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CpeS Is a Lyase Specific for Attachment of 3Z-PEB to Cys82 of β-phycoerythrin from Prochlorococcus marinus MED4

Latest updated: May 26, 2020

Jessica Wiethaus,Andrea W. U. Busch, Klaus Kock, Lars I. Leichert, Christian Herrmann and Nicole Frankenberg-Dinkel,
November 26, 2010, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285, 37561-37569.



In contrast to the majority of cyanobacteria, the unicellular marine cyanobacterium Prochlorococcus marinus MED4 uses an intrinsic divinyl-chlorophyll-dependent light-harvesting system for photosynthesis. Despite the absence of phycobilisomes, this high-light adapted strain possesses β-phycoerythrin (CpeB), an S-type lyase (CpeS), and enzymes for the biosynthesis of phycoerythrobilin (PEB) and phycocyanobilin. Of all linear tetrapyrroles synthesized by Prochlorococcus including their 3Z- and 3E-isomers, CpeS binds both isomers of PEB and its biosynthetic precursor 15,16-dihydrobiliverdin (DHBV). However, dimerization of CpeS is independent of bilins, which are tightly bound in a complex at a ratio of 1:1. Although bilin binding by CpeS is fast, transfer to CpeB is rather slow. CpeS is able to attach 3E-PEB and 3Z-PEB to dimeric CpeB but not DHBV. CpeS transfer of 3Z-PEB exclusively yields correctly bound βCys82-PEB, whereas βCys82-DHBV is a side product of 3E-PEB transfer. Spontaneous 3E- and 3Z-PEB addition to CpeB is faulty, and products are in both cases βCys82-DHBV and likely a PEB bound at βCys82 in a non-native configuration. Our data indicate that CpeS is specific for 3Z-PEB transfer to βCys82 of phycoerythrin and essential for the correct configuration of the attachment product.


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