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Extreme energy capture antennas from vulcanic Algae


Extremophils are fascinating organisms with super-powers, that allow them to survive in extreme conditions. XRD2 data have been used to decrypt molecular secrets of outstanding Galdieria algae heat resistant photosynthetic machinery.

(Ref: Ferraro G. et al, BBA-Bioenergetics, xxx(xxx), xxxx-xxxx (2020))

GFerraro_BBAB_2020
Galdieria phlegrea (Gp) is an extremophilic unicellular red algae, that thrives in the hot (T up to 56°C), acidic (pH = 0-4), and metal-rich environments associated with geothermal areas. Evolutive adaptations to extreme conditions made this organism able to access broad metabolic capacities, including photosynthesis and heterotrophic growth on over 50 different extracellular carbon sources. The molecular basis that makes its light-harvesting pigment (C-phycocyanin, C-PC) resistant to high temperatures and efficient in transforming sun light, have been unraveled using XRD structural data.
Furthermore, GpPC presents interesting antioxidant and anticancer activities. Understanding the factors responsible for C-PC folding and stability is significant for the development of C-PC based foods, thus the knowledge accumulated in this work has also general implications for biotechnological applications of this protein in the nutraceutical industries.
 
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X-ray structure of C-phycocyanin from Galdieria phlegrea: Determinants of thermostability and comparison with a C-phycocyanin in the entire phycobilisome,
Giarita Ferraro, Paola Imbimbo, Angela Marseglia, Rosanna Lucignano, Daria Maria Monti, Antonello Merlino
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics 2020 xxx(xxx), xxxx-xxxx, doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2020.148236, PDB: 6Y3D
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 June 2020 23:03