Resurrecting the Regulatory Properties of the Ostreococcus tauri ADP-Glucose Pyrophosphorylase Large Subunit

Front Plant Sci. 2018 Oct 30:9:1564. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01564. eCollection 2018.


ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (ADP-Glc PPase) catalyzes the first committed step for the synthesis of glycogen in cyanobacteria and starch in green algae and plants. The enzyme from cyanobacteria is homotetrameric (α4), while that from green algae and plants is heterotetrameric (α2β2). These ADP-Glc PPases are allosterically regulated by 3-phosphoglycerate (3PGA, activator) and inorganic orthophosphate (Pi, inhibitor). Previous studies on the cyanobacterial and plant enzymes showed that 3PGA binds to two highly conserved Lys residues located in the C-terminal domain. We observed that both Lys residues are present in the small (α) subunit of the Ostreococcus tauri enzyme; however, one of these Lys residues is replaced by Arg in the large (β) subunit. In this work, we obtained the K443R and R466K mutants of the O. tauri small and large subunits, respectively, and co-expressed them together or with their corresponding wild type counterparts. Our results show that restoring the Lys residue in the large subunit enhanced 3PGA affinity, whereas introduction of an Arg residue in the small subunit reduced 3PGA affinity of the heterotetramers. Inhibition kinetics also showed that heterotetramers containing the K443R small subunit mutant were less sensitive to Pi inhibition, but only minor changes were observed for those containing the R466K large subunit mutant, suggesting a leading role of the small subunit for Pi inhibition of the heterotetramer. We conclude that, during evolution, the ADP-Glc PPase large subunit from green algae and plants acquired mutations in its regulatory site. The rationale for this could have been to accommodate sensitivity to particular metabolic needs of the cell or tissue.

Keywords: 3-phosphoglycerate; ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase; Ostreococcus tauri; inorganic orthophosphate; starch.