Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Catalytic and structural properties of pheophytinase, the phytol esterase involved in chlorophyll breakdown


Guyer, Luzia; Salinger, Kathrin; Krügel, Undine; Hörtensteiner, Stefan (2017). Catalytic and structural properties of pheophytinase, the phytol esterase involved in chlorophyll breakdown. Journal of Experimental Botany, 69:879-889.

Abstract

During leaf senescence and fruit ripening, chlorophyll is degraded in a multistep pathway into linear tetrapyrroles called phyllobilins. A key feature of chlorophyll breakdown is the removal of the hydrophobic phytol chain that renders phyllobilins water soluble, an important prerequisite for their ultimate storage in the vacuole of senescent cells. Chlorophyllases had been considered for more than a century to catalyze dephytylation in vivo; however, this was recently refuted. Instead, pheophytinase was discovered as a genuine in vivo phytol hydrolase. While chlorophyllase acts rather unspecifically towards different porphyrin substrates, pheophytinase was shown to specifically dephytylate pheophytin, namely Mg-free chlorophyll. The aim of this work was to elucidate in detail the biochemical and structural properties of pheophytinase. By testing different porphyrin substrates with recombinant pheophytinase from Arabidopsis thaliana we show that pheophytinase has high specificity for the acid moiety of the ester bond, namely the porphyrin ring, while the nature of the alcohol, namely the phytol chain in pheophytin, is irrelevant. In silico modelling of the 3-dimensional structure of pheophytinase and subsequent analysis of site-directed pheophytinase mutant forms allowed the identification of the serine, histidine, and aspartic acid residues that compose the catalytic triad, a classical feature of serine-type hydrolases to which both pheophytinase and chlorophyllase belong. Based on substantial structural differences in the models of Arabidopsis pheophytinase and chlorophyllase 1, we discuss potential differences in the catalytic properties of these two phytol hydrolases.

Abstract

During leaf senescence and fruit ripening, chlorophyll is degraded in a multistep pathway into linear tetrapyrroles called phyllobilins. A key feature of chlorophyll breakdown is the removal of the hydrophobic phytol chain that renders phyllobilins water soluble, an important prerequisite for their ultimate storage in the vacuole of senescent cells. Chlorophyllases had been considered for more than a century to catalyze dephytylation in vivo; however, this was recently refuted. Instead, pheophytinase was discovered as a genuine in vivo phytol hydrolase. While chlorophyllase acts rather unspecifically towards different porphyrin substrates, pheophytinase was shown to specifically dephytylate pheophytin, namely Mg-free chlorophyll. The aim of this work was to elucidate in detail the biochemical and structural properties of pheophytinase. By testing different porphyrin substrates with recombinant pheophytinase from Arabidopsis thaliana we show that pheophytinase has high specificity for the acid moiety of the ester bond, namely the porphyrin ring, while the nature of the alcohol, namely the phytol chain in pheophytin, is irrelevant. In silico modelling of the 3-dimensional structure of pheophytinase and subsequent analysis of site-directed pheophytinase mutant forms allowed the identification of the serine, histidine, and aspartic acid residues that compose the catalytic triad, a classical feature of serine-type hydrolases to which both pheophytinase and chlorophyllase belong. Based on substantial structural differences in the models of Arabidopsis pheophytinase and chlorophyllase 1, we discuss potential differences in the catalytic properties of these two phytol hydrolases.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics

Altmetrics

Downloads

0 downloads since deposited on 26 Feb 2018
0 downloads since 12 months

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
07 Faculty of Science > Zurich-Basel Plant Science Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:580 Plants (Botany)
Language:English
Date:23 September 2017
Deposited On:26 Feb 2018 15:55
Last Modified:14 Mar 2018 17:55
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0022-0957
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erx326
PubMed ID:29036670

Download