Flow of excitation energy in the cryptophyte light-harvesting antenna phycocyanin 645.
ABSTRACT: We report a detailed description of the energy migration dynamics in the phycocyanin 645 (PC645) antenna complex from the photosynthetic alga Chroomonas CCMP270. Many of the cryptophyceae are known to populate greater depths than most other algal families, having developed a 99.5% efficient light-harvesting system. In this study, we used femtosecond time-resolved spectroscopy and global analysis to characterize the excited-state dynamics of PC645. Several different pump colors were selected to excite different fractions of the four phycobiliprotein pairs present in the complex. Measurements were also performed at cryogenic temperature to enhance spectral resolution and selectively promote downhill energy transfers. Upon excitation of the highest-energy bilins (dihydrobiliverdins), energy is transferred from the core of the complex to the periphery within 0.82 ps. Four bilins (mesobiliverdin (MBV) A/B and phycocyanobilins (PCB) 158C/D), which are responsible for the central band of the absorption spectrum, show concerted spectral dynamics. These chromophores show a biphasic decay with lifetimes of 0.6 ps (MBV) and 5-7 ps (PCB 158) to the lowest bilin pair (PCB 82C/D) absorbing around 650-657 nm. Within this lifetime of several picoseconds, the excitations reach the PCB 82 bilins on the two poles at the smaller sides of PC645. A slow 44-46 ps energy transfer step to the lowest-energy PCB 82 bilin concludes the dynamics.
Project description:The Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 genome encodes three genes, denoted cpcS-I, cpcU, cpcV, with sequence similarity to cpeS. CpcS-I copurified with His(6)-tagged (HT) CpcU as a heterodimer, CpcSU. When CpcSU was assayed for bilin lyase activity in vitro with phycocyanobilin (PCB) and apophycocyanin, the reaction product had an absorbance maximum of 622 nm and was highly fluorescent (lambda(max) = 643 nm). In control reactions with PCB and apophycocyanin, the products had absorption maxima at 635 nm and very low fluorescence yields, indicating they contained the more oxidized mesobiliverdin (Arciero, D. M., Bryant, D. A., and Glazer, A. N. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 18343-18349). Tryptic peptide mapping showed that the CpcSU-dependent reaction product had one major PCB-containing peptide that contained the PCB binding site Cys-82. The CpcSU lyase was also tested with recombinant apoHT-allophycocyanin (aporHT-AP) and PCB in vitro. AporHT-AP formed an ApcA/ApcB heterodimer with an apparent mass of approximately 27 kDa. When aporHT-AP was incubated with PCB and CpcSU, the product had an absorbance maximum of 614 nm and a fluorescence emission maximum at 636 nm, the expected maxima for monomeric holo-AP. When no enzyme or CpcS-I or CpcU was added alone, the products had absorbance maxima between 645 and 647 nm and were not fluorescent. When these reaction products were analyzed by gel electrophoresis and zinc-enhanced fluorescence emission, only the reaction products from CpcSU had PCB attached to both AP subunits. Therefore, CpcSU is the bilin lyase-responsible for attachment of PCB to Cys-82 of CpcB and Cys-81 of ApcA and ApcB.
Project description:Bilins are linear tetrapyrrole chromophores with a wide range of visible and near-visible light absorption and emission properties. These properties are tuned upon binding to natural proteins and exploited in photosynthetic light-harvesting and non-photosynthetic light-sensitive signalling. These pigmented proteins are now being manipulated to develop fluorescent experimental tools. To engineer the optical properties of bound bilins for specific applications more flexibly, we have used first principles of protein folding to design novel, stable and highly adaptable bilin-binding four-?-helix bundle protein frames, called maquettes, and explored the minimal requirements underlying covalent bilin ligation and conformational restriction responsible for the strong and variable absorption, fluorescence and excitation energy transfer of these proteins. Biliverdin, phycocyanobilin and phycoerythrobilin bind covalently to maquette Cys in vitro A blue-shifted tripyrrole formed from maquette-bound phycocyanobilin displays a quantum yield of 26%. Although unrelated in fold and sequence to natural phycobiliproteins, bilin lyases nevertheless interact with maquettes during co-expression in Escherichia coli to improve the efficiency of bilin binding and influence bilin structure. Bilins bind in vitro and in vivo to Cys residues placed in loops, towards the amino end or in the middle of helices but bind poorly at the carboxyl end of helices. Bilin-binding efficiency and fluorescence yield are improved by Arg and Asp residues adjacent to the ligating Cys on the same helix and by His residues on adjacent helices.
Project description:The possible roles of mesohaem and mesobiliverdin as metabolic precursors of phycocyanobilin, the chromophore of phycocyanin, were studied in the unicellular rhodophyte Cyanidium caldarium. Dark-grown cells of this organism, which had been exposed to mesohaem, were either incubated in the dark with 5-aminolaevulinate, which results in excretion of bilins into the suspending medium, or incubated in the light, which results in synthesis of phycocyanin within the cells. By using 14C-labelling, either in the mesohaem or in the 5-aminolaevulinate administered, it was shown that mesohaem is not a precursor of phycocyanobilin in either dark or light systems. However, mesohaem was converted into mesobiliverdin in both systems, a phenomenon that is further evidence for the existence of an algal haem oxygenase. The data also showed that mesobiliverdin is not a precursor of phycocyanobilin. These results suggest that algal bilins are formed via haem degradation to biliverdin in the same way as mammalian bile pigments.
Project description:Linear tetrapyrroles (bilins) are produced from heme by heme oxygenase, usually forming biliverdin IX? (BV). Fungi and bacteria use BV as chromophore for phytochrome photoreceptors. Oxygenic photosynthetic organisms use BV as a substrate for ferredoxin-dependent bilin reductases (FDBRs), enzymes that produce diverse reduced bilins used as light-harvesting pigments in phycobiliproteins and as photoactive photoreceptor chromophores. Bilin biosynthesis is essential for phototrophic growth in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii despite the absence of phytochromes or phycobiliproteins in this organism, raising the possibility that bilins are more generally required for phototrophic growth by algae. We here leverage the recent expansion in available algal transcriptomes, cyanobacterial genomes, and environmental metagenomes to analyze the distribution and diversification of FDBRs. With the possible exception of euglenids, FDBRs are present in all photosynthetic eukaryotic lineages. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that algal FDBRs belong to the three previously recognized FDBR lineages. Our studies provide new insights into FDBR evolution and diversification.
Project description:Bilins are metabolic products of hosts and bacteria on porphyrins, and are markers of health state and human waste contamination. Although bilin tandem mass spectrometry reports exist, their fragmentation behavior as a function of structure has not been compared, nor has fragmentation been examined as a function of collision energy.The fragmentation of bilins generated by positive ion mode electrospray ionization is examined by collision-induced dissociation (CID). CID on a quadrupole ion trap and on a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometer as a function of collision energy is compared. Methyl esterification was used to deduce which product ions contain the inner pyrrole rings. FT-ICR high mass accuracy measurements were used to determine the formulas of the resultant product ions.The central carbon's bonding to the inner pyrrole rings influences fragmentation. Bilirubin is unique because fragmentation adjacent to the central methylene group between innermost rings predominates, and loss of a terminal pyrrole is observed only with helium collision gas. The other bilins lose the terminal pyrroles first; as CID energy is increased, additional fragmentation due to neutral losses of small molecules such as H(2)O, CO, CO(2), and methanol occurs.Based on these observations, fragmentation schemes for the bilins are proposed that are strongly dependent on the molecular structure and collision energy; only bilirubin fragmentation is influenced significantly by the collision gas used. This report should have value in identification of this class of molecules for biomarker detection.
Project description:Land plant phytochromes perceive red and far-red light to control growth and development, using the linear tetrapyrrole (bilin) chromophore phytochromobilin (P?B). Phytochromes from streptophyte algae, sister species to land plants, instead use phycocyanobilin (PCB). PCB and P?B are synthesized by different ferredoxin-dependent bilin reductases (FDBRs): P?B is synthesized by HY2, whereas PCB is synthesized by PcyA. The pathway for PCB biosynthesis in streptophyte algae is unknown. We used phylogenetic analysis and heterologous reconstitution of bilin biosynthesis to investigate bilin biosynthesis in streptophyte algae. Phylogenetic results suggest that PcyA is present in chlorophytes and prasinophytes but absent in streptophytes. A system reconstituting bilin biosynthesis in Escherichia coli was modified to utilize HY2 from the streptophyte alga Klebsormidium flaccidum (KflaHY2). The resulting bilin was incorporated into model cyanobacterial photoreceptors and into phytochrome from the early-diverging streptophyte alga Mesostigma viride (MvirPHY1). All photoreceptors tested incorporate PCB rather than P?B, indicating that KflaHY2 is sufficient for PCB synthesis without any other algal protein. MvirPHY1 exhibits a red-far-red photocycle similar to those seen in other streptophyte algal phytochromes. These results demonstrate that streptophyte algae use HY2 to synthesize PCB, consistent with the hypothesis that P?B synthesis arose late in HY2 evolution.
Project description:In high light conditions, cyanobacteria dissipate excess absorbed energy as heat in the light-harvesting phycobilisomes (PBs) to protect the photosynthetic system against photodamage. This process requires the binding of the red active form of the Orange Carotenoid Protein (OCP(r)), which can effectively quench the excited state of one of the allophycocyanin bilins. Recently, an in vitro reconstitution system was developed using isolated OCP and isolated PBs from Synechocystis PCC 6803. Here we have used spectrally resolved picosecond fluorescence to study wild-type and two mutated PBs. The results demonstrate that the quenching for all types of PBs takes place on an allophycocyanin bilin emitting at 660 nm (APC(Q)(660)) with a molecular quenching rate that is faster than (1 ps)(-1). Moreover, it is concluded that both the mechanism and the site of quenching are the same in vitro and in vivo. Thus, utilization of the in vitro system should make it possible in the future to elucidate whether the quenching is caused by charge transfer between APC(Q)(660) and OCP or by excitation energy transfer from APC(Q)(660) to the S(1) state of the carotenoid--a distinction that is very hard, if not impossible, to make in vivo.
Project description:Bilins are linear tetrapyrroles commonly used as chromophores of phycobiliproteins and phytochromes for light-harvesting or light-sensing in photosynthetic organisms. Many eukaryotic algae lack both phycobiliproteins and phytochromes, but retain the bilin biosynthetic enzymes including heme oxygenase (HO/HMOX) and ferredoxin-dependent biliverdin reductase (FDBR). Previous studies on Chlamydomonas reinhardtii heme oxygenase mutant (hmox1) have shown that bilins are not only essential retrograde signals to mitigate oxidative stress during diurnal dark-to-light transitions, they are also required for chlorophyll accumulation and maintenance of a functional photosynthetic apparatus in the light. However, the underlying mechanism of bilin-mediated regulation of chlorophyll biosynthesis is unclear. In this study, Chlamydomonas phycocyanobilin:ferredoxin oxidoreductase PCYA1 FDBR domain was found to specifically interact with the rate-limiting chlorophyll biosynthetic enzyme LPOR (light-dependent protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase). PCYA1 is partially associated with chloroplast envelope membrane, consistent with the observed export of bilin from chloroplast to cytosol by cytosolic expression of a bilin-binding reporter protein in Chlamydomonas. Both the pcya1-1 mutant with the carboxyl-terminal extension of PCYA1 eliminated and efficient knockdown of PCYA1 expression by artificial microRNA exhibited no significant impact on algal phototrophic growth and photosynthetic proteins accumulation, indicating that the conserved FDBR domain is sufficient and minimally required for bilin biosynthesis and functioning. Taken together, these studies provide novel insights into the regulatory role of PCYA1 in chlorophyll biosynthesis via interaction with key Chl biosynthetic enzyme.
Project description:The maintenance of functional chloroplasts in photosynthetic eukaryotes requires real-time coordination of the nuclear and plastid genomes. Tetrapyrroles play a significant role in plastid-to-nucleus retrograde signaling in plants to ensure that nuclear gene expression is attuned to the needs of the chloroplast. Well-known sites of synthesis of chlorophyll for photosynthesis, plant chloroplasts also export heme and heme-derived linear tetrapyrroles (bilins), two critical metabolites respectively required for essential cellular activities and for light sensing by phytochromes. Here we establish that Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, one of many chlorophyte species that lack phytochromes, can synthesize bilins in both plastid and cytosol compartments. Genetic analyses show that both pathways contribute to iron acquisition from extracellular heme, whereas the plastid-localized pathway is essential for light-dependent greening and phototrophic growth. Our discovery of a bilin-dependent nuclear gene network implicates a widespread use of bilins as retrograde signals in oxygenic photosynthetic species. Our studies also suggest that bilins trigger critical metabolic pathways to detoxify molecular oxygen produced by photosynthesis, thereby permitting survival and phototrophic growth during the light period.
Project description:Linear tetrapyrrole (bilin)-based phytochrome sensors optimize photosynthetic light capture by mediating massive gene reprogramming in land plants, yet surprisingly, many sequenced chlorophyte (green) algae lack phytochrome genes. Previous studies on the heme oxygenase (hmox1) mutant of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii suggest that bilin biosynthesis in plastids is needed for regulation of a limited nuclear gene network implicated in oxygen detoxification during dark to light transitions. The hmox1 mutant is unable to grow photoautotrophically and poorly acclimates to increased illumination even in the presence of acetate. Here we show that these phenotypes reflect the reduced accumulation of PSI reaction centers as well as a loss of PSI and PSII antennae complexes during photoacclimation. Phenotypically, the hmox1 mutant is similar to the chlorophyll biosynthesis mutants, gun4, crd1 and cth1. However, many of the hmox1 phenotypes can be rescued by the application of exogenous biliverdin IXα, the bilin product of HMOX1; this rescue is independent of photosynthesis but strongly dependent upon blue light. RNA-Seq comparisons of hmox1, 4A+ wild type and two genetically complemented lines also reveal that bilins restore regulation of a small network of photosynthesis-associated nuclear genes. These include genes responsible for chlorophyll biosynthesis (CHLI1/2), PSI light-harvesting (LHCA4) and naphthoquinone metabolism (MEN2), all of which show reduced photoinduction in the hmox1 mutant. We propose that a bilin-based, blue light sensory system is responsible for the maintenance of a functional photosynthetic apparatus in light-grown C. reinhardtii. This critical and possibly ancestral role for bilins may be responsible for retention of bilin biosynthesis in all eukaryotic photosynthetic species. Overall design: We isolated RNA from heterotrophic suspension cultures of 4A+ WT and the hmox1 mutant grown in the presence or absence of 0.1 mM BV IXα before and after transfer to low light.