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Single-Organelle Quantification Reveals Stoichiometric and Structural Variability of Carboxysomes Dependent on the Environment

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JournalThe Plant Cell
DateAccepted/In press - 2 May 2019
DatePublished (current) - 1 Jul 2019
Pages (from-to)1648-1664
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The carboxysome is a complex, proteinaceous organelle that plays essential roles in carbon assimilation in cyanobacteria and chemoautotrophs. It comprises hundreds of protein homologs that self-assemble in space to form an icosahedral structure. Despite its significance in enhancing CO2 fixation and potentials in bioengineering applications, the formation of carboxysomes and their structural composition, stoichiometry and adaptation to cope with environmental changes remain unclear. Here we use live-cell single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, coupled with confocal and electron microscopy, to decipher the absolute protein stoichiometry and organizational variability of single β-carboxysomes in the model cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942. We determine the physiological abundance of individual building blocks within the icosahedral carboxysome. We further find that the protein stoichiometry, diameter, localization and mobility patterns of carboxysomes in cells depend sensitively on the microenvironmental levels of CO2 and light intensity during cell growth, revealing cellular strategies of dynamic regulation. These findings, also applicable to other bacterial microcompartments and macromolecular self-assembling systems, advance our knowledge of the principles that mediate carboxysome formation and structural modulation. It will empower rational design and construction of entire functional metabolic factories in heterologous organisms, for example crop plants, to boost photosynthesis and agricultural productivity

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©2019 The author(s). This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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