Comparison of the intrinsic disorder propensities of the RuBisCO activase enzyme from the motile and non-motile oceanic green microalgae.
ABSTRACT: Green oceanic microalgae are efficient converters of solar energy into the biomass via the photosynthesis process, with the first step of carbon fixation in the photosynthesis being controlled by the enzyme ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO), which is a large proteinaceous machine composed of large (L, 52 kDa) and small (S, 12 kDa) subunits arranged as a L8S8 hexadecamer that catalyzes the formation of 2 phosphoglyceric acid molecules from one ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) molecule and one of carbon dioxide (CO2) and that is considered as the most abundant protein on Earth. The catalytic efficiency of this protein is controlled by the RuBisCO activase (RCA) that interacts with RuBisCO and promotes the CO2 entrance to the active site of RuBisCO by removing RuBP. One of the peculiar features of RCA is the presence of functional disordered tails that might play a role in RCA-RuBisCO interaction. Based on their ability to move, microalgae are grouped into 2 major class, motile and non-motile. Motile microalgae have an obvious advantage over their non-motile counterparts because of their ability to actively migrate within the water column to find the most optimal environmental conditions. We hypothesizes that the RCA could be functionally different in the non-motile and motile microalgae. To check this hypothesis, we conducted a comparative computational analysis of the RCAs from the representatives of the non-motile (Ostreococcus tauri) and motile (Tetraselmis sp. GSL018) green oceanic microalgae.
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:The photosynthetic CO2-fixing enzyme ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco) is inhibited by nonproductive binding of its substrate ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) and other sugar phosphates. Reactivation requires ATP-hydrolysis-powered remodeling of the inhibited complexes by diverse molecular chaperones known as rubisco activases (Rcas). Eukaryotic phytoplankton of the red plastid lineage contain so-called red-type rubiscos, some of which have been shown to possess superior kinetic properties to green-type rubiscos found in higher plants. These organisms are known to encode multiple homologs of CbbX, the ?-proteobacterial red-type activase. Here we show that the gene products of two cbbX genes encoded by the nuclear and plastid genomes of the red algae Cyanidioschyzon merolae are nonfunctional in isolation, but together form a thermostable heterooligomeric Rca that can use both ?-proteobacterial and red algal-inhibited rubisco complexes as a substrate. The mechanism of rubisco activation appears conserved between the bacterial and the algal systems and involves threading of the rubisco large subunit C terminus. Whereas binding of the allosteric regulator RuBP induces oligomeric transitions to the bacterial activase, it merely enhances the kinetics of ATP hydrolysis in the algal enzyme. Mutational analysis of nuclear and plastid isoforms demonstrates strong coordination between the subunits and implicates the nuclear-encoded subunit as being functionally dominant. The plastid-encoded subunit may be catalytically inert. Efforts to enhance crop photosynthesis by transplanting red algal rubiscos with enhanced kinetics will need to take into account the requirement for a compatible Rca.
Project description:Orthophosphate (P(i)) has two antagonistic effects on ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), stimulation of activation and inhibition of catalysis by competition with the substrate RuBP. The enzyme binds P(i) at three distinct sites, two within the catalytic site (where 1P and 5P of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate [RuBP] bind), and the third at the latch site (a positively charged pocket involved in active-site closure during catalysis). We examined the role of the latch and 5P sites in regulation of Rubisco activation and catalysis by introducing specific mutations in the enzyme of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803. Whereas mutations at both sites abolished the P(i)-stimulated Rubisco activation, substitution of residues at the 5P site, but not at the latch site, affected the P(i) inhibition of Rubisco catalysis. Although some of these mutations substantially reduced the catalytic turnover of Rubisco and increased the K(m)(RuBP), they had little to moderate effect on the rate of photosynthesis and no effect on photoautotrophic growth. These findings suggest that in cyanobacteria, Rubisco does not limit photosynthesis to the extent previously estimated. These results indicate that both the latch and 5P sites participate in regulation of Rubisco activation, whereas P(i) binding only at the 5P site inhibits catalysis in a competitive manner.
Project description:Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) mediates the fixation of atmospheric CO2 in photosynthesis by catalyzing the carboxylation of the 5-carbon sugar ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP). Despite its pivotal role, Rubisco is an inefficient enzyme and thus has been a key target for bioengineering. However, efforts to increase crop yields by Rubisco engineering remain unsuccessful, due in part to the complex machinery of molecular chaperones required for Rubisco biogenesis and metabolic repair. While the large subunit of Rubisco generally requires the chaperonin system for folding, the evolution of the hexadecameric Rubisco from its dimeric precursor resulted in the dependence on an array of additional factors required for assembly. Moreover, Rubisco function can be inhibited by a range of sugar-phosphate ligands. Metabolic repair of Rubisco depends on remodeling by the ATP-dependent Rubisco activase and hydrolysis of inhibitors by specific phosphatases. This review highlights our work toward understanding the structure and mechanism of these auxiliary machineries.
Project description:The ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) oxygenation reaction catalyzed by Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) is competing with carboxylation, being negative for both energy and carbon balances in photoautotrophic organisms. This makes RuBisCO one of the bottlenecks for oxygenic photosynthesis and carbon fixation. In this study, RuBisCO was overexpressed in the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803. Relative RuBisCO levels in the engineered strains FL50 and FL52 increased 2.1 times and 1.4 times, respectively, and both strains showed increased growth, photosynthesis and in vitro RuBisCO activity. The oxygen evolution rate increased by 54% and 42% on per chlorophyll basis, while the in vitro RuBisCO activity increased by 52% and 8.6%, respectively. The overexpressed RuBisCO were tagged with a FLAG tag, in strain FL50 on the N terminus of the large subunit while in strain FL52 on the C terminus of the small subunit. The presence of a FLAG tag enhanced transcription of the genes encoding RuBisCO, and, with high possibility, also enhanced the initiation of translation or stability of the enzyme. However, when using a streptavidin-binding tag II (strep-tag II), we did not observe a similar effect. Tagged RuBisCO offers an opportunity for further studying RuBisCO expression and stability. Increased levels of RuBisCO can further improve photosynthesis and growth in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803 under certain growth conditions.
Project description:Gaseous carbon dioxide enters the biosphere almost exclusively via the active site of the enzyme ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco). This highly conserved catalyst has an almost universal propensity to non-productively interact with its substrate ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate, leading to the formation of dead-end inhibited complexes. In diverse autotrophic organisms this tendency has been counteracted by the recruitment of dedicated AAA+ (ATPases associated with various cellular activities) proteins that all use the energy of ATP hydrolysis to remodel inhibited Rubisco active sites leading to release of the inhibitor. Three evolutionarily distinct classes of these Rubisco activases (Rcas) have been discovered so far. Green and red-type Rca are mostly found in photosynthetic eukaryotes of the green and red plastid lineage respectively, whereas CbbQO is associated with chemoautotrophic bacteria. Ongoing mechanistic studies are elucidating how the various motors are utilizing both similar and contrasting strategies to ultimately perform their common function of cracking the inhibited Rubisco active site. The best studied mechanism utilized by red-type Rca appears to involve transient threading of the Rubisco large subunit C-terminal peptide, reminiscent of the action performed by Clp proteases. As well as providing a fascinating example of convergent molecular evolution, Rca proteins can be considered promising crop-improvement targets. Approaches aiming to replace Rubisco in plants with improved enzymes will need to ensure the presence of a compatible Rca protein. The thermolability of the Rca protein found in crop plants provides an opportunity to fortify photosynthesis against high temperature stress. Photosynthesis also appears to be limited by Rca when light conditions are fluctuating. Synthetic biology strategies aiming to enhance the autotrophic CO2 fixation machinery will need to take into consideration the requirement for Rubisco activases as well as their properties.
Project description:During photosynthesis the AAA+ protein and essential molecular chaperone Rubisco activase (Rca) constantly remodels inhibited active sites of the CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco (ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) to release tightly bound sugar phosphates. Higher plant Rca is a crop improvement target, but its mechanism remains poorly understood. Here we used structure-guided mutagenesis to probe the Rubisco-interacting surface of rice Rca. Mutations in Ser-23, Lys-148, and Arg-321 uncoupled adenosine triphosphatase and Rca activity, implicating them in the Rubisco interaction. Mutant doping experiments were used to evaluate a suite of known Rubisco-interacting residues for relative importance in the context of the functional hexamer. Hexamers containing some subunits that lack the Rubisco-interacting N-terminal domain displayed a ?2-fold increase in Rca function. Overall Rubisco-interacting residues located toward the rim of the hexamer were found to be less critical to Rca function than those positioned toward the axial pore. Rca is a key regulator of the rate-limiting CO2-fixing reactions of photosynthesis. A detailed functional understanding will assist the ongoing endeavors to enhance crop CO2 assimilation rate, growth, and yield.
Project description:Rubisco (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) catalyzes carboxylation of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate, the first in a series of reactions leading to the incorporation of atmospheric CO? into biomass. Rubisco requires Rubisco activase (RCA), an AAA+ ATPase that reactivates Rubisco by remodelling the conformation of inhibitor-bound sites. RCA is regulated by the ratio of ADP:ATP, with the precise response potentiated by redox regulation of the alpha-isoform. Measuring the effects of ADP on the activation of Rubisco by RCA using the well-established photometric assay is problematic because of the adenine nucleotide requirement of 3-phosphoglycerate (3-PGA) kinase. Described here is a novel assay for measuring RCA activity in the presence of variable ratios of ADP:ATP. The assay couples the formation of 3-PGA from ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate and CO? to NADH oxidation through cofactor-dependent phosphoglycerate mutase, enolase, PEP carboxylase and malate dehydrogenase. The assay was used to determine the effects of Rubisco and RCA concentration and ADP:ATP ratio on RCA activity, and to measure the activation of a modified Rubisco by RCA. Variations of the basic assay were used to measure the activation state of Rubisco in leaf extracts and the activity of purified Rubisco. The assay can be automated for high-throughput processing by conducting the reactions in two stages.
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) activase (RCA) in the thylakoid membrane (TM) has been shown to play a role in protection and regulation of photosynthesis under moderate heat stress. However, the physiological significance of RCA bound to the TM (TM-RCA) without heat stress remains unknown. In this study, it is first shown, using experiments in vivo, that the TM-RCA varies in rice leaves at different development stages, under different environmental conditions, and in a rice mutant. Furthermore, it is shown that the amount of TM-RCA always increased when the Rubisco activation state and the pH gradient across the TM (DeltapH) decreased. It was then demonstrated in vitro that the RCA bound dynamically to TM and the amount of TM-RCA increased during Rubisco activation. A high level of ATP and a high pH value promoted the dissociation of RCA from the TM. Both the RCA association with and dissociation from the TM showed conformational changes related to the ATP level or pH as indicated by the changes in fluorescence intensity of 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulphonic acid (ANS) binding to RCA. These results suggest that the reversible association of RCA with the TM is ATP and pH (or DeltapH) dependent; it might be involved in the RCA activation of Rubisco, in addition to the previously discovered role in the protection and regulation of photosynthesis under heat stress.