Proteomic analysis of metabolic pathways supports chloroplast-mitochondria cross-talk in a Cu-limited diatom
Hippmann AA, Schuback N, Moon KM, McCrow JP, Allen AE, Foster LF, Green BR, Maldonado MT
Diatoms are one of the most successful phytoplankton groups in our oceans, being responsible for over 20% of the Earth's photosynthetic productivity. Their chimeric genomes have genes derived from red algae, green algae, bacteria, and heterotrophs, resulting in multiple isoenzymes targeted to different cellular compartments with the potential for differential regulation under nutrient limitation. The resulting interactions between metabolic pathways are not yet fully understood. We previously showed how acclimation to Cu limitation enhanced susceptibility to overreduction of the photosynthetic electron transport chain and its reorganization to favor photoprotection over light harvesting in the oceanic diatom (Hippmann et al., 2017, 10.1371/journal.pone.0181753). In order to gain a better understanding of the overall metabolic changes that help alleviate the stress of Cu limitation, we have further analyzed the comprehensive proteomic datasets generated in that study to identify differentially expressed proteins involved in carbon, nitrogen, and oxidative stress-related metabolic pathways. Metabolic pathway analysis showed integrated responses to Cu limitation. The upregulation of ferredoxin (Fdx) was correlated with upregulation of plastidial Fdx-dependent isoenzymes involved in nitrogen assimilation as well as enzymes involved in glutathione synthesis, thus suggesting an integration of nitrogen uptake and metabolism with photosynthesis and oxidative stress resistance. The differential expression of glycolytic isoenzymes located in the chloroplast and mitochondria may enable them to channel both excess electrons and/or ATP between these compartments. An additional support for chloroplast-mitochondrial cross-talk is the increased expression of chloroplast and mitochondrial proteins involved in the proposed malate shunt under Cu limitation.