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Unraveling the molecular mechanism of the response to changing ambient phosphorus in the dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella with quantitative proteomics

Zhang, Shu-Feng, Chen, Ying, Xie, Zhang-Xian, Zhang, Hao, Lin, Lin, Wang, Da-Zhi
Journal of proteomics 2019 v.196 pp. 141-149
Alexandrium catenella, acid phosphatase, alkaline phosphatase, carbon, cell growth, energy, enzyme activity, glycosphingolipids, inorganic phosphorus, molecular weight, nucleic acids, pentose phosphate cycle, phospholipids, photosynthesis, physiological response, protein synthesis, proteins, proteome, proteomics, starch, sucrose
Phosphorus (P) is a key macronutrient limiting cell growth and bloom formation of marine dinoflagellates. Physiological responses to changing ambient P have been investigated in dinoflagellates; however, the molecular mechanisms behind these responses remain limited. Here, we compared the protein expression profiles of a marine dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella grown in inorganic P-replete, P-deficient, and inorganic- and organic-P resupplied conditions using an iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomic approach. P deficiency inhibited cell growth and enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) but had no effect on photosynthetic efficiency. After P resupply, the P-deficient cells recovered growth rapidly and APA decreased. Proteins involved in sphingolipid metabolism, organic P utilization, starch and sucrose metabolism, and photosynthesis were up-regulated in the P-deficient cells, while proteins associated with protein synthesis, nutrient assimilation and energy metabolism were down-regulated. The responses of the P-deficient A. catenella to the resupply of organic and inorganic P presented significant differences: more biological processes were enhanced in the organic P-resupplied cells than those in the inorganic P-resupplied cells; A. catenella might directly utilize G-6-P for nucleic acid synthesis through the pentose phosphate pathway. Our results indicate that A. catenella has evolved diverse adaptive strategies to ambient P deficiency and specific mechanisms to utilize dissolved organic P, which might be an important reason resulting in A. catenella bloom in the low inorganic P environment.The ability of marine dinoflagellates to utilize different phosphorus (P) species and adapt to ambient P deficiency determines their success in the ocean. In this study, we investigated the response mechanisms of a dinoflagellate Alexandrium catenella to ambient P deficiency, and resupply of inorganic- and organic-P at the proteome level. Our results indicated that A. catenella initiated multiple adaptive strategies to ambient P deficiency, e.g. utilizing nonphospholipids and glycosphingolipids instead of phospholipids, enhancing expression of acid phosphatase to utilize organic P, and reallocating intracellular energy. Proteome responses of the P-deficient A. catenella to resupply of inorganic- and organic-P differed significantly, indicating different utilization pathways of inorganic and organic P, A. catenella might directly utilize low molecular weight organic P, such as G-6-P as both P and carbon sources.