Kinetic isotope effect and biochemical characterization of form IA RubisCO from the marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus marinus MIT9313

Scott, K. M., M. Henn-Sax, T. L. Harmer, D. L. Longo, C. H. Frame, C. M. Cavanaugh

Limnol. Oceanogr., 52(5), 2007, 2199-2204 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2007.52.5.2199

ABSTRACT: In an effort to better understand the factors influencing carbon fixation by Prochlorococcus, and to elucidate the effects of these cyanobacteria on the ocean carbon cycle, the kinetic parameters and isotopic discrimination of form IA ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO) from Prochlorococcus marinus MIT 9313 were determined. The RubisCO genes (cbbL and cbbS) were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Enzyme was purified via ammonium sulfate precipitation, and the optimum pH and temperature, as well as Michaelis-Menton constants, were determined radiometrically. The degree to which this RubisCO discriminates against 13CO2 during fixation was determined by the high-precision substrate depletion method. Purified enzyme had a pH optimum of 7.5, was most active between 20°C and 30°C, had a moderate Vmax (0.41 µmol min-1 mg protein-1), and had the highest KCO2 value (0.75 mmol L-1) for a form I RubisCO characterized to date. The ε value, ε = 1,000[(k12/k13) - 1], for the enzyme was determined to be 24.0‰ (95% C.I. = 22.2-25.6‰), within the range observed for other form I RubisCOs. This ε value is a critical baseline for interpreting the δ13C values of marine environmental samples, particularly those collected from the open ocean, where P. marinus is responsible for a substantial fraction of carbon fixation.

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