Characterization of the heterooligomeric red-type rubisco activase from red algae
Tsai, Yi-Chin Candace
Date of Issue2016
School of Biological Sciences
The photosynthetic CO2-fixing enzyme ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco) is inhibited by nonproductive binding of its substrate ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) and other sugar phosphates. Reactivation requires ATP-hydrolysis–powered remodeling of the inhibited complexes by diverse molecular chaperones known as rubisco activases (Rcas). Eukaryotic phytoplankton of the red plastid lineage contain so-called red-type rubiscos, some of which have been shown to possess superior kinetic properties to green-type rubiscos found in higher plants. These organisms are known to encode multiple homologs of CbbX, the α-proteobacterial red-type activase. Here we show that the gene products of two cbbX genes encoded by the nuclear and plastid genomes of the red algae Cyanidioschyzon merolae are nonfunctional in isolation, but together form a thermostable heterooligomeric Rca that can use both α-proteobacterial and red algal-inhibited rubisco complexes as a substrate. The mechanism of rubisco activation appears conserved between the bacterial and the algal systems and involves threading of the rubisco large subunit C terminus. Whereas binding of the allosteric regulator RuBP induces oligomeric transitions to the bacterial activase, it merely enhances the kinetics of ATP hydrolysis in the algal enzyme. Mutational analysis of nuclear and plastid isoforms demonstrates strong coordination between the subunits and implicates the nuclear-encoded subunit as being functionally dominant. The plastid-encoded subunit may be catalytically inert. Efforts to enhance crop photosynthesis by transplanting red algal rubiscos with enhanced kinetics will need to take into account the requirement for a compatible Rca.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
© 2016 The Author(s). This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, published by National Academy of Sciences on behalf of The Author(s). It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1610758113].