A Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 mutant lacking CtaI, a main subunit of cytochrome c oxidase, is not capable of growing at light intensities below 5 μmol photons m-2 s-1, presumably due to an overreduced plastoquinone pool in the thylakoid membrane. Upon selection for growth at light intensities below 5 μmol photons m-2 s-1, a secondary mutant was generated that retained the CtaI deletion and had fully assembled photosystem II complexes; in this secondary mutant (pseudorevertant), oxygen evolution and respiratory activities were similar to those in the wild type. Functional complementation of the original CtaI-less strain to low-light tolerance by transformation with restriction fragments of genomic DNA of the pseudorevertant and subsequent mapping of the pseudoreversion site showed that the point mutation led to a Ser186Cys substitution in Sll1717, a protein of as-yet-unknown function and with a predicted ATP/GTP-binding domain. This mutation caused a decrease in the plastoquinone pool reduction level of thylakoids compared to that observed for the wild type. Based on a variety of experimental evidence, the most plausible mechanism to cause this effect is an activation of plastoquinol oxidation in thylakoids by the quinol oxidase CydAB that occurs without upregulation of the corresponding gene and that may be caused by an increased CydAB activity in thylakoids, conceivably due to altered CydAB sorting between cytoplasmic and thylakoid membranes. Sll1717 appears to be unique to Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 and has a close homologue encoded in the genome of this organism. The transcript level of sll1717 is low, which suggests that the corresponding protein is regulatory rather than structural.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology