The gene complement for proteolysis in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and Arabidopsis thaliana chloroplasts
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A set of 62 genes that encode the entire peptidase complement of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 has been identified in the genome database of that cyanobacterium. Sequence comparisons with the Arabidopsis genome uncovered the presumably homologous chloroplast components inherited from their cyanobacterial ancestor. A systematic gene disruption approach was chosen to individually inactivate, by customary transformation strategies, the majority of the cyanobacterial genes encoding peptidase subunits that are related to chloroplast enzymes. This allowed classification of the peptidases that are required for cell viability or are involved in specific stress responses. The comparative analysis between Synechocystis and Arabidopsis chloroplast peptidases showed that: (1) homologous enzymes that arose by gene duplications in cyanobacteria are functionally diverse and frequently do not complement each other, (2) the chloroplast appears to house a number of distinct peptidase polypeptide chains of cyanobacterial origin (49) which is comparable with a cyanobacterial cell (62) and (3) the peptidase complement in plastids results from a combination of the loss of some cyanobacterial peptidases and the gain or diversification of subclasses of peptidases. This reorganization in the pattern of proteolytic enzymes may reflect distinct environmental and physiological changes between prokaryotic and organellar systems.
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