Synthetic biology approaches to engineer light-responsive systems are widely used, but their applications in plants are still limited due to the interference with endogenous photoreceptors and the intrinsic requirement of light for photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria possess a family of soluble carotenoid-associated proteins named Orange Carotenoid Proteins (OCPs) that, when activated by blue-green light, undergo a reversible conformational change that enables the photoprotection mechanism that occurs on the phycobilisome. Exploiting this system, we developed a chloroplast-localized synthetic photoswitch based on a protein complementation assay where two nanoluciferase fragments were fused to separate polypeptides corresponding to the OCP2 domains. Since Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) does not possess the prosthetic group needed for the assembly of the OCP2 complex, we first implemented the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway with a bacterial β-carotene ketolase enzyme (crtW) to generate keto-carotenoid-producing plants. The photoswitch was tested and characterized in Arabidopsis protoplasts and stably transformed plants with experiments aimed to uncover its regulation by a range of light intensities, wavelengths, and its conversion dynamics. Finally, we applied the OCP-based photoswitch to control transcriptional responses in chloroplasts in response to green light illumination by fusing the two OCP fragments with the plastidial SIGMA FACTOR 2 (Sig2) and bacteriophage T4 anti-sigma factor AsiA. This pioneering study establishes the basis for future implementation of plastid optogenetics to regulate organelle responses upon exposure to specific light spectra.

A synthetic switch based on orange carotenoid protein to control blue{ extendash}green light responses in chloroplasts

Stefano Cazzaniga;Matteo Ballottari;
2022-01-01

Abstract

Synthetic biology approaches to engineer light-responsive systems are widely used, but their applications in plants are still limited due to the interference with endogenous photoreceptors and the intrinsic requirement of light for photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria possess a family of soluble carotenoid-associated proteins named Orange Carotenoid Proteins (OCPs) that, when activated by blue-green light, undergo a reversible conformational change that enables the photoprotection mechanism that occurs on the phycobilisome. Exploiting this system, we developed a chloroplast-localized synthetic photoswitch based on a protein complementation assay where two nanoluciferase fragments were fused to separate polypeptides corresponding to the OCP2 domains. Since Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) does not possess the prosthetic group needed for the assembly of the OCP2 complex, we first implemented the carotenoid biosynthetic pathway with a bacterial β-carotene ketolase enzyme (crtW) to generate keto-carotenoid-producing plants. The photoswitch was tested and characterized in Arabidopsis protoplasts and stably transformed plants with experiments aimed to uncover its regulation by a range of light intensities, wavelengths, and its conversion dynamics. Finally, we applied the OCP-based photoswitch to control transcriptional responses in chloroplasts in response to green light illumination by fusing the two OCP fragments with the plastidial SIGMA FACTOR 2 (Sig2) and bacteriophage T4 anti-sigma factor AsiA. This pioneering study establishes the basis for future implementation of plastid optogenetics to regulate organelle responses upon exposure to specific light spectra.
Synthetic biology, Carotenoids, astaxanthin, Arabidopsis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1062879
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