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

A gene homologous to chloroplast carbonic anhydrase (icfA) is essential to photosynthetic carbon dioxide fixation by Synechococcus PCC7942.

To understand the CO2-concentrating mechanism in cyanobacteria, a genomic DNA fragment that complements a temperature-sensitive high-CO2 (5%)-requiring mutant of Synechococcus PCC7942 has been isolated. An open reading frame (ORF272) encoding a polypeptide of 272 amino acids (Mr, 30,184) was found within the genomic region located 20 kilobases downstream from the genes for ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rbcLS). Insertion of a kanamycin-resistance gene cartridge within the ORF272 in wild-type cells led to a high-CO2-requiring phenotype. Strains carrying a gene disabled by insertional mutagenesis accumulated inorganic carbon in the cells, but they could not fix it efficiently, even though ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase activity was comparable to that of the wild-type strain. Therefore, the ORF272 was designated as a gene icfA, which is essential to inorganic carbon fixation. Furthermore, the predicted icfA gene product shared significant sequence similarities with plant chloroplast carbonic anhydrases (CAs) from pea (22%) and spinach (22%) and also with the Escherichia coli cynT gene product (31%), which was recently identified to be E. coli CA. These results indicate that the putative CA encoded by icfA is essential to photosynthetic carbon dioxide fixation in cyanobacteria and that plant chloroplast CAs may have evolved from a common ancestor of the prokaryotic CAs, which are distinct from mammalian CAs and Chlamydomonas periplasmic CAs.[1]


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