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Disturbance of cell-size determination by forced overproduction of sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942

Sato, Norihiro, Ebiya, Yuki, Kobayashi, Ryutaro, Nishiyama, Yoshitaka, Tsuzuki, Mikio
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2017 v.487 pp. 734-739
Synechococcus sp. PCC 7942, cell division, cell growth, diacylglycerols, gene overexpression, genes, homeostasis, messenger RNA, mutants, plastids
Sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol (SQDG) is present in the membranes of cyanobacteria or their descendants, plastids at species-dependent levels. We investigated the physiological significance of the intrinsic SQDG content in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942, with the use of its mutant, in which the genes for SQDG synthesis, sqdB and sqdX, were overexpressed. The mutant showed a 1.3-fold higher content of SQDG (23.6 mol% relative to total cellular lipids, cf., 17.1 mol% in the control strain) with much less remarkable effects on the other lipid classes. Simultaneously observed were 1.6- to 1.9-fold enhanced mRNA levels for the genes responsible for the synthesis of the lipids other than SQDG, as if to compensate for the SQDG overproduction. Meanwhile, the mutant showed no injury to cell growth, however, cell length was increased (6.1 ± 2.3, cf., 3.8 ± 0.8 μm in the control strain). Accordingly with this, a wide range of genes responsible for cell division were 1.6–2.4-fold more highly expressed in the mutant. These results suggested that a regulatory mechanism for lipid homeostasis functions in the mutant, and that SQDG has to be kept from surpassing the intrinsic content in S. elongatus for repression of the abnormal expression of cell division-related genes and, inevitably, for normal cell division.