Multiple deletions of small cab-like proteins in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Consequences for pigment biosynthesis and accumulation

Hong Xu, Dmitrii Vavilin, Christiane Funk, Willem Vermaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

Deletion of the genes for four or five small Cab-like proteins (SCPs) in photosystem (PS) I-less and PS I-less/PS II-less strains of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 caused a large decrease in the chlorophyll and carotenoid content of the cells without accumulation of early intermediates in the chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway, suggesting limited chlorophyll availability. The PS II/PS I ratio increased upon deletion of multiple SCPs in a wild type background, similar to what is observed in the presence of subsaturating concentrations of gabaculin, an inhibitor of an early step in the tetrapyrrole biosynthesis pathway. Upon deletion of multiple SCPs, neither 77 K fluorescence emission properties of phycobilisomeless thylakoids from the PS I-less/PS II-less strain nor the energy trapping efficiency of PS II were affected, indicating that under steady-state conditions SCPs do not bind much chlorophyll and do not serve as PS II antenna. Under conditions where protochlorophyllide reduction and thus chlorophyll synthesis were inhibited, chlorophyll disappeared quickly in a mutant lacking all five SCPs. This implies a role of SCPs in stabilization of chlorophyll-binding proteins and/or in reuse of chlorophylls. Under these conditions of inhibited reduction of protochlorophyllide, the accumulation kinetics of this intermediate were greatly altered in the absence of the five SCPs. This indicates an alteration of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis kinetics by SCPs. Based on this and other evidence, we propose that SCPs bind carotenoids and transiently bind chlorophyll, aiding in the supply of chlorophyll to nascent or reassembling photosynthetic complexes, and regulate the tetrapyrrole biosynthesis pathway as a function of the demand for chlorophyll.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27971-27979
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume279
Issue number27
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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