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Absolute Quantification of Major Photosynthetic Protein Complexes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Using Quantification Concatamers (QconCATs)

  • For modeling approaches in systems biology, knowledge of the absolute abundances of cellular proteins is essential. One way to gain this knowledge is the use of quantification concatamers (QconCATs), which are synthetic proteins consisting of proteotypic peptides derived from the target proteins to be quantified. The QconCAT protein is labeled with a heavy isotope upon expression in E. coli and known amounts of the purified protein are spiked into a whole cell protein extract. Upon tryptic digestion, labeled and unlabeled peptides are released from the QconCAT and the native proteins, respectively, and both are quantified by LC-MS/MS. The labeled Q-peptides then serve as standards for determining the absolute quantity of the native peptides/proteins. Here we have applied the QconCAT approach to Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for the absolute quantification of the major proteins and protein complexes driving photosynthetic light reactions in the thylakoid membranes and carbon fixation in the pyrenoid. We found that with 25.2 attomol/cell the Rubisco large subunit makes up 6.6% of all proteins in a Chlamydomonas cell and with this exceeds the amount of the small subunit by a factor of 1.56. EPYC1, which links Rubisco to form the pyrenoid, is eight times less abundant than RBCS, and Rubisco activase is 32-times less abundant than RBCS. With 5.2 attomol/cell, photosystem II is the most abundant complex involved in the photosynthetic light reactions, followed by plastocyanin, photosystem I and the cytochrome b6/f complex, which range between 2.9 and 3.5 attomol/cell. The least abundant complex is the ATP synthase with 2 attomol/cell. While applying the QconCAT approach, we have been able to identify many potential pitfalls associated with this technique. We analyze and discuss these pitfalls in detail and provide an optimized workflow for future applications of this technique.

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Author:Alexander Hammel, David Zimmer, Frederik Sommer, Timo Mühlhaus, Michael Schroda
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in Plant Sciences
Editor(s):Wolfgang Hoehenwarter
Document Type:Article
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2019/02/27
Year of Publication:2018
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Date of the Publication (Server):2019/02/27
Number of page:10
Source:doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01265
Faculties / Organisational entities:Fachbereich Biologie
DDC-Cassification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 580 Pflanzen (Botanik)
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell (CC BY-NC 4.0)