A predicted plastid rhomboid protease affects phosphatidic acid metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana.
ABSTRACT: The thylakoid membranes of the chloroplast harbor the photosynthetic machinery that converts light into chemical energy. Chloroplast membranes are unique in their lipid makeup, which is dominated by the galactolipids mono- and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG and DGDG). The most abundant galactolipid, MGDG, is assembled through both plastid and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) pathways in Arabidopsis, resulting in distinguishable molecular lipid species. Phosphatidic acid (PA) is the first glycerolipid formed by the plastid galactolipid biosynthetic pathway. It is converted to substrate diacylglycerol (DAG) for MGDG Synthase (MGD1) which adds to it a galactose from UDP-Gal. The enzymatic reactions yielding these galactolipids have been well established. However, auxiliary or regulatory factors are largely unknown. We identified a predicted rhomboid-like protease 10 (RBL10), located in plastids of Arabidopsis thaliana, that affects galactolipid biosynthesis likely through intramembrane proteolysis. Plants with T-DNA disruptions in RBL10 have greatly decreased 16:3 (acyl carbons:double bonds) and increased 18:3 acyl chain abundance in MGDG of leaves. Additionally, rbl10-1 mutants show reduced [14 C]-acetate incorporation into MGDG during pulse-chase labeling, indicating a reduced flux through the plastid galactolipid biosynthesis pathway. While plastid MGDG biosynthesis is blocked in rbl10-1 mutants, they are capable of synthesizing PA, as well as producing normal amounts of MGDG by compensating with ER-derived lipid precursors. These findings link this predicted protease to the utilization of PA for plastid galactolipid biosynthesis potentially revealing a regulatory mechanism in chloroplasts.
Project description:Galactolipids [monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG)] are the hallmark lipids of photosynthetic membranes. The galactolipid synthases MGD1 and DGD1 catalyze consecutive galactosyltransfer reactions but localize to the inner and outer chloroplast envelopes, respectively, necessitating intermembrane lipid transfer. Here we show that the N-terminal sequence of DGD1 (NDGD1) is required for galactolipid transfer between the envelopes. Different diglycosyllipid synthases (DGD1, DGD2, and Chloroflexus glucosyltransferase) were introduced into the dgd1-1 mutant of Arabidopsis in fusion with N-terminal extensions (NDGD1 and NDGD2) targeting to the outer envelope. Reconstruction of DGDG synthesis in the outer envelope membrane was observed only with diglycosyllipid synthase fusion proteins carrying NDGD1, indicating that NDGD1 enables galactolipid translocation between envelopes. NDGD1 binds to phosphatidic acid (PA) in membranes and mediates PA-dependent membrane fusion in vitro. These findings provide a mechanism for the sorting and selective channeling of lipid precursors between the galactolipid pools of the two envelope membranes.
Project description:One of the major characteristics of chloroplast membranes is their enrichment in galactoglycerolipids, monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG), and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), whereas phospholipids are poorly represented, mainly as phosphatidylglycerol (PG). All these lipids are synthesized in the chloroplast envelope, but galactolipid synthesis is also partially dependent on phospholipid synthesis localized in non-plastidial membranes. MGDG synthesis was previously shown essential for chloroplast development. In this report, we analyze the regulation of MGDG synthesis by phosphatidic acid (PA), which is a general precursor in the synthesis of all glycerolipids and is also a signaling molecule in plants. We demonstrate that under physiological conditions, MGDG synthesis is not active when the MGDG synthase enzyme is supplied with its substrates only, i.e. diacylglycerol and UDP-gal. In contrast, PA activates the enzyme when supplied. This is shown in leaf homogenates, in the chloroplast envelope, as well as on the recombinant MGDG synthase, MGD1. PG can also activate the enzyme, but comparison of PA and PG effects on MGD1 activity indicates that PA and PG proceed through different mechanisms, which are further differentiated by enzymatic analysis of point-mutated recombinant MGD1s. Activation of MGD1 by PA and PG is proposed as an important mechanism coupling phospholipid and galactolipid syntheses in plants.
Project description:Etioplasts developed in angiosperm cotyledon cells in darkness rapidly differentiate into chloroplasts with illumination. This process involves dynamic transformation of internal membrane structures from the prolamellar bodies (PLBs) and prothylakoids (PTs) in etioplasts to thylakoid membranes in chloroplasts. Although two galactolipids, monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), are predominant lipid constituents of membranes in both etioplasts and chloroplasts, their roles in the structural and functional transformation of internal membranes during etioplast-to-chloroplast differentiation are unknown. We previously reported that a 36% loss of MGDG by an artificial microRNA targeting major MGDG synthase (amiR-MGD1) only slightly affected PLB structures but strongly impaired PT formation and protochlorophyllide biosynthesis. Meanwhile, strong DGDG deficiency in a DGDG synthase mutant (dgd1) disordered the PLB lattice structure in addition to impaired PT development and protochlorophyllide biosynthesis. In this study, thylakoid biogenesis after PLB disassembly with illumination was strongly perturbed by amiR-MGD1. The amiR-MGD1 expression impaired the accumulation of Chl and the major light-harvesting complex II protein (LHCB1), which may inhibit rapid transformation from disassembled PLBs to the thylakoid membrane. As did amiR-MGD1 expression, dgd1 mutation impaired the accumulation of Chl and LHCB1 during etioplast-to-chloroplast differentiation. Furthermore, unlike in amiR-MGD1 seedlings, in dgd1 seedlings, disassembly of PLBs after illumination was retarded. Because DGDG but not MGDG prefers to form the bilayer lipid phase in membranes, the MGDG-to-DGDG ratio may strongly affect the transformation of PLBs to the thylakoid membrane during etioplast-to-chloroplast differentiation.
Project description:Monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and other green algae contains hexadeca-4,7,10,13-tetraenoic acid (16:4) in the glycerol sn-2 position. While many genes necessary for the introduction of acyl chain double bonds have been functionally characterized, the ?4-desaturase remained unknown. Using a phylogenetic comparison, a candidate gene encoding the MGDG-specific ?4-desaturase from Chlamydomonas (Cr?4FAD) was identified. Cr?4FAD shows all characteristic features of a membrane-bound desaturase, including three histidine boxes and a transit peptide for chloroplast targeting. But it also has an N-terminal cytochrome b(5) domain, distinguishing it from other known plastid desaturases. Cytochrome b(5) is the primary electron donor for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) desaturases and is often fused to the desaturase domain in desaturases modifying the carboxyl end of the acyl group. Difference absorbance spectra of the recombinant cytochrome b(5) domain of Cr?4FAD showed that it is functional in vitro. Green fluorescent protein fusions of Cr?4FAD localized to the plastid envelope in Chlamydomonas. Interestingly, overproduction of Cr?4FAD in Chlamydomonas not only increased levels of 16:4 acyl groups in cell extracts but specifically increased the total amount of MGDG. Vice versa, the amount of MGDG was lowered in lines with reduced levels of Cr?4FAD. These data suggest a link between MGDG molecular species composition and galactolipid abundance in the alga, as well as a specific function for this fatty acid in MGDG.
Project description:The availability of nitrogen (N) to plants has a profound impact on carbohydrate and protein metabolism, but little is known about its effect on membrane lipid species. This study examines the changes in galactolipid and phospholipid species in soybean as affected by the availability of N, either supplied to soil or obtained through Bradyrhizobium japonicum nodulation. When N was limited in soil, the content of galactolipids, monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacyglycerol (DGDG), decreased drastically in leaves, while a smaller decrease of DGDG was observed in roots. In both leaves and roots, the overall content of different phospholipid classes was largely unchanged by N limitation, although some individual phospholipid molecular species did display significant changes. Nodulation with Bradyrhizobium of soybean grown in N-deficient soil resulted in a large increase in levels of plastidic lipid classes, MGDG, DGDG, and phosphatidylglycerol, along with smaller increases in non-plastidic phospholipids in leaves. Nodulation also led to higher levels of phospholipids in roots without changes in root levels of MGDG and DGDG. Overall, N availability alters lipid content more in leaves than roots and more in galactolipids than phospholipids. Increased N availability leads to increased galactolipid accumulation in leaves, regardless of whether N is supplied from the soil or symbiotic fixation.
Project description:The photosynthetic membranes of cyanobacteria and chloroplasts of higher plants have remarkably similar lipid compositions. In particular, thylakoid membranes of both cyanobacteria and chloroplasts are composed of galactolipids, of which monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) is the most abundant, although MGDG biosynthetic pathways are different in these organisms. Comprehensive phylogenetic analysis revealed that MGDG synthase (MGD) homologs of filamentous anoxygenic phototrophs Chloroflexi have a close relationship with MGDs of Viridiplantae (green algae and land plants). Furthermore, analyses for the sugar specificity and anomeric configuration of the sugar head groups revealed that one of the MGD homologs exhibited a true MGDG synthetic activity. We therefore presumed that higher plant MGDs are derived from this ancestral type of MGD genes, and genes involved in membrane biogenesis and photosystems have been already functionally associated at least at the time of Chloroflexi divergence. As MGD gene duplication is an important event during plastid evolution, we also estimated the divergence time of type A and B MGDs. Our analysis indicated that these genes diverged -323 million years ago, when Spermatophyta (seed plants) were appearing. Galactolipid synthesis is required to produce photosynthetic membranes; based on MGD gene sequences and activities, we have proposed a novel evolutionary model that has increased our understanding of photosynthesis evolution.
Project description:Membrane lipid alterations affect Al tolerance in plants, but little is known about the regulation of membrane lipid metabolism in response to Al stress. Transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) overexpressing rice monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) synthase (OsMGD) gene and wild-type tobacco plants were exposed to AlCl3, and the impact of Al toxicity on root growth, Al accumulation, plasma membrane integrity, lipid peroxidation and membrane lipid composition were investigated. Compared with the wild type, the transgenic plants exhibited rapid regrowth of roots after removal of Al and less damage to membrane integrity and lipid peroxidation under Al stress, meanwhile, the Al accumulation showed no difference between wild-type and transgenic plants. Lipid analysis showed that Al treatment dramatically decreased the content of MGDG and the ratio of MGDG to digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) in wild-type plants, while it was unchanged in transgenic plants. The stable of MGDG level and the ratio of MGDG/DGDG contribute to maintain the membrane stability and permeability. Moreover, Al caused a significant increase in phospholipids in wild-type plants, resulting in a high proportion of phospholipids and low proportion of galactolipids, but these proportions were unaffected in transgenic plants. The high proportion of phospholipids could contribute to a higher rate of Al(3+) binding in the membrane and thereby leads to more membrane perturbation and damage. These results show that the regulation of galactolipid biosynthesis could play an important role in maintaining membrane structure and function under Al stress.
Project description:Lipids are the major constituents of all membranous structures in plants. Plants possess two pathways for lipid biosynthesis: the prokaryotic pathway (i.e., plastidic pathway) and the eukaryotic pathway (i.e., endoplasmic-reticulum (ER) pathway). Whereas some plants synthesize galactolipids from diacylglycerol assembled in the plastid, others, including rice, derive their galactolipids from diacylglycerols assembled by the eukaryotic pathway. Arabidopsis thaliana glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3pDH), coded by SUPPRESSOR OF FATTY ACID DESATURASE 1 (SFD1; alias GLY1) gene, catalyzes the formation of glycerol 3-phosphate (G3p), the backbone of many membrane lipids. Here SFD1 was introduced to rice as a transgene. Arabidopsis SFD1 localizes in rice plastids and its over-expression increases plastidic membrane lipid content in transgenic rice plants without any major impact on ER lipids. The results suggest that over-expression of plastidic G3pDH enhances biosynthesis of plastid-localized lipids in rice. Lipid composition in the transgenic plants is consistent with increased phosphatidylglycerol synthesis in the plastid and increased galactolipid synthesis from diacylglycerol produced via the ER pathway. The transgenic plants show a higher photosynthetic assimilation rate, suggesting a possible application of this finding in crop improvement.
Project description:Photosynthesis is the final determinator for crop yield. To gain insight into genes controlling photosynthetic capacity, we selected from our large T-DNA mutant population a rice stunted growth mutant with decreased carbon assimilate and yield production named photoassimilate defective1 (phd1). Molecular and biochemical analyses revealed that PHD1 encodes a novel chloroplast-localized UDP-glucose epimerase (UGE), which is conserved in the plant kingdom. The chloroplast localization of PHD1 was confirmed by immunoblots, immunocytochemistry, and UGE activity in isolated chloroplasts, which was approximately 50% lower in the phd1-1 mutant than in the wild type. In addition, the amounts of UDP-glucose and UDP-galactose substrates in chloroplasts were significantly higher and lower, respectively, indicating that PHD1 was responsible for a major part of UGE activity in plastids. The relative amount of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG), a major chloroplast membrane galactolipid, was decreased in the mutant, while the digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG) amount was not significantly altered, suggesting that PHD1 participates mainly in UDP-galactose supply for MGDG biosynthesis in chloroplasts. The phd1 mutant showed decreased chlorophyll content, photosynthetic activity, and altered chloroplast ultrastructure, suggesting that a correct amount of galactoglycerolipids and the ratio of glycolipids versus phospholipids are necessary for proper chloroplast function. Downregulated expression of starch biosynthesis genes and upregulated expression of sucrose cleavage genes might be a result of reduced photosynthetic activity and account for the decreased starch and sucrose levels seen in phd1 leaves. PHD1 overexpression increased photosynthetic efficiency, biomass, and grain production, suggesting that PHD1 plays an important role in supplying sufficient galactolipids to thylakoid membranes for proper chloroplast biogenesis and photosynthetic activity. These findings will be useful for improving crop yields and for bioenergy crop engineering.
Project description:Chloroplast membranes have a high content of the uncharged galactolipids monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG). These galactolipids are essential for the biogenesis of plastids and functioning of the photosynthetic machinery. A monotopic glycosyltransferase, monogalactosyldiacylglycerol synthase synthesizes the bulk of MGDG. It is embedded in the outer leaflet of the inner envelope membrane of chloroplasts. The protein transfers a galactose residue from UDP-galactose to diacylglycerol (DAG); it needs anionic lipids such as phosphatidylglycerol (PG) to be active. The intricacy of the organization and the process of active complex assembly and synthesis have been investigated at the Coarse-Grained and All-Atom of computer simulation levels to cover large spatial and temporal scales. The following self-assembly process and catalytic events can be drawn; (1) in the membrane, in the absence of protein, there is a spontaneous formation of PG clusters to which DAG molecules associate, (2) a reorganization of the clusters occurs in the vicinity of the protein once inserted in the membrane, (3) an accompanying motion of the catalytic domain of the protein brings DAG in the proper position for the formation of the active complex MGD1/UDP-Gal/DAG/PG for which an atomistic model of interaction is proposed.