ClpP functions as the proteolytic subunit of the ATP-dependent Clp protease in eubacteria, mammals and plant chloroplasts. We have cloned a clpP gene, designated clpP1, from the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942. The monocistronic 591 bp gene codes for a protein 80% similar to one of four putative ClpP proteins in another cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. The constitutive ClpP1 content in Synechococcus cultures was not inducible by high temperatures, but it did rise fivefold with increasing growth light from 50 to 175 µmol photons m-2 s-1. A clpP1 inactivation strain (ΔclpP1) exhibited slower growth rates, especially at the higher irradiances, and changes in the proportion of the photosynthetic pigments, chlorophyll a and phycocyanin. Many mutant cells (ca. 35%) were also severely elongated, up to 20 times longer than the wild type. The stress phenotype of ΔclpP1 when grown at high light was confirmed by the induction of known stress proteins, such as the heat shock protein GroEL and the alternate form of PSII reaction center D1 protein, D1 form 2. ClpP1 content also rose significantly during short-term photoinhibition, but its loss in ΔclpP1 did not exacerbate the extent of inactivation of photosynthesis, nor affect the inducible D1 exchange mechanism, indicating ClpP1 is not directly involved in D1 protein turnover.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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