Molecular cloning and targeted mutagenesis of the gene psaF encoding subunit III of photosystem I from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Parag R. Chitnis, David Purvis, Nathan Nelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations

Abstract

Photosystem I is one of the two multisubunit pigment-protein complexes in the thylakoid membranes of cyanobacteria. Subunit III of photosystem I complex was isolated from a mutant of the cyanonbacterium Synechocystis sp PCC 6803, which lacks subunit II. The sequence of its NH2-terminal residues was determined and corresponding oligonucleotide probes were used to isolate the gene encoding this subunit. The gene, designated as psaF, codes for a mature protein of 15705 Da that is synthesized with a 23-amino acid extension. The deduced amino acid sequence is homologous to subunit III from spinach and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The presequence of subunit III shows characteristics typical of bacterial presequences and exhibits remarkable amino acid identity around the proteolytic processing site when compared to corresponding regions from the precursors of eukaryotic subunit III. There are two conserved hydrophobic regions in the mature subunit III which may cross or interact with thylakoid membrane. The gene psaF exists as a single copy in the genome and is expressed as a monocistronic RNA. A stable mutant strain in which the gene psaF was replaced by a gene conferring resistance to kanamycin was generated by targeted mutagenesis. Photoautotrophic growth of the mutant strain was comparable with that of the wild type suggesting that function of subunit III is dispensable for photosynthesis in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Addition of more MgSO4 to BG11 medium enhanced growth of the mutant strain but not of the wild type cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20146-20151
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume266
Issue number30
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

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