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Divergence of plastid 2-oxoglutarate “only” transporters away from general transporters by using a cysteine-rich architecture

Author:

D. Gunawardana

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Gangodawila, LK
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Abstract

The common carbon and nitrogen currency, 2-oxoglutarate, could become a valuable resource for nitrogen assimilation and carbon centered biochemical fates. Here in this in silico study, a myriad of factors was used, namely phylogeny, sequence comparisons, and presence and location of clustered cysteines in specific plastid transporters of 2-oxoglutarate, to examine their evolution away from more generalized transporters. This transition would be to adopt the capability of internalizing 2-oxoglutarate alone or with superior specificities at the expense of malate. In phylogeny, the specific 2-oxoglutarate transporters (Cluster 1) are clustered in a separate clade away from 2 clades of general transporters (Cluster 2 and 3). The exclusivity (Cluster 1) and promiscuity of transporters (Cluster 2 and 3) compared to Arabidopsis counterparts characterized prior to this study, were used as a benchmark for my study. Within this mother clade of exclusive transporters, C4 and C3 2-oxoglutarate transporters once again form separate clusters of monophyly.  Furthermore, a pattern of Cys –X-X-Cys-X(19)-Cys is conserved within the 2-oxo-glutarate only transporters that is missing in general transporters. Cysteines which are functionally key residues are inferred to be mediating intra- or inter-reactive disulfide bond formation or using a thiol (sulfhydryl) group for transport or to be forming a metal binding site. When a disulfide bond prediction tool was employed, it showed with negligible doubt that the Cys-X-X Cys-X(19) -Cys region was a strong contender for 2 separate disulfide bonds, although the middle cysteine was predicted to be involved in both.  In addition, Cluster 2 general Zea mays C4 transporters are shown to be more recalcitrant to mutations of cysteines, compared to Panicum and Oryza counterparts.  The study of 2-oxoglutarate and its availability in the chloroplast could play a two-prong role in C4 plants: to be a candidate for synthesis of bundle sheath cell Rubisco enzyme, which makes up ~50% of plant proteins, via ammonia assimilation, and even playing a role in carbon-centered biochemical pathways. This study could greatly facilitate choices in the tinkering of the right transporters for a future C4 rice in a climate change impacted world.
How to Cite: Gunawardana, D., 2021. Divergence of plastid 2-oxoglutarate “only” transporters away from general transporters by using a cysteine-rich architecture. Sri Lankan Journal of Biology, 6(2), pp.20–31. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljb.v6i2.81
Published on 23 Jun 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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