ABSTRACT: Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) activity is modulated in vivo either by reaction with CO2 and Mg2+ to carbamylate a lysine residue in the catalytic site, or by the binding of inhibitors within the catalytic site. Binding of inhibitors blocks either activity or the carbamylation of the lysine residue that is essential for activity. At night, in many species, 2-carboxyarabinitol-1-phosphate (CA1P) is formed which binds tightly to Rubisco, inhibiting catalytic activity. Recent work has shown that tight-binding inhibitors can also decrease Rubisco activity in the light and contribute to the regulation of Rubisco activity. Here we determine the influence that such inhibitors of Rubisco exert on catalytic activity during drought stress. In tobacco plants, 'total Rubisco activity', i.e. the activity following pre-incubation with CO2 and Mg2+, was positively correlated with leaf relative water content. However, 'total Rubisco activity' in extracts from leaves with low water potential increased markedly when tightly bound inhibitors were removed, thus increasing the number of catalytic sites available. This suggests that in tobacco the decrease of Rubisco activity under drought stress is not primarily the result of changes in activation by CO2 and Mg2+ but due rather to the presence of tight-binding inhibitors. The amounts of inhibitor present in leaves of droughted tobacco based on the decrease in Rubisco activity per mg soluble protein were usually much greater than the amounts of the known inhibitors (CA1P and 'daytime inhibitor') that can be recovered in acid extracts. Alternative explanations for the difference between maximal and total activities are discussed.
Project description:In C4 plants, water deficit may decrease photosynthetic CO2 assimilation independently of changes in stomatal conductance, suggesting decreased turnover by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco). The activity and biochemistry of Rubisco was studied in three different C4 grasses: Paspalum dilatatum, Cynodon dactylon, and Zoysia japonica. The objectives were to characterize the C4 Rubisco in these species and to identify factors associated with decreased photosynthetic rates caused by drought. Rubisco isolated from each of the three C4 grasses was characterized by smaller specificity factors (SC/O), larger Michaelis-Menten constants for CO2 (Kc) and O2 (Ko), and larger maximum carboxylation velocities (Vc) than Rubisco from wheat, which can be rationalized in terms of the CO2-rich environment of C4 Rubisco in the bundle sheath. During leaf dehydration the quantity and maximum activity of Rubisco remained unchanged but the initial and total activities declined slightly, possibly due to increased inhibition. Tight-binding inhibitors were present in the light but were more abundant in the dark, especially in Z. japonica, and increased in quantity with drought stress. The inhibitor from darkened leaves of Z. japonica was identified as 2-carboxyarabinitol-1-phosphate (CA1P). Consistent with the presence of CA1P, the total activity of Rubisco was decreased after 12 h darkness in Z. japonica. Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) in the leaves decreased with drought stress, to quantities approximating those of Rubisco catalytic sites. The magnitude of the decrease in RuBP suggested that, at least in C. dactylon and Z. japonica, it could contribute to the drought-induced decrease in photosynthesis.
Project description:Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) catalyzes the key first step in photosynthetic CO2 fixation, the reaction that incorporates CO2 into sugar. In this study, refined crystal structures of unactivated tobacco RuBisCO and activated RuBisCO from spinach and tobacco, in complex with the reaction-intermediate analog 2-carboxyarabinitol 1,5-bisphosphate (CABP), are compared. Both plant enzymes are hexadecameric complexes of eight large and eight small subunits with a total relative molecular mass of approximately 550,000. The comparison of activated and unactivated forms of RuBisCO provides insight into the dynamics of action of this enzyme. The catalytic site, which is open to the solvent in the unactivated enzyme, becomes shielded in the activated CABP complex. This shielding is accomplished by a 12-A movement of the active-site "loop 6" (residues 331-338) and a disorder-order transition of three loops near the active-site entrance, the N terminus, the C terminus, and a loop comprising residues 64-68. All these residues belong to the catalytic large subunit. Domain rotations of about 2 degrees are observed, also tightening the active-site cleft. These observations provide an explanation for the extremely tight binding (Kd < or = 10(-11) M) of the CABP molecule. A striking correlation exists between crystallographic temperature factors in the activated enzyme and the magnitude of the atomic movement upon activation.
Project description:Like many enzymes, the biogenesis of the multi-subunit CO(2)-fixing enzyme ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) in different organisms requires molecular chaperones. When expressed in Escherichia coli, the large (L) subunits of the Rubisco from the archaeabacterium Methanococcoides burtonii assemble into functional dimers (L(2)). However, further assembly into pentamers of L(2) (L(10)) occurs when expressed in tobacco chloroplasts or E. coli producing RuBP. In vitro analyses indicate that the sequential assembly of L(2) into L(10) (via detectable L(4) and L(6) intermediates) occurs without chaperone involvement and is stimulated by protein rearrangements associated with either the binding of substrate RuBP, the tight binding transition state analog carboxyarabinitol-1,5-bisphosphate, or inhibitory divalent metal ions within the active site. The catalytic properties of L(2) and L(10) M. burtonii Rubisco (MbR) were indistinguishable. At 25 degrees C they both shared a low specificity for CO(2) over O(2) (1.1 mol x mol(-1)) and RuBP carboxylation rates that were distinctively enhanced at low pH (approximately 4 s(-1) at pH 6, relative to 0.8 s(-1) at pH 8) with a temperature optimum of 55 degrees C. Like other archaeal Rubiscos, MbR also has a high O(2) affinity (K(m)(O(2)) = approximately 2.5 microM). The catalytic and structural similarities of MbR to other archaeal Rubiscos contrast with its closer sequence homology to bacterial L(2) Rubisco, complicating its classification within the Rubisco superfamily.
Project description:In photosynthesis Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyses the often rate limiting CO2-fixation step in the Calvin cycle. This makes Rubisco both the gatekeeper for carbon entry into the biosphere and a target for functional improvement to enhance photosynthesis and plant growth. Encumbering the catalytic performance of Rubisco is its highly conserved, complex catalytic chemistry. Accordingly, traditional efforts to enhance Rubisco catalysis using protracted "trial and error" protein engineering approaches have met with limited success. Here we demonstrate the versatility of high throughput directed (laboratory) protein evolution for improving the carboxylation properties of a non-photosynthetic Rubisco from the archaea Methanococcoides burtonii. Using chloroplast transformation in the model plant Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) we confirm the improved forms of M. burtonii Rubisco increased photosynthesis and growth relative to tobacco controls producing wild-type M. burtonii Rubisco. Our findings indicate continued directed evolution of archaeal Rubisco offers new potential for enhancing leaf photosynthesis and plant growth.
Project description:Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), the key enzyme of the Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle of photosynthesis, requires conformational repair by Rubisco activase for efficient function. Rubisco mediates the fixation of atmospheric CO2 by catalyzing the carboxylation of the five-carbon sugar ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP). It is a remarkably inefficient enzyme, and efforts to increase crop yields by bioengineering Rubisco remain unsuccessful. This is due in part to the complex cellular machinery required for Rubisco biogenesis and metabolic maintenance. To function, Rubisco must undergo an activation process that involves carboxylation of an active site lysine by a non-substrate CO2 molecule and binding of a Mg2+ ion. Premature binding of the substrate RuBP results in an inactive enzyme. Moreover, Rubisco can also be inhibited by a range of sugar phosphates, some of which are "misfire" products of its multistep catalytic reaction. The release of the inhibitory sugar molecule is mediated by the AAA+ protein Rubisco activase (Rca), which couples hydrolysis of ATP to the structural remodeling of Rubisco. Rca enzymes are found in the vast majority of photosynthetic organisms, from bacteria to higher plants. They share a canonical AAA+ domain architecture and form six-membered ring complexes but are diverse in sequence and mechanism, suggesting their convergent evolution. In this review, we discuss recent advances in understanding the structure and function of this important group of client-specific AAA+ proteins.
Project description:In photosynthetic organisms, D-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) is the major enzyme assimilating atmospheric CO2 into the biosphere. Owing to the wasteful oxygenase activity and slow turnover of Rubisco, the enzyme is among the most important targets for improving the photosynthetic efficiency of vascular plants. It has been anticipated that introducing the CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) from cyanobacteria into plants could enhance crop yield. However, the complex nature of Rubisco's assembly has made manipulation of the enzyme extremely challenging, and attempts to replace it in plants with the enzymes from cyanobacteria and red algae have not been successful. Here we report two transplastomic tobacco lines with functional Rubisco from the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942 (Se7942). We knocked out the native tobacco gene encoding the large subunit of Rubisco by inserting the large and small subunit genes of the Se7942 enzyme, in combination with either the corresponding Se7942 assembly chaperone, RbcX, or an internal carboxysomal protein, CcmM35, which incorporates three small subunit-like domains. Se7942 Rubisco and CcmM35 formed macromolecular complexes within the chloroplast stroma, mirroring an early step in the biogenesis of cyanobacterial ?-carboxysomes. Both transformed lines were photosynthetically competent, supporting autotrophic growth, and their respective forms of Rubisco had higher rates of CO2 fixation per unit of enzyme than the tobacco control. These transplastomic tobacco lines represent an important step towards improved photosynthesis in plants and will be valuable hosts for future addition of the remaining components of the cyanobacterial CCM, such as inorganic carbon transporters and the ?-carboxysome shell proteins.
Project description:Photosynthesis is the model system for energy conversion. It uses CO2 as a starting reactant to convert solar energy into chemical energy, i.e., organic molecules or biomass. The first and rate-determining step of this cycle is the immobilization and activation of CO2, catalyzed by RuBisCO enzyme, the most abundant protein on earth. Here, we propose a strategy to develop novel biomimetic two-dimensional (2D) nanostructures for CO2 adsorption at room temperature by reductionist mimicking of the Mg-carboxylate RuBisCO active site. We present a method to synthesize a 2D surface-supported system based on Mg2+ centers stabilized by a carboxylate environment and track their structural dynamics and reactivity under either CO2 or O2 exposure at room temperature. The CO2 molecules adsorb temporarily on the Mg2+ centers, producing a charge imbalance that catalyzes a phase transition into a different configuration, whereas O2 adsorbs on the Mg2+ center, giving rise to a distortion in the metal-organic bonds that eventually leads to the collapse of the structure. The combination of bioinspired synthesis and surface reactivity studies demonstrated here for Mg-based 2D ionic networks holds promise for the development of new catalysts that can work at room temperature.
Project description:Leaf-level photosynthetic processes and their environmental dependencies are critical for estimating CO2 uptake from the atmosphere. These estimates use biochemical-based models of photosynthesis that require accurate Rubisco kinetics. We investigated the effects of canopy position, elevated atmospheric CO2 [eC; ambient CO2 (aC)+240 ppm] and elevated air temperature (eT; ambient temperature (aT)+3 °C) on Rubisco content and activity together with the relationship between leaf N and Vcmax (maximal Rubisco carboxylation rate) of 7 m tall, soil-grown Eucalyptus globulus trees. The kinetics of E. globulus and tobacco Rubisco at 25 °C were similar. In vitro estimates of Vcmax derived from measures of E. globulus Rubisco content and kinetics were consistent, although slightly lower, than the in vivo rates extrapolated from gas exchange. In E. globulus, the fraction of N invested in Rubisco was substantially lower than for crop species and varied with treatments. Photosynthetic acclimation of E. globulus leaves to eC was underpinned by reduced leaf N and Rubisco contents; the opposite occurred in response to eT coinciding with growth resumption in spring. Our findings highlight the adaptive capacity of this key forest species to allocate leaf N flexibly to Rubisco and other photosynthetic proteins across differing canopy positions in response to future, warmer and elevated [CO2] climates.
Project description:An overarching goal of photosynthesis research is to identify how components of the process can be improved to benefit crop productivity, global food security, and renewable energy storage. Improving carbon fixation has mostly focused on enhancing the CO2 fixing enzyme ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco). This grand challenge has mostly proved ineffective because of catalytic mechanism constraints and required chaperone complementarity that hinder Rubisco biogenesis in alternative hosts. Here we refashion Escherichia coli metabolism by expressing a phosphoribulokinase-neomycin phosphotransferase fusion protein to produce a high-fidelity, high-throughput Rubisco-directed evolution (RDE2) screen that negates false-positive selection. Successive evolution rounds using the plant-like Te-Rubisco from the cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP1 identified two large subunit and six small subunit mutations that improved carboxylation rate, efficiency, and specificity. Structural analysis revealed the amino acids clustered in an unexplored subunit interface of the holoenzyme. To study its effect on plant growth, the Te-Rubisco was transformed into tobacco by chloroplast transformation. As previously seen for Synechocccus PCC6301 Rubisco, the specialized folding and assembly requirements of Te-Rubisco hinder its heterologous expression in leaf chloroplasts. Our findings suggest that the ongoing efforts to improve crop photosynthesis by integrating components of a cyanobacteria CO2-concentrating mechanism will necessitate co-introduction of the ancillary molecular components required for Rubisco biogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:With increasing concerns over global warming and depletion of fossil-fuel reserves, it is attractive to develop innovative strategies to assimilate CO2, a greenhouse gas, into usable organic carbon. Cell-free systems can be designed to operate as catalytic platforms with enzymes that offer exceptional selectivity and efficiency, without the need to support ancillary reactions of metabolic pathways operating in intact cells. Such systems are yet to be exploited for applications involving CO2 utilization and subsequent conversion to valuable products, including biofuels. The Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle and the enzyme ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) play a pivotal role in global CO2 fixation. RESULTS:We hereby demonstrate the co-assembly of two RubisCO-associated multienzyme cascades with self-assembled synthetic amphiphilic peptide nanostructures. The immobilized enzyme cascades sequentially convert either ribose-5-phosphate (R-5-P) or glucose, a simpler substrate, to ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP), the acceptor for incoming CO2 in the carboxylation reaction catalyzed by RubisCO. Protection from proteolytic degradation was observed in nanostructures associated with the small dimeric form of RubisCO and ancillary enzymes. Furthermore, nanostructures associated with a larger variant of RubisCO resulted in a significant enhancement of the enzyme's selectivity towards CO2, without adversely affecting the catalytic activity. CONCLUSIONS:The ability to assemble a cascade of enzymes for CO2 capture using self-assembling nanostructure scaffolds with functional enhancements show promise for potentially engineering entire pathways (with RubisCO or other CO2-fixing enzymes) to redirect carbon from industrial effluents into useful bioproducts.