Project description:Micromonas is a unicellular motile alga within the Prasinophyceae, a green algal group that is related to land plants. This picoeukaryote (<2 ?m diameter) is widespread in the marine environment but is not well understood at the cellular level. Here, we examine shifts in mRNA and protein expression over the course of the day-night cycle using triplicated mid-exponential, nutrient replete cultures of Micromonas pusilla CCMP1545. Samples were collected at key transition points during the diel cycle for evaluation using high-throughput LC-MS proteomics. In conjunction, matched mRNA samples from the same time points were sequenced using pair-ended directional Illumina RNA-Seq to investigate the dynamics and relationship between the mRNA and protein expression programs of M. pusilla. Similar to a prior study of the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus, we found significant divergence in the mRNA and proteomics expression dynamics in response to the light:dark cycle. Additionally, expressional responses of genes and the proteins they encoded could also be variable within the same metabolic pathway, such as we observed in the oxygenic photosynthesis pathway. A regression framework was used to predict protein levels from both mRNA expression and gene-specific sequence-based features. Several features in the genome sequence were found to influence protein abundance including codon usage as well as 3' UTR length and structure. Collectively, our studies provide insights into the regulation of the proteome over a diel cycle as well as the relationships between transcriptional and translational programs in the widespread marine green alga Micromonas.
Project description:The ?6 and ?3 pathways are two major pathways in the biosynthesis of PUFAs. In both of these, delta 6 desaturase (FADS6) is a key bifunctional enzyme desaturating linoleic acid or ?-linolenic acid. Microbial species have different propensity for accumulating ?6- or ?3-series PUFAs, which may be determined by the substrate preference of FADS6 enzyme. In the present study, we analyzed the molecular mechanism of FADS6 substrate specificity. FADS6 cDNAs were cloned from Mortierella alpina (ATCC 32222) and Micromonas pusilla (CCMP1545) that synthesized high levels of arachidonic acid and EPA, respectively. M. alpina FADS6 (MaFADS6-I) showed substrate preference for LA; whereas, M. pusilla FADS6 (MpFADS6) preferred ALA. To understand the structural basis of substrate specificity, MaFADS6-I and MpFADS6 sequences were divided into five sections and a domain swapping approach was used to examine the role of each section in substrate preference. Our results showed that sequences between the histidine boxes I and II played a pivotal role in substrate preference. Based on our domain swapping results, nine amino acid (aa) residues were targeted for further analysis by site-directed mutagenesis. G194L, E222S, M227K, and V399I/I400E substitutions interfered with substrate recognition, which suggests that the corresponding aa residues play an important role in this process.