The green alga Chlorella pyrenoidosa
can accumulate lutein and chlorophyll under heterotrophic conditions. We propose that the mitochondrial respiratory electron transport chain (mRET) may be involved in this process. To verify this hypothesis, algal cells were treated with different mRET inhibitors. The biosynthesis of lutein and chlorophyll was found to be significantly stimulated by salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM), whereas their contents substantially decreased after treatment with antimycin A and sodium azide (NaN3
). Proteomic studies revealed profound protein alterations related to the redox and energy states, and a network was proposed: The up-regulation of peroxiredoxin reduces oxidized glutathione (GSSG) to reduced glutathione (GSH); phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) catalyzes the conversion of oxaloacetic acid to phosphoenolpyruvate, and after entering the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway, 4-hydroxy-3-methylbut-2-en-1yl diphosphate synthase reduces 2-C
-erythritol-2,4-cyclodiphosphate (ME-Cpp) to 1-hydroxy-2-methyl-2-(E)-butenyl 4-diphosphate (HMBPP), which is closely related to the synthesis of lutein; and coproporphyrinogen III oxidase and ChlI play important roles in the chlorophyll biosynthetic pathway. These results supported that for the heterotrophic C. pyrenoidosa
, the signaling, oriented from mRET, may regulate the nuclear genes encoding the enzymes involved in photosynthetic pigment biosynthesis.
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