Elucidation of the preferred routes of C8-vinyl reduction in chlorophyll and bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis.
ABSTRACT: Most of the chlorophylls and bacteriochlorophylls utilized for light harvesting by phototrophic organisms carry an ethyl group at the C8 position of the molecule, the product of a C8-vinyl reductase acting on a chlorophyll/bacteriochlorophyll biosynthetic precursor. Two unrelated classes of C8-vinyl reductase are known to exist, BciA and BciB, found in the purple phototroph Rhodobacter sphaeroides and the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 respectively. We constructed strains of each bacterium with the native C8-vinyl reductase swapped for the other class of the enzyme, and combined these replacements with a series of deletions of the native bch and chl genes. In vivo data indicate that the preferred substrates for both classes of the enzyme is C8-vinyl chlorophyllide, with C8-vinyl protochlorophyllide reduced only under conditions in which this pigment accumulates as a result of perturbed formation of chlorophyllide.
Project description:Bacteriochlorophyll b has the most red-shifted absorbance maximum of all naturally occurring photopigments. It has a characteristic ethylidene group at the C8 position in place of the more common ethyl group, the product of a C8-vinyl reductase, which is carried by the majority of chlorophylls and bacteriochlorophylls used in photosynthesis. The subsequent and first step exclusive to bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis, the reduction of the C7=C8 bond, is catalyzed by chlorophyllide oxidoreductase. It has been demonstrated that the enzyme from bacteriochlorophyll a-utilizing bacteria can catalyze the formation of compounds carrying an ethyl group at C8 from both ethyl- and vinyl-carrying substrates, indicating a surprising additional C8-vinyl reductase function, while the enzyme from organisms producing BChl b could only catalyze C7=C8 reduction with a vinyl substrate, but this product carried an ethylidene group at the C8 position. We have replaced the native chlorophyllide oxidoreductase-encoding genes of Rhodobacter sphaeroides with those from Blastochloris viridis, but the switch from bacteriochlorophyll a to b biosynthesis is only detected when the native conventional C8-vinyl reductase is absent. We propose a non-enzymatic mechanism for ethylidene group formation based on the absence of cellular C8-vinyl reductase activity.
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:The creation of a synthetic microbe that can harvest energy from sunlight to drive its metabolic processes is an attractive approach to the economically viable biosynthetic production of target compounds. Our aim is to design and engineer a genetically tractable non-photosynthetic microbe to produce light-harvesting molecules. Previously we created a modular, multienzyme system for the heterologous production of intermediates of the bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) pathway in E. coli. In this report we extend this pathway to include a substrate promiscuous 8-vinyl reductase that can accept multiple intermediates of BChl biosynthesis. We present an informative comparative analysis of homologues of 8-vinyl reductase from the model photosynthetic organisms Rhodobacter sphaeroides and Chlorobaculum tepidum. The first purification of the enzymes leads to their detailed biochemical and biophysical characterization. The data obtained reveal that the two 8-vinyl reductases are substrate promiscuous, capable of reducing the C8-vinyl group of Mg protoporphyrin IX, Mg protoporphyrin IX methylester, and divinyl protochlorophyllide. However, activity is dependent upon the presence of chelated Mg(2+) in the porphyrin ring, with no activity against non-Mg(2+) chelated intermediates observed. Additionally, CD analyses reveal that the two 8-vinyl reductases appear to bind the same substrate in a different fashion. Furthermore, we discover that the different rates of reaction of the two 8-vinyl reductases both in vitro, and in vivo as part of our engineered system, results in the suitability of only one of the homologues for our BChl pathway in E. coli. Our results offer the first insights into the different functionalities of homologous 8-vinyl reductases. This study also takes us one step closer to the creation of a nonphotosynthetic microbe that is capable of harvesting energy from sunlight for the biosynthesis of molecules of choice.
Project description:The aim of this project is to identify, by bottom-up proteomic analysis, one or both representatives of two classes of 8-vinyl reductase in an Acaryochloris marina cell lysate. This enzyme is responsible for the conversion of the C8 vinyl group in the chlorophyll precursor Mg-divinyl-protochlorophyllide to ethyl as part of the chlorphyll biosynthesis pathway. Both putative 8VRs, NmrA and FrhB were detected.
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:In previous studies we have demonstrated that chlorophyllide a oxidoreductases (CORs) from bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) a-producing Rhodobacter species and BChl b-producing Blastochloris viridis show distinct substrate recognition and different catalytic hydrogenation reactions, and that these two types of CORs therefore cause committed steps for BChls a and b biosynthesis. In this study, COR genes from B. viridis were incorporated and overexpressed in a series of Rhodobacter sphaeroides mutants. We found that the following two factors are essential in making R. sphaeroides produce BChl b: the loss of functions of both intrinsic COR and 8-vinyl reductase (BciA) in the host R. sphaeroides strain; and expression of the BchYZ catalytic components of COR from B. viridis, not the complete set of COR (BchXYZ), in the host strain. In addition, we incorporated bchYZ of B. viridis into the R. sphaeroides mutant lacking BchJ and BciA, resulting in the strain accumulating both BChl a and BChl b. This is the first example of an anoxygenic photosynthetic bacterium producing BChls a and b together. The results suggest that BchJ enhances activity of the intrinsic COR. The physiological significance of BchJ in pigment biosynthetic pathways will be discussed.
Project description:Bacteriochlorophyll a biosynthesis requires formation of a 3-hydroxyethyl group on pyrrole ring A that gets subsequently converted into a 3-acetyl group by 3-vinyl bacteriochlorophyllide a hydratase (BchF) followed by 3-hydroxyethyl bacteriochlorophyllide a dehydrogenase (BchC). Heterologous overproduction of Chlorobaculum tepidum BchF revealed an integral transmembrane protein that was efficiently isolated by detergent solubilization. Recombinant C. tepidum BchC was purified as a soluble protein-NAD(+) complex. Substrate recognition of BchC was investigated using six artificial substrate molecules. Modification of the isocyclic E ring, omission of the central magnesium ion, zinc as an alternative metal ion, and a non-reduced B ring system were tolerated by BchC. According to this broadened in vitro activity, the chlorin 3-hydroxyethyl chlorophyllide a was newly identified as a natural substrate of BchC in a reconstituted pathway consisting of dark-operative protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase, BchF, and BchC. The established reaction sequence would allow for an additional new branching point for the synthesis of bacteriochlorophyll a. Biochemical and site-directed mutagenesis analyses revealed, in contrast to theoretical predictions, a zinc-independent BchC catalysis that requires NAD(+) as a cofactor. Based on these results, we are designating a new medium-chain dehydrogenase/reductase family (MDR057 BchC) as theoretically proposed from a recent bioinformatics analysis.
Project description:Bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) c, d, and e are the major chlorophylls in chlorosomes, which are the largest and one of the most efficient antennae produced by chlorophototrophic organisms. In the biosynthesis of these three BChls, a C-13(2)-methylcarboxyl group found in all other chlorophylls (Chls) must be removed. This reaction is postulated to be the first committed step in the synthesis of these BChls. Analyses of gene neighborhoods of (B)Chl biosynthesis genes and distribution patterns in organisms producing chlorosomes helped to identify a gene (bciC) that appeared to be a good candidate to produce the enzyme involved in this biochemical reaction. To confirm that this was the case, a deletion mutant of an open reading frame orthologous to bciC, CT1077, was constructed in Chlorobaculum tepidum, a genetically tractible green sulfur bacterium. The CT1077 deletion mutant was unable to synthesize BChl c but still synthesized BChl a and Chl a. The deletion mutant accumulated large amounts of various (bacterio)pheophorbides, all of which still had C-13(2)-methylcarboxyl groups. A C. tepidum strain in which CT1077 was replaced by an orthologous gene, Cabther_B0081 [corrected] from "Candidatus Chloracidobacterium thermophilum" was constructed. Although the product of Cabther_B0081 [corrected] was only 28% identical to the product of CT1077, this strain synthesized BChl c, BChl a, and Chl a in amounts similar to wild-type C. tepidum cells. To indicate their roles in the first committed step of BChl c, d, and e biosynthesis, open reading frames CT1077 and Cabther_B0081 [corrected] have been redesignated bciC. The potential mechanism by which BciC removes the C-13(2)-methylcarboxyl moiety of chlorophyllide a is discussed.
Project description:1. Ten mouse monoclonal antibodies to human complement component C8 were prepared. It was found that six of these antibodies reacted with the alpha-subunit, two with the beta-subunit and two with the gamma-subunit, when assessed by immunoblotting after separation of C8 subunits by SDS/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. 2. Epitope analysis of the ten monoclonal antibodies in a competitive binding assay showed that the six antibodies to the alpha-subunit could be classified in four overlapping epitope groups. The antibodies to the beta- and gamma-subunits bound to a single antigenic site on each, but also cross-reacted with the antigenic sites on the alpha-subunit. 3. Monoclonal anti-C8 immunoaffinity columns were used to purify C8 from fresh human plasma and to prepare C8-depleted serum. Immunoaffinity purified C8 was biologically active when assessed by using haemolysis assays of sheep and rabbit erythrocytes. 4. Salt elution was used to purify either alpha gamma- or beta-subunits when C8 was respectively bound to an anti-beta or anti-alpha immunoaffinity column. The purified subunits reconstituted C8-depleted serum when added together in a haemolysis assay.
Project description:Human C8 is one of five complement components (C5b, C6, C7, C8, and C9) that assemble on bacterial membranes to form a porelike structure referred to as the "membrane attack complex" (MAC). C8 contains three genetically distinct subunits (C8 alpha, C8 beta, C8 gamma) arranged as a disulfide-linked C8 alpha-gamma dimer that is noncovalently associated with C8 beta. C6, C7 C8 alpha, C8 beta, and C9 are homologous. All contain N- and C-terminal modules and an intervening 40-kDa segment referred to as the membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domain. The C8 gamma subunit is unrelated and belongs to the lipocalin family of proteins that display a beta-barrel fold and generally bind small, hydrophobic ligands. Several hundred proteins with MACPF domains have been identified based on sequence similarity; however, the structure and function of most are unknown. Crystal structures of the secreted bacterial protein Plu-MACPF and the human C8 alpha MACPF domain were recently reported and both display a fold similar to those of the bacterial pore-forming cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs). In the present study, we determined the crystal structure of the human C8 alpha MACPF domain disulfide-linked to C8 gamma (alphaMACPF-gamma) at 2.15 A resolution. The alphaMACPF portion has the predicted CDC-like fold and shows two regions of interaction with C8 gamma. One is in a previously characterized 19-residue insertion (indel) in C8 alpha and fills the entrance to the putative C8 gamma ligand-binding site. The second is a hydrophobic pocket that makes contact with residues on the side of the C8 gamma beta-barrel. The latter interaction induces conformational changes in alphaMACPF that are likely important for C8 function. Also observed is structural conservation of the MACPF signature motif Y/W-G-T/S-H-F/Y-X(6)-G-G in alphaMACPF and Plu-MACPF, and conservation of several key glycine residues known to be important for refolding and pore formation by CDCs.