Orange and red carotenoid proteins are involved in the adaptation of the terrestrial cyanobacterium Nostoc flagelliforme to desiccation
The remarkable drought-resistance of the terrestrial cyanobacterium Nostoc flagelliforme (N. flagelliforme) has attracted attention for many years. In this study, we purified a group of red proteins that accumulate in dried field samples of N. flagelliforme. These red proteins contain canthaxanthin as the bound chromophore. Native-PAGE analysis revealed that the purified red proteins resolved into six visible red bands and were composed of four helical carotenoid proteins (HCPs), HCP1, HCP2, HCP3, and HCP6 (homologs to the N-terminal domain of the orange carotenoid protein (OCP)). Seven genes encode homologs of the OCP in the genome of N. flagelliforme: two full-length ocp genes (ocpx1 and ocpx2), four N-terminal domain hcp genes (hcp1, hcp2, hcp3, and hcp6), and one C-terminal domain ccp gene. The expression levels of hcp1, hcp2, and hcp6 were highly dependent on the water status of field N. flagelliforme samples, being downregulated during rehydration and upregulated during subsequent dehydration. Transcripts of ocpx2 were dominant in the dried field samples, which we confirmed by detecting the presence of OCPx2-derived peptides in the purified red proteins. The results shed light on the relationship between carotenoid-binding proteins and the desiccation resistance of terrestrial cyanobacteria, and the physiological functions of carotenoid-binding protein complexes in relation to desiccation are discussed.
KeywordsNostoc flagelliforme Orange carotenoid protein Canthaxanthin Desiccation Helical carotenoid protein Red carotenoid protein
Mycosporine-like amino acids
Reactive oxygen species
Orange carotenoid protein
Inactive orange form orange carotenoid protein
Active red form orange carotenoid protein
Water stress protein
We thank Prof. Cui-Hong Wan and Dr. Bing Wang (Central China Normal University) for assisting in the LC–MS/MS data collection and analysis. We also thank Dr. Guo-Zheng Dai, Dr. Hai-Bo Jiang, Dr. Xiang Gao, and Dr. Zhong-chun Zhang (Central China Normal University) for their valuable advice. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31670332).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Research involving with human and animal participants
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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