Functional analysis of combinatorial mutants altered in a conserved region in loop E of the CP47 protein in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Martin Tichy, Willem Vermaas

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24 Scopus citations


Regions in the large lumenally exposed region (loop E) of CP47 affect properties of the water-splitting system in photosystem II (PS II). To investigate the role of these regions, we developed a method for functional complementation of obligate photoheterotrophic mutants carrying a deletion in one such region. Using an obligate photoheterotrophic mutant that carries a short deletion (Δ(D440-P447)) in loop E of CP47, completely degenerate sequences of eight codons in length were introduced at the site of the deletion. Transformants that were complemented to photoautotrophic growth were selected, and 20 such mutants were studied. Sequence analysis revealed that, as expected, in each of them CP47 had been restored to its wild-type length. However, none of the amino acid residues in the deleted region were found to be critical for function. A negatively charged residue at position 440 and a positively charged one at position 444 were favored but not required. Photoautotrophic growth of mutants obtained varied from almost normal to significantly impaired. The mutants contained 20-100% of the amount of PS II present in the wild type, with PS II amounts correlating with the initial rates of oxygen evolution. The mutants had a high rate of photoinactivation, and many mutants showed an up to 1000-fold increase in chloride requirement for photoautotrophic growth. These phenotypic effects were a direct consequence of the CP47 mutations and were not caused by altered binding of one of the extrinsic proteins. No particular amino acid residues in positions 440-447 of CP47 were found to be indispensable for photoautotrophic growth, and many amino acid combinations in this region support PS II function. However, the mutagenized region is shown to interact with the oxygen-evolving site of PS II and appears to have a direct role in chloride binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1523-1531
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 10 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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