Targeted inactivation of the gene psaL encoding a subunit of photosystem I of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

Vaishali P. Chitnis, Qiang Xu, Lian Yu, John H. Golbeck, Hitoshi Nakamoto, Dian Lin Xie, Parag R. Chitnis

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Photosystem I is a multisubunit pigment-protein complex that functions as a light-driven plastocyaninferredoxin oxidoreductase in thylakoid membranes of cyanobacteria and higher plants. A 16-kDa protein subunit of photosystem I complex was isolated from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. The sequence of its NH2-terminal residues was determined and a corresponding oligonucleotide probe was used to isolate the gene encoding this subunit. The gene, designated aspsaL, codes for a protein of 16,605 Da. The deduced amino acid sequence is homologous to the subunit PsaL of barley photosystem I. There are two conserved hydrophobic regions in the subunit PsaL that may cross or interact with thylakoid membranes. The gene psdL exists as a single copy in the genome and is expressed as a monocistronic RNA. Stable mutant strains in which the gene psaL was interrupted by a gene conferring resistance to chloramphenicol, were generated by targeted mutagenesis. Growth and photosynthetic characteristics of a selected mutant strain under photoautotrophic conditions were similar to those of the wild type, suggesting that the function of PsaL is dispensable for photosynthesis in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Western analysis and subunit composition of purified photosystem I revealed that the mutant strain contained other subunits of photosystem I in thylakoid membranes and in the assembled complex. When photosystem II activity was inhibited and glucose was supplied in the medium, mutant strains grew faster than the wild type. Under these conditions of growth, re-reduction of P700 in the mutant cells, but not in the wild type cells, showed a component with an uncharacteristically rapid half-time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11678-11684
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - Jun 5 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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