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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Chloroplast Sec14-like 1 (CPSFL1) is essential for normal chloroplast development and affects carotenoid accumulation in Chlamydomonas.

  • Author(s): García-Cerdán, José G;
  • Schmid, Eva M;
  • Takeuchi, Tomomi;
  • McRae, Ian;
  • McDonald, Kent L;
  • Yordduangjun, Nichakarn;
  • Hassan, Ahmed M;
  • Grob, Patricia;
  • Xu, C Shan;
  • Hess, Harald F;
  • Fletcher, Daniel A;
  • Nogales, Eva;
  • Niyogi, Krishna K
  • et al.

Plastid isoprenoid-derived carotenoids serve essential roles in chloroplast development and photosynthesis. Although nearly all enzymes that participate in the biosynthesis of carotenoids in plants have been identified, the complement of auxiliary proteins that regulate synthesis, transport, sequestration, and degradation of these molecules and their isoprenoid precursors have not been fully described. To identify such proteins that are necessary for the optimal functioning of oxygenic photosynthesis, we screened a large collection of nonphotosynthetic (acetate-requiring) DNA insertional mutants of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and isolated cpsfl1 The cpsfl1 mutant is extremely light-sensitive and susceptible to photoinhibition and photobleaching. The CPSFL1 gene encodes a CRAL-TRIO hydrophobic ligand-binding (Sec14) domain protein. Proteins containing this domain are limited to eukaryotes, but some may have been retargeted to function in organelles of endosymbiotic origin. The cpsfl1 mutant showed decreased accumulation of plastidial isoprenoid-derived pigments, especially carotenoids, and whole-cell focused ion-beam scanning-electron microscopy revealed a deficiency of carotenoid-rich chloroplast structures (e.g., eyespot and plastoglobules). The low carotenoid content resulted from impaired biosynthesis at a step prior to phytoene, the committed precursor to carotenoids. The CPSFL1 protein bound phytoene and β-carotene when expressed in Escherichia coli and phosphatidic acid in vitro. We suggest that CPSFL1 is involved in the regulation of phytoene synthesis and carotenoid transport and thereby modulates carotenoid accumulation in the chloroplast.

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