, Volume 56, Issue 1, pp 322–333 | Cite as

Function, regulation and distribution of IsiA, a membrane-bound chlorophyll a-antenna protein in cyanobacteria

  • H.-Y.S. Chen
  • A. Bandyopadhyay
  • H. B. Pakrasi


IsiA is a membrane-bound Chl a-antenna protein synthesized in cyanobacteria under iron deficiency. Since iron deficiency is a common nutrient stress in significant fractions of cyanobacterial habitats, IsiA is likely to be essential for some cyanobacteria. However, the role it plays in cyanobacteria is not fully understood. In this review paper, we summarize the research efforts directed towards characterizing IsiA over the past three decades and attempt to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together to get a more comprehensive understanding of the function of this protein. Moreover, we analyzed the genomes of over 390 cyanobacterial strains available in the JGI/IMG database to assess the distribution of IsiA across the cyanobacterial kingdom. Our study revealed that only 125 such strains have an IsiA homolog, suggesting that the presence of this protein is a niche specific requirement, and cyanobacterial strains that lack IsiA might have developed other mechanisms to survive iron deficiency.

Additional key words

environmental stress excitation energy transfer gene regulation photoprotection photosynthesis phylogenetic analysis 



chlorophyll-binding proteins

Chl a

chlorophyll a


excitation energy transfer


Fenna-Mathews-Olson protein


ferric uptake regulator


maximal photochemical efficiency of PSII


green fluorescent protein


high light-inducible proteins


high-nitrate low-chlorophyll


inverted repeat


iron-stress-induced protein A


iron-stress-induced protein B


iron-deficiency-induced protein A


iron-deficiency-induced protein B


iron stress-repressed RNA


nonphotochemical quenching




prochlorophyte chlorophyll a/b protein


peroxide operon regulator


reactive oxygen species


effective cross-section of the photosynthetic reaction center PSI


noncultivated unicellular cyanobacteria of group A


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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • H.-Y.S. Chen
    • 1
  • A. Bandyopadhyay
    • 2
  • H. B. Pakrasi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Energy, Environmental, and Chemical EngineeringWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyWashington UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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