (COR), a nitrogenase-like enzyme, showed distinct substrate recognition and catalytic reaction between BChl a- and b-producing proteobacteria. COR from BChl b-producing Blastochloris viridis synthesized the C8-ethylidene group from 8-vinyl-chlorophyllide a. In contrast, despite the highly conserved primary structures, COR from BChl a-producing Rhodobacter capsulatus catalyzes the C8-vinyl reduction as well as the previously known reaction of the C7 = C8 double bond reduction on 8-vinyl-chlorophyllide a. The present data indicate that the plasticity of the nitrogenase-like enzyme caused the branched pathways of BChls a and b biosynthesis, ultimately leading to ecologically different niches of BChl a- and b-based photosynthesis differentiated by more than 150?nm wavelength.
Project description:Photosynthesis uses chlorophylls for the conversion of light into chemical energy, the driving force of life on Earth. During chlorophyll biosynthesis in photosynthetic bacteria, cyanobacteria, green algae and gymnosperms, dark-operative protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (DPOR), a nitrogenase-like metalloenzyme, catalyzes the chemically challenging two-electron reduction of the fully conjugated ring system of protochlorophyllide a. The reduction of the C-17=C-18 double bond results in the characteristic ring architecture of all chlorophylls, thereby altering the absorption properties of the molecule and providing the basis for light-capturing and energy-transduction processes of photosynthesis. We report the X-ray crystallographic structure of the substrate-bound, ADP-aluminium fluoride-stabilized (ADP·AlF(3)-stabilized) transition state complex between the DPOR components L(2) and (NB)(2) from the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus marinus. Our analysis permits a thorough investigation of the dynamic interplay between L(2) and (NB)(2). Upon complex formation, substantial ATP-dependent conformational rearrangements of L(2) trigger the protein-protein interactions with (NB)(2) as well as the electron transduction via redox-active [4Fe-4S] clusters. We also present the identification of artificial "small-molecule substrates" of DPOR in correlation with those of nitrogenase. The catalytic differences and similarities between DPOR and nitrogenase have broad implications for the energy transduction mechanism of related multiprotein complexes that are involved in the reduction of chemically stable double and/or triple bonds.
Project description:Recent studies highlight the diversity and significance of marine phototrophic microorganisms such as picocyanobacteria, phototrophic picoeukaryotes, and bacteriochlorophyll- and rhodopsin-holding phototrophic bacteria. To assess if freshwater ecosystems also harbor similar phototroph diversity, genes involved in the biosynthesis of bacteriochlorophyll and chlorophyll were targeted to explore oxygenic and aerobic anoxygenic phototroph composition in a wide range of lakes. Partial dark-operative protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (DPOR) and chlorophyllide oxidoreductase (COR) genes in bacteria of seven lakes with contrasting trophic statuses were PCR amplified, cloned, and sequenced. Out of 61 sequences encoding the L subunit of DPOR (L-DPOR), 22 clustered with aerobic anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria, whereas 39 L-DPOR sequences related to oxygenic phototrophs, like cyanobacteria, were observed. Phylogenetic analysis revealed clear separation of these freshwater L-DPOR genes as well as 11 COR gene sequences from their marine counterparts. Terminal restriction fragment length analysis of L-DPOR genes was used to characterize oxygenic aerobic and anoxygenic photosynthesizing populations in 20 lakes differing in physical and chemical characteristics. Significant differences in L-DPOR community composition were observed between dystrophic lakes and all other systems, where a higher proportion of genes affiliated with aerobic anoxygenic photosynthetic bacteria was observed than in other systems. Our results reveal a significant diversity of phototrophic microorganisms in lakes and suggest niche partitioning of oxygenic and aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs in these systems in response to trophic status and coupled differences in light regime.
Project description:We present the nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of four contiguous bacteriochlorophyll synthesis genes from Rhodobacter capsulatus. Three of these genes code for enzymes which catalyze reactions common to the chlorophyll synthesis pathway and therefore are likely to be found in plants and cyanobacteria as well. The pigments accumulated in strains with physically mapped transposon insertion mutations are analyzed by absorbance and fluorescence spectroscopy, allowing us to assign the genes as bchF, bchN, bchB, and bchH, in that order. bchF encodes a bacteriochlorophyll alpha-specific enzyme that adds water across the 2-vinyl group. The other three genes are required for portions of the pathway that are shared with chlorophyll synthesis, and they were expected to be common to both pathways. bchN and bchB are required for protochlorophyllide reduction in the dark (along with bchL), a reaction that has been observed in all major groups of photosynthetic organisms except angiosperms, where only the light-dependent reaction has been clearly established. The purple bacterial and plant enzymes show 35% identity between the amino acids coded by bchN and chlN (gidA) and 49% identity between the amino acids coded by bchL and chlL (frxC). Furthermore, bchB is 33% identical to ORF513 from the Marchantia polymorpha chloroplast. We present arguments in favor of the probable role of ORF513 (chlB) in protochlorophyllide reduction in the dark. The further similarities of all three subunits of protochlorophyllide reductase and the three subunits of chlorin reductase in bacteriochlorophyll synthesis suggest that the two reductase systems are derived from a common ancestor.
Project description:The engineering of transgenic organisms with the ability to fix nitrogen is an attractive possibility. However, oxygen sensitivity of nitrogenase, mainly conferred by the reductase component (NifH)2 , is an imminent problem. Nitrogenase-like enzymes involved in coenzyme F430 and chlorophyll biosynthesis utilize the highly homologous reductases (CfbC)2 and (ChlL)2 , respectively. Chimeric protein-protein interactions of these reductases with the catalytic component of nitrogenase (MoFe protein) did not support nitrogenase activity. Nucleotide-dependent association and dissociation of these complexes was investigated, but (CfbC)2 and wild-type (ChlL)2 showed no modulation of the binding affinity. By contrast, the interaction between the (ChlL)2 mutant Y127S and the MoFe protein was markedly increased in the presence of ATP (or ATP analogues) and reduced in the ADP state. Upon formation of the octameric (ChlL)2 MoFe(ChlL)2 complex, the ATPase activity of this variant is triggered, as seen in the homologous nitrogenase system. Thus, the described reductase(s) might be an attractive tool for further elucidation of the diverse functions of (NifH)2 and the rational design of a more robust reductase.