REGULATION OF CARBON ASSIMILATION IN CHLOROPLASTS: I. ACTIVATION OF RIBULOSE 1,5-BISPHOSPHATE CARBOXYLASE/OXYGENASE; II. CONTROL OF STARCH METABOLISM
AuthorHatch, Alan Lorenzo
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractRibulose 1,5-biphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase is activated by incubation with CO₂ and Mg²⁺. Several compounds are known to mediate this CO₂ dependent activation, including several chloroplast metabolites. A search, based on structural similarities to known activators, encountered more than twenty previously unreported effectors. Activators appear to share several common characteristics, including two anionic groups which usually occupy terminal positions on the molecule. Terminal groups on activators include carboxylate, phosphate, phosphonate, and sulfonate. Activators which do not have at least one phosphate or phosphonate terminal group have a hydroxyl or carboxyl containing side chain. Positive effectors change the response of the carboxylase by allowing activation at lower levels of CO₂ and/or Mg²⁺, and at lower pH values. Higher CO₂ concentrations also allow activation at lower pH values. The ratio between the carboxylase and oxygenase functions of this enzyme at air levels of CO₂ and O₂ does not change with effector induced changes in enzyme activity, suggesting that they share the same active site. There is an apparent difference in the response of the enzyme before and after purification to incubation in phosphate, and to inhibition by the substrate ribulose 1,5-biphosphate. These observations suggest that the isolated protein is different from the native enzyme. Several carboxylase activators are taken up by isolated chloroplasts in an exchange for phosphate catalyzed by the phosphate translocator. Included in this group is phosphonopropionate, a non-metabolized analogue of phosphoglycerate. Addition of this effector to chloroplasts under conditions of photosynthesis results in increased carboxylase activity, but a decrease in both ribulose 1,5-biphosphate levels and CO₂ fixation. There is a slow leakage of phosphate from isolated chloroplasts at room temperature. This leakage does not occur during illumination, nor at ice temperature, but increases with increasing hydroxide ion over physiological pH values. This slow leakage is probably an artifact of chloroplast isolation procedures. In isolated chloroplasts, phosphate levels appear to control the partition of photosynthate between starch formation and sugar phosphate export. During periods of net accumulation of starch in the chloroplast, there is concomitant degradation occurring, such that the accumulation of label into the starch fraction may not reflect the actual rate of starch synthesis.
Degree ProgramGraduate College