Different strategies of metabolic regulation in cyanobacteria: from transcriptional to biochemical control.
ABSTRACT: Cyanobacteria Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 show similar changes in the metabolic response to changed CO2 conditions but exhibit significant differences at the transcriptomic level. This study employs a systems biology approach to investigate the difference in metabolic regulation of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Presented multi-level kinetic model for Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 is a new approach integrating and analysing metabolomic, transcriptomic and fluxomics data obtained under high and ambient CO2 levels. Modelling analysis revealed that higher number of different isozymes in Synechocystis 6803 improves homeostatic stability of several metabolites, especially 3PGA by 275%, against changes in gene expression, compared to Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942. Furthermore, both cyanobacteria have the same amount of phosphoglycerate mutases but Synechocystis 6803 exhibits only ~20% differences in their mRNA levels after shifts from high to ambient CO2 level, in comparison to ~500% differences in the case of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942. These and other data imply that the biochemical control dominates over transcriptional regulation in Synechocystis 6803 to acclimate central carbon metabolism in the environment of variable inorganic carbon availability without extra cost carried by large changes in the proteome.
Project description:The cmpABCD operon of Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942, encoding a high-affinity bicarbonate transporter, is transcribed only under CO2-limited conditions. In Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803, the slr0040, slr0041, slr0043, and slr0044 genes, forming an operon with a putative porin gene (slr0042), were identified as the cmpA, cmpB, cmpC, and cmpD genes, respectively, on the basis of their strong similarities to the corresponding Synechococcus cmp genes and their induction under low CO2 conditions. Immediately upstream of and transcribed divergently from the Synechocystis cmp operon is a gene (sll0030) encoding a homolog of CbbR, a LysR family transcriptional regulator of the CO2 fixation operons of chemoautotrophic and purple photosynthetic bacteria. Inactivation of sll0030, but not of another closely related cbbR homolog (sll1594), abolished low CO2 induction of cmp operon expression. Gel retardation assays showed specific binding of the Sll0030 protein to the sll0030-cmpA intergenic region, suggesting that the protein activates transcription of the cmp operon by interacting with its regulatory region. A cbbR homolog similar to sll0030 and sll1594 was cloned from Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942 and shown to be involved in the low CO2-induced activation of the cmp operon. We hence designated the Synechocystis sll0030 gene and the Synechococcus cbbR homolog cmpR. In the mutants of the cbbR homologs, upregulation of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase operon expression by CO2 limitation was either unaffected (strain PCC 6803) or enhanced (strain PCC 7942), suggesting existence of other low CO2-responsive transcriptional regulator(s) in cyanobacteria.
Project description:The ntcA gene from Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942 encodes a regulatory protein which is required for the expression of all of the genes known to be subject to repression by ammonium in that cyanobacterium. Homologs to ntcA have now been cloned by hybridization from the cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 and Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. Sequence analysis has shown that these ntcA genes would encode polypeptides strongly similar (77 to 79% identity) to the Synechococcus NtcA protein. Sequences hybridizing to ntcA have been detected in the genomes of nine other cyanobacteria that were tested, including strains of the genera Anabaena, Calothrix, Fischerella, Nostoc, Pseudoanabaena, Synechococcus, and Synechocystis.
Project description:Like many other organisms, cyanobacteria exhibit rhythmic gene expression with a period length of 24 hours to adapt to daily environmental changes. In the model organism Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 the central oscillator consists of three proteins: KaiA, KaiB and KaiC and utilizes the histidine kinase SasA and its response regulator RpaA as output-signaling pathway. Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 contains two additional homologs of the kaiB and kaiC genes. Here we demonstrate that RpaA interacts with the core oscillator KaiAB1C1 of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 via SasA, similar to Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942. However, interaction with the additional Kai homologs was not detected, suggesting different signal transduction components for the clock homologs. Inactivation of rpaA in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, lead to reduced viability of the mutant in light-dark cycles that aggravated under mixotrophic growth conditions. Chemoheterotrophic growth in the dark was abolished completely. In accordance, transcriptomic data revealed that RpaA is involved in the regulation of genes related to CO2‑acclimation and carbon metabolism under diurnal light conditions. Further, our results indicate that RpaA functions in the posttranslational regulation of glycogen metabolism as well, and a potential link between the circadian clock and motility was identified. Overall design: We performed whole-genome transcript profiling of an rpaA deletion mutant and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 WT in light-dark cycles. Samples were taken 5.5 hours after onset of light (5.5 h) or dark (17.5 h). Two independent experiments were performed for each timepoint.
Project description:Cyanobacteria form a heterogeneous bacterial group with diverse lifestyles, acclimation strategies, and differences in the presence of circadian clock proteins. In Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, a unique posttranslational KaiABC oscillator drives circadian rhythms. ATPase activity of KaiC correlates with the period of the clock and mediates temperature compensation. Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 expresses additional Kai proteins, of which KaiB3 and KaiC3 proteins were suggested to fine-tune the standard KaiAB1C1 oscillator. In the present study, we therefore characterized the enzymatic activity of KaiC3 as a representative of nonstandard KaiC homologs in vitro KaiC3 displayed ATPase activity lower than that of the Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 KaiC protein. ATP hydrolysis was temperature dependent. Hence, KaiC3 is missing a defining feature of the model cyanobacterial circadian oscillator. Yeast two-hybrid analysis showed that KaiC3 interacts with KaiB3, KaiC1, and KaiB1. Further, KaiB3 and KaiB1 reduced in vitro ATP hydrolysis by KaiC3. Spot assays showed that chemoheterotrophic growth in constant darkness is completely abolished after deletion of ?kaiAB1C1 and reduced in the absence of kaiC3 We therefore suggest a role for adaptation to darkness for KaiC3 as well as a cross talk between the KaiC1- and KaiC3-based systems.IMPORTANCE The circadian clock influences the cyanobacterial metabolism, and deeper understanding of its regulation will be important for metabolic optimizations in the context of industrial applications. Due to the heterogeneity of cyanobacteria, characterization of clock systems in organisms apart from the circadian model Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 is required. Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 represents a major cyanobacterial model organism and harbors phylogenetically diverged homologs of the clock proteins, which are present in various other noncyanobacterial prokaryotes. By our in vitro studies we unravel the interplay of the multiple Synechocystis Kai proteins and characterize enzymatic activities of the nonstandard clock homolog KaiC3. We show that the deletion of kaiC3 affects growth in constant darkness, suggesting its involvement in the regulation of nonphotosynthetic metabolic pathways.
Project description:Photosynthetic organisms utilize sulfate for the synthesis of sulfur-compounds including proteins and a sulfolipid, sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol. Upon ambient deficiency in sulfate, cells of a green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, degrade the chloroplast membrane sulfolipid to ensure an intracellular-sulfur source for necessary protein synthesis. Here, the effects of sulfate-starvation on the sulfolipid stability were investigated in another green alga, Chlorella kessleri, and two cyanobacteria, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942. The results showed that sulfolipid degradation was induced only in C. kessleri, raising the possibility that this degradation ability was obtained not by cyanobacteria, but by eukaryotic algae during the evolution of photosynthetic organisms. Meanwhile, Synechococcus disruptants concerning sqdB and sqdX genes, which are involved in successive reactions in the sulfolipid synthesis pathway, were respectively characterized in cellular response to sulfate-starvation. Phycobilisome degradation intrinsic to Synechococcus, but not to Synechocystis, and cell growth under sulfate-starved conditions were repressed in the sqdB and sqdX disruptants, respectively, relative to in the wild type. Their distinct phenotypes, despite the common loss of the sulfolipid, inferred specific roles of sqdB and sqdX. This study demonstrated that sulfolipid metabolism might have been developed to enable species- or cyanobacterial-strain dependent processes for acclimation to sulfate-starvation.
Project description:Ethylene is a volatile alkene which is used in large commercial scale as a precursor in plastic industry, and is currently derived from petroleum refinement. As an alternative production strategy, photoautotrophic cyanobacteria Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 have been previously evaluated as potential biotechnological hosts for producing ethylene directly from CO2, by the over-expression of ethylene forming enzyme (efe) from Pseudomonas syringae. This work addresses various open questions related to the use of Synechococcus as the engineering target, and demonstrates long-term ethylene production at rates reaching 140 µL L-1 h-1 OD750-1 without loss of host vitality or capacity to produce ethylene. The results imply that the genetic instability observed earlier may be associated with the expression strategies, rather than efe over-expression, ethylene toxicity or the depletion of 2-oxoglutarate-derived cellular precursors in Synechococcus. In context with literature, this study underlines the critical differences in expression system design in the alternative hosts, and confirms Synechococcus as a suitable parallel host for further engineering.
Project description:Microbial free fatty acids (FFAs) have been proposed as a potential feedstock for renewable energy. The ability to directly convert carbon dioxide into FFAs makes cyanobacteria ideal hosts for renewable FFA production. Previous metabolic engineering efforts using the cyanobacterial hosts Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 have demonstrated this direct conversion of carbon dioxide into FFAs; however, FFA yields in these hosts are limited by the negative impact of FFA production on the host cell physiology. This work investigates the use of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 as a cyanobacterial host for FFA production. In comparison to S. elongatus PCC 7942, Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 strains produced and excreted FFAs at similar concentrations but without the detrimental effects on host physiology. The enhanced tolerance to FFA production with Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 was found to be temperature-dependent, with physiological effects such as reduced photosynthetic yield and decreased photosynthetic pigments observed at higher temperatures. Additional genetic manipulations were targeted for increased FFA production, including thioesterases and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO). Overexpression of non-native RuBisCO subunits (rbcLS) from a psbAI promoter resulted in more than a threefold increase in FFA production, with excreted FFA concentrations reaching >130?mg/L. This work illustrates the importance of host strain selection for cyanobacterial biofuel production and demonstrates that the FFA tolerance of Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 can allow for high yields of excreted FFA.
Project description:An open reading frame (slr0899) on the genome of Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 encodes a polypeptide of 149 amino acid residues, the sequence of which is 40% identical to that of cyanase from Escherichia coli. Introduction into a cyanase-deficient E. coli strain of a plasmid-borne slr0899 resulted in expression of low but significant activity of cyanase. Targeted interruption of a homolog of slr0899 from Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942, encoding a protein 77% identical to that encoded by slr0899, resulted in loss of cellular cyanase activity. These results indicated that slr0899 and its homolog in the strain PCC 7942 represent the cyanobacterial cyanase gene (designated cynS). While cynS of strain PCC 6803 is tightly clustered with the four putative molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis genes located downstream, cynS of strain PCC 7942 was found to be tightly clustered with the two genes located upstream, which encode proteins similar to the subunits of the cyanobacterial nitrate-nitrite transporter. In both strains, cynS was transcribed as a part of a large transcription unit and the transcription was negatively regulated by ammonium. Cyanase activity was low in ammonium-grown cells and was induced 7- to 13-fold by inhibition of ammonium fixation or by transfer of the cells to ammonium-free media. These findings indicated that cyanase is an ammonium-repressible enzyme in cyanobacteria, the expression of which is regulated at the level of transcription. Similar to other ammonium-repressible genes in cyanobacteria, expression of cynS required NtcA, a global nitrogen regulator of cyanobacteria.
Project description:New cyanobacterial expression vectors, possessing an origin of replication that functions in a broad range of Gram-negative bacteria, were constructed. To inspect the shuttle vectors, the gene gfp was cloned downstream from the expression control element (ECE) originating from the regulatory region of the Microcystis aeruginosa gene psbA2 (for photosystem II D1 protein), and the vectors were introduced into three kinds of cyanobacteria (Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, and Limnothrix/Pseudanabaena sp. ABRG5-3) by conjugation. Multiple copy numbers of the expression vectors (in the range of 14-25 copies per cell) and a high expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) at the RNA/protein level were observed in the cyanobacterial transconjugants. Importantly, GFP was observed in a supernatant from the autolysed transconjugants of ABRG5-3 and easily collected from the supernatant without centrifugation and/or further cell lysis. These results indicate the vectors together with the recombinant cells to be useful for overproducing and recovering target gene products from cyanobacteria.
Project description:Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942 and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 are model cyanobacteria from which the metabolism and adaptive responses of other cyanobacteria are inferred. Using stranded and 5' enriched libraries, we measured the gene expression response of cells transferred from reference conditions to stress conditions of decreased inorganic carbon, increased salinity, increased pH, and decreased illumination at 1-h and 24-h after transfer. We found that the specific responses of the two strains were by no means identical. Transcriptome profiles allowed us to improve the structural annotation of the genome i.e. identify possible missed genes (including anti-sense), alter gene coordinates and determine transcriptional units (operons). Finally, we predicted associations between proteins of unknown function and biochemical pathways by revealing proteins of known functions that are co-regulated with the unknowns. Future studies of these model organisms will benefit from the cataloging of their responses to environmentally relevant stresses, and improvements in their genome annotations found here.