Project description:The nature of the periplastidial pathway of starch biosynthesis was investigated with the model cryptophyte Guillardia theta. The storage polysaccharide granules were shown to be composed of both amylose and amylopectin fractions with a chain length distribution and crystalline organization very similar to those of starch from green algae and land plants. Most starch granules displayed a shape consistent with biosynthesis occurring around the pyrenoid through the rhodoplast membranes. A protein with significant similarity to the amylose-synthesizing granule-bound starch synthase 1 from green plants was found as the major polypeptide bound to the polysaccharide matrix. N-terminal sequencing of the mature protein proved that the precursor protein carries a nonfunctional transit peptide in its bipartite topogenic signal sequence which is cleaved without yielding transport of the enzyme across the two inner plastid membranes. The enzyme was shown to display similar affinities for ADP and UDP-glucose, while the V(max) measured with UDP-glucose was twofold higher. The granule-bound starch synthase from Guillardia theta was demonstrated to be responsible for the synthesis of long glucan chains and therefore to be the functional equivalent of the amylose-synthesizing enzyme of green plants. Preliminary characterization of the starch pathway suggests that Guillardia theta utilizes a UDP-glucose-based pathway to synthesize starch.
Project description:Cryptomonads, are a lineage of unicellular and mostly photosynthetic algae, that acquired their plastids through the "secondary" endosymbiosis of a red alga - and still retain the nuclear genome (nucleomorph) of the latter. We find that the genome of the cryptomonad Guillardia theta comprises genes coding for 13 globin domains, of which 6 occur within two large chimeric proteins. All the sequences adhere to the vertebrate 3/3 myoglobin fold. Although several globins have no introns, the remainder have atypical intron locations. Bayesian phylogenetic analyses suggest that the G. theta Hbs are related to the stramenopile and chlorophyte single domain globins.
Project description:The Cryptomonad Guillardia theta has 42 genes encoding microbial rhodopsin-like proteins in their genomes. Light-driven ion-pump activity has been reported for some rhodopsins based on heterologous E. coli or mammalian cell expression systems. However, neither their physiological roles nor the expression of those genes in native cells are known. To reveal their physiological roles, we investigated the expression patterns of these genes under various growth conditions. Nitrogen (N) deficiency induced color change in exponentially growing G. theta cells from brown to green. The 29 rhodopsin-like genes were expressed in native cells. We found that the expression of 6 genes was induced under N depletion, while that of another 6 genes was reduced under N depletion.
Project description:Plants and algae have developed various regulatory mechanisms for optimal delivery of excitation energy to the photosystems even during fluctuating light conditions; these include state transitions as well as non-photochemical quenching. The former process maintains the balance by redistributing antennae excitation between the photosystems, meanwhile the latter by dissipating excessive excitation inside the antennae. In the present study, these mechanisms have been analysed in the cryptophyte alga Guillardia theta. Photoprotective non-photochemical quenching was observed in cultures only after they had entered the stationary growth phase. These cells displayed a diminished overall photosynthetic efficiency, measured as CO2 assimilation rate and electron transport rate. However, in the logarithmic growth phase G. theta cells redistributed excitation energy via a mechanism similar to state transitions. These state transitions were triggered by blue light absorbed by the membrane integrated chlorophyll a/c antennae, and green light absorbed by the lumenal biliproteins was ineffective. It is proposed that state transitions in G. theta are induced by small re-arrangements of the intrinsic antennae proteins, resulting in their coupling/uncoupling to the photosystems in state 1 or state 2, respectively. G. theta therefore represents a chromalveolate algae able to perform state transitions.
Project description:The rubredoxin from the cryptomonad Guillardia theta is one of the first examples of a rubredoxin encoded in a eukaryotic organism. The structure of a soluble zinc-substituted 70-residue G. theta rubredoxin lacking the membrane anchor and the thylakoid targeting sequence was determined by multidimensional heteronuclear NMR, representing the first three-dimensional (3D) structure of a eukaryotic rubredoxin. For the structure calculation a strategy was applied in which information about hydrogen bonds was directly inferred from a long-range HNCO experiment, and the dynamics of the protein was deduced from heteronuclear nuclear Overhauser effect data and exchange rates of the amide protons. The structure is well defined, exhibiting average root-mean-square deviations of 0.21 A for the backbone heavy atoms and 0.67 A for all heavy atoms of residues 7-56, and an increased flexibility toward the termini. The structure of this core fold is almost identical to that of prokaryotic rubredoxins. There are, however, significant differences with respect to the charge distribution at the protein surface, suggesting that G. theta rubredoxin exerts a different physiological function compared to the structurally characterized prokaryotic rubredoxins. The amino-terminal residues containing the putative signal peptidase recognition/cleavage site show an increased flexibility compared to the core fold, but still adopt a defined 3D orientation, which is mainly stabilized by nonlocal interactions to residues of the carboxy-terminal region. This orientation might reflect the structural elements and charge pattern necessary for correct signal peptidase recognition of the G. theta rubredoxin precursor.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cryptophytes are highly compartmentalized organisms, expressing a secondary minimized eukaryotic genome in the nucleomorph and its surrounding remnant cytoplasm, in addition to the cell nucleus, the mitochondrion and the plastid. Because the members of the nucleomorph-encoded proteome may contribute to essential cellular pathways, elucidating nucleomorph-encoded functions is of utmost interest. Unfortunately, cryptophytes are inaccessible for genetic transformations thus far. Therefore the functions of nucleomorph-encoded proteins must be elucidated indirectly by application of methods in genetically accessible organisms. RESULTS: Orf222, one of the uncharacterized nucleomorph-specific open reading frames of the cryptophyte Guillardia theta, shows homology to slr1649 of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Recently a further homolog from Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 was characterized to encode a phycocyanin-beta155-bilin lyase. Here we show by insertion mutagenesis that the Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 slr1649-encoded protein also acts as a bilin lyase, and additionally contributes to linker attachment and/or stability of phycobilisomes. Finally, our results indicate that the phycocyanin-beta155-bilin lyase of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 can be complemented in vivo by the nucleomorph-encoded open reading frame orf222. CONCLUSION: Our data show that the loss of phycocyanin-lyase function causes pleiotropic effects in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and indicate that after separating from a common ancestor protein, the phycoerythrin lyase from Guillardia theta has retained its capacity to couple a bilin group to other phycobiliproteins. This is a further, unexpected example of the universality of phycobiliprotein lyases.