Dual Organellar Targeting of Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetases in Diatoms and Cryptophytes.
ABSTRACT: The internal compartmentation of eukaryotic cells not only allows separation of biochemical processes but it also creates the requirement for systems that can selectively transport proteins across the membrane boundaries. Although most proteins function in a single subcellular compartment, many are able to enter two or more compartments, a phenomenon known as dual or multiple targeting. The aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs), which catalyze the ligation of tRNAs to their cognate amino acids, are particularly prone to functioning in multiple subcellular compartments. They are essential for translation, so they are required in every compartment where translation takes place. In diatoms, there are three such compartments, the plastid, the mitochondrion, and the cytosol. In cryptophytes, translation also takes place in the periplastid compartment (PPC), which is the reduced cytoplasm of the plastid's red algal ancestor and which retains a reduced red algal nucleus. We searched the organelle and nuclear genomes of the cryptophyte Guillardia theta and the diatoms Phaeodactylum tricornutum and Thalassiosira pseudonana for aaRS genes and found an insufficient number of genes to provide each compartment with a complete set of aaRSs. We therefore inferred, with support from localization predictions, that many aaRSs are dual targeted. We tested four of the predicted dual targeted aaRSs with green fluorescent protein fusion localizations in P. tricornutum and found evidence for dual targeting to the mitochondrion and plastid in P. tricornutum and G. theta, and indications for dual targeting to the PPC and cytosol in G. theta. This is the first report of dual targeting in diatoms or cryptophytes.
Project description:Protein import into complex plastids of red algal origin is a multistep process including translocons of different evolutionary origins. The symbiont-derived ERAD-like machinery (SELMA), shown to be of red algal origin, is proposed to be the transport system for preprotein import across the periplastidal membrane of heterokontophytes, haptophytes, cryptophytes, and apicomplexans. In contrast to the canonical endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) system, SELMA translocation is suggested to be uncoupled from proteasomal degradation. We investigated the distribution of known and newly identified SELMA components in organisms with complex plastids of red algal origin by intensive data mining, thereby defining a set of core components present in all examined organisms. These include putative pore-forming components, a ubiquitylation machinery, as well as a Cdc48 complex. Furthermore, the set of known 20S proteasomal components in the periplastidal compartment (PPC) of diatoms was expanded. These newly identified putative SELMA components, as well as proteasomal subunits, were in vivo localized as PPC proteins in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. The presented data allow us to speculate about the specific features of SELMA translocation in contrast to the canonical ERAD system, especially the uncoupling of translocation from degradation.
Project description:Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (AaRSs) are enzymes that catalyze the ligation of tRNAs to amino acids. There are AaRSs specific for each amino acid in the cell. Each cellular compartment in which translation takes place (the cytosol, mitochondria, and plastids in most cases), needs the full set of AaRSs; however, individual AaRSs can function in multiple compartments due to dual (or even multiple) targeting of nuclear-encoded proteins to various destinations in the cell. We searched the genomes of the chromerids, Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis, for AaRS genes: 48 genes encoding AaRSs were identified in C. velia, while only 39 AaRS genes were found in V. brassicaformis. In the latter alga, ArgRS and GluRS were each encoded by a single gene occurring in a single copy; only PheRS was found in three genes, while the remaining AaRSs were encoded by two genes. In contrast, there were nine cases for which C. velia contained three genes of a given AaRS (45% of the AaRSs), all of them representing duplicated genes, except AsnRS and PheRS, which are more likely pseudoparalogs (acquired via horizontal or endosymbiotic gene transfer). Targeting predictions indicated that AaRSs are not (or not exclusively), in most cases, used in the cellular compartment from which their gene originates. The molecular phylogenies of the AaRSs are variable between the specific types, and similar between the two investigated chromerids. While genes with eukaryotic origin are more frequently retained, there is no clear pattern of orthologous pairs between C. velia and V. brassicaformis.
Project description:In plants, protein synthesis occurs in the cytosol, mitochondria, and plastids. Each compartment requires a full set of tRNAs and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. We have undertaken a systematic analysis of the targeting of organellar aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Dual targeting appeared to be a general rule. Among the 24 identified organellar aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs), 15 (and probably 17) are shared between mitochondria and plastids, and 5 are shared between cytosol and mitochondria (one of these aaRSs being present also in chloroplasts). Only two were shown to be uniquely chloroplastic and none to be uniquely mitochondrial. Moreover, there are no examples where the three aaRS genes originating from the three ancestral genomes still coexist. These results indicate that extensive exchange of aaRSs has occurred during evolution and that many are now shared between two or even three compartments. The findings have important implications for studies of the translation machinery in plants and on protein targeting and gene transfer in general.
Project description:The plastids of ecologically and economically important algae from phyla such as stramenopiles, dinoflagellates and cryptophytes were acquired via a secondary endosymbiosis and are surrounded by three or four membranes. Nuclear-encoded plastid-localized proteins contain N-terminal bipartite targeting peptides with the conserved amino acid sequence motif 'ASAFAP'. Here we identify the plastid proteomes of two diatoms, Thalassiosira pseudonana and Phaeodactylum tricornutum, using a customized prediction tool (ASAFind) that identifies nuclear-encoded plastid proteins in algae with secondary plastids of the red lineage based on the output of SignalP and the identification of conserved 'ASAFAP' motifs and transit peptides. We tested ASAFind against a large reference dataset of diatom proteins with experimentally confirmed subcellular localization and found that the tool accurately identified plastid-localized proteins with both high sensitivity and high specificity. To identify nucleus-encoded plastid proteins of T. pseudonana and P. tricornutum we generated optimized sets of gene models for both whole genomes, to increase the percentage of full-length proteins compared with previous assembly model sets. ASAFind applied to these optimized sets revealed that about 8% of the proteins encoded in their nuclear genomes were predicted to be plastid localized and therefore represent the putative plastid proteomes of these algae.
Project description:Diatoms are eukaryotic microalgae that contain genes from various sources, including bacteria and the secondary endosymbiotic host. Due to this unique combination of genes, diatoms are taxonomically and functionally distinct from other algae and vascular plants and confer novel metabolic capabilities. Based on the genome annotation, we performed a genome-scale metabolic network reconstruction for the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Due to their endosymbiotic origin, diatoms possess a complex chloroplast structure which complicates the prediction of subcellular protein localization. Based on previous work we implemented a pipeline that exploits a series of bioinformatics tools to predict protein localization. The manually curated reconstructed metabolic network iLB1027_lipid accounts for 1,027 genes associated with 4,456 reactions and 2,172 metabolites distributed across six compartments. To constrain the genome-scale model, we determined the organism specific biomass composition in terms of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins using Fourier transform infrared spectrometry. Our simulations indicate the presence of a yet unknown glutamine-ornithine shunt that could be used to transfer reducing equivalents generated by photosynthesis to the mitochondria. The model reflects the known biochemical composition of P. tricornutum in defined culture conditions and enables metabolic engineering strategies to improve the use of P. tricornutum for biotechnological applications.
Project description:Plastids surrounded by four membranes harbor a special compartment between the outer and inner plastid membrane pair, the so-called periplastidal compartment (PPC). This cellular structure is usually presumed to be the reduced cytoplasm of a eukaryotic phototrophic endosymbiont, which was integrated into a host cell and streamlined into a plastid with a complex membrane structure. Up to date, no mitochondrion or mitochondrion-related organelle has been identified in the PPC of any representative. However, two prominent groups, the cryptophytes and the chlorarachniophytes, still harbor a reduced cell nucleus of symbiont origin, the nucleomorph, in their PPCs. Generally, many cytoplasmic and nucleus-located eukaryotic proteins need an iron-sulfur cofactor for their functionality. Beside some exceptions, their synthesis is depending on a so-called iron-sulfur complex (ISC) assembly machinery located in the mitochondrion. This machinery provides the cytoplasm with a still unknown sulfur component, which is then converted into iron-sulfur clusters via a cytosolic iron-sulfur protein assembly (CIA) machinery. Here, we investigated if a CIA machinery is present in mitochondrion-lacking PPCs. By using bioinformatic screens and in vivo-localizations of candidate proteins, we show that the presence of a PPC-specific CIA machinery correlates with the presence of a nucleomorph. Phylogenetic analyses of PPC- and host specific CIA components additionally indicate a complex evolution of the CIA machineries in organisms having plastids surrounded by four membranes.
Project description:Peroxisomes are single membrane bound compartments. They are thought to be present in almost all eukaryotic cells, although the bulk of our knowledge about peroxisomes has been generated from only a handful of model organisms. Peroxisomal matrix proteins are synthesized cytosolically and posttranslationally imported into the peroxisomal matrix. The import is generally thought to be mediated by two different targeting signals. These are respectively recognized by the two import receptor proteins Pex5 and Pex7, which facilitate transport across the peroxisomal membrane. Here, we show the first in vivo localization studies of peroxisomes in a representative organism of the ecologically relevant group of diatoms using fluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. By expression of various homologous and heterologous fusion proteins we demonstrate that targeting of Phaeodactylum tricornutum peroxisomal matrix proteins is mediated only by PTS1 targeting signals, also for proteins that are in other systems imported via a PTS2 mode of action. Additional in silico analyses suggest this surprising finding may also apply to further diatoms. Our data suggest that loss of the PTS2 peroxisomal import signal is not reserved to Caenorhabditis elegans as a single exception, but has also occurred in evolutionary divergent organisms. Obviously, targeting switching from PTS2 to PTS1 across different major eukaryotic groups might have occurred for different reasons. Thus, our findings question the widespread assumption that import of peroxisomal matrix proteins is generally mediated by two different targeting signals. Our results implicate that there apparently must have been an event causing the loss of one targeting signal even in the group of diatoms. Different possibilities are discussed that indicate multiple reasons for the detected targeting switching from PTS2 to PTS1.
Project description:Phytoplankton synthesizes essential ?-3 and ?-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) for consumers in the aquatic food webs. Only certain phytoplankton taxa can synthesize eicosapentaenoic (EPA; 20:5?3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6?3), whereas all phytoplankton taxa can synthesize shorter-chain ?-3 and ?-6 PUFA. Here, we experimentally studied how the proportion, concentration (per DW and cell-specific), and production (µg FA L-1 day-1) of ?-3 and ?-6 PUFA varied among six different phytoplankton main groups (16 freshwater strains) and between exponential and stationary growth phase. EPA and DHA concentrations, as dry weight, were similar among cryptophytes and diatoms. However, Cryptomonas erosa had two-27 times higher EPA and DHA content per cell than the other tested cryptophytes, diatoms, or golden algae. The growth was fastest with diatoms, green algae, and cyanobacteria, resulting in high production of medium chain ?-3 and ?-6 PUFA. Even though the dinoflagellate Peridinium cinctum grew slowly, the content of EPA and DHA per cell was high, resulting in a three- and 40-times higher production rate of EPA and DHA than in cryptophytes or diatoms. However, the production of EPA and DHA was 40 and three times higher in cryptophytes and diatoms than in golden algae (chrysophytes and synyrophytes), respectively. Our results show that phytoplankton taxon explains 56%-84% and growth phase explains ~1% of variation in the cell-specific concentration and production of ?-3 and ?-6 PUFA, supporting understanding that certain phytoplankton taxa play major roles in the synthesis of essential fatty acids. Based on the average proportion of PUFA of dry weight during growth, we extrapolated the seasonal availability of PUFA during phytoplankton succession in a clear water lake. This extrapolation demonstrated notable seasonal and interannual variation, the availability of EPA and DHA being prominent in early and late summer, when dinoflagellates or diatoms increased.
Project description:Marine diatoms have recently gained much attention as they are expected to be a promising resource for sustainable production of bioactive compounds such as carotenoids and biofuels as a future clean energy solution. To develop photosynthetic cell factories, it is important to improve diatoms for value-added products. In this study, we utilized UVC radiation to induce mutations in the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum and screened strains with enhanced accumulation of neutral lipids and carotenoids. Adaptive laboratory evolution (ALE) was also used in parallel to develop altered phenotypic and biological functions in P. tricornutum and it was reported for the first time that ALE was successfully applied on diatoms for the enhancement of growth performance and productivity of value-added carotenoids to date. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was utilized to study the composition of major pigments in the wild type P. tricornutum, UV mutants and ALE strains. UVC radiated strains exhibited higher accumulation of fucoxanthin as well as neutral lipids compared to their wild type counterpart. In addition to UV mutagenesis, P. tricornutum strains developed by ALE also yielded enhanced biomass production and fucoxanthin accumulation under combined red and blue light. In short, both UV mutagenesis and ALE appeared as an effective approach to developing desired phenotypes in the marine diatoms via electromagnetic radiation-induced oxidative stress.
Project description:The diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum has been used as a model for cell biologists and ecologists for over a century. We have incorporated several new raphid pennates into a three gene phylogenetic dataset (SSU, rbcL, psbC), and recover Gomphonemopsis sp. as sister to P. tricornutum with 100% BS support. This is the first time a close relative has been identified for P. tricornutum with robust statistical support. We test and reject a succession of hypotheses for other relatives. Our molecular data are statistically significantly incongruent with placement of either or both species among the Cymbellales, an order of diatoms with which both have been associated. We believe that further resolution of the phylogenetic position of P. tricornutum will rely more on increased taxon sampling than increased genetic sampling. Gomphonemopsis is a benthic diatom, and its phylogenetic relationship with P. tricornutum is congruent with the hypothesis that P. tricornutum is a benthic diatom with specific adaptations that lead to active recruitment into the plankton. We hypothesize that other benthic diatoms are likely to have similar adaptations and are not merely passively recruited into the plankton.