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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Photosynthetic accumulation of poly-(hydroxybutyrate) by cyanobacteria--the metabolism and potential for CO2 recycling.

Regulatory mechanism in PHB [poly-(hydroxybutyrate)] accumulation by cyanobacteria, especially by a thermophilic isolate, Synechococcus MA19 was reviewed in comparison with a genetically engineered strain. The strain, MA19 accumulates PHB under nitrogen starved and photoautotrophic conditions (MA19-N). Little PHB synthase activity was detected in crude extracts from the cells grown in nitrogen sufficient conditions (MA19 + N). The activity was detected exclusively in membrane fractions from MA19 + N. The change of the enzyme activity was insensitive to chloramphenicol, which suggests post-translational activation. In vitro, acetyl phosphate activated PHB synthase in membrane fractions from MA19 + N, and the extent of activation depended on the concentration of acetyl phosphate. Phosphotransacetylase which catalyzes the conversion of acetyl-CoA to acetyl phosphate was detected in crude extracts from MA19-N but not in those from MA19 + N. These results suggested that intracellular acetyl phosphate concentration could be controlled, depending on C-N balance and intracellular acetyl-CoA concentration. On the contrary, in genetically-engineered cyanobacterium (transformant with PHB synthesizing genes from Ralstonia eutropha), it did not seem to be PHB synthase but acetyl-CoA flux that limits PHB synthesis. The closer association of PHB granules with thylakoid membranes in MA19 is suggested than that in the genetically-engineered cyanobacterium, which may reflect the difference of distribution of PHB synthase. Transposon-mutagenesis was used to acquire mutants of its altered PHB regulatory mechanism. PHA production by cyanobacteria was considered from the aspects of photobioreactors.[1]


  1. Photosynthetic accumulation of poly-(hydroxybutyrate) by cyanobacteria--the metabolism and potential for CO2 recycling. Asada, Y., Miyake, M., Miyake, J., Kurane, R., Tokiwa, Y. Int. J. Biol. Macromol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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