Inactivation of the open reading frame slr0399 in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 functionally complements mutations near the Q(A) niche of photosystem II. A possible role of Slr0399 as a chaperone for quinone binding

Svetlana Ermakova-Gerdes, Willem Vermaas

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The Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 triple mutant D2R8 with V247M/A249T/M329I mutations in the D2 subunit of the photosystem II is impaired in Q(A) function, has an apparently mobile Q(A), and is unable to grow photoautotrophically. Several photoautotrophic pseudorevertants of this mutant have been isolated, each of which retained the original psbDI mutations of D2R8. Using a newly developed mapping technique, the site of the secondary mutations has been located in the open reading frame slr0399. Two different nucleotide substitutions and a deletion of about 60% of slr0399 were each shown to restore photoautotrophy in different pseudorevertants of the mutant D2R8, suggesting that inactivation of Slr0399 leads to photoautotrophic growth in D2R8. Indeed, a targeted deletion of slr0399 restores photoautotrophy in D2R8 and in other psbDI mutants impaired in Q(A) function. Slr0399 is similar to the hypothetical protein Ycf39, which is encoded in the cyanelle genome of Cyanophora paradoxa; in the chloroplast genomes of diatoms, dinoflagellates, and red algae; and in the nuclear genome of Arabidopsis thaliana. Slr0399 and Ycf39 have a NAD(P)H binding motif near their N terminus and have some similarity to isoflavone reductase-like proteins and to a subunit of the eukaryotic NADH dehydrogenase complex I. Deletion of slr0399 in wild type Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 has no significant phenotypic effects other than a decrease in thermotolerance under both photoautotrophic and photomixotrophic conditions. We suggest that Slr0399 is a chaperone-like protein that aids in, but is not essential for, quinone insertion and protein folding around Q(A) in photosystem II. Moreover, as the effects of Slr0399 are not limited to photosystem II, this protein may also be involved in assembly of quinones in other photosynthetic and respiratory complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30540-30549
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number43
StatePublished - Oct 22 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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