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See detailSteady-state levels of imported tRNAs in Chlamydomonas mitochondria are correlated with both cytosolic and mitochondrial codon usages
Vinogradova, Elizaveta; Salinas, Thalia; Cognat, Valerie et al

in Nucleic Acids Research (2009), 37(5), 1521-1528

The mitochondrial genome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii only encodes three expressed tRNA genes, thus most mitochondrial tRNAs are likely imported. The sharing of tRNAs between chloroplasts and mitochondria ... [more ▼]

The mitochondrial genome of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii only encodes three expressed tRNA genes, thus most mitochondrial tRNAs are likely imported. The sharing of tRNAs between chloroplasts and mitochondria has been speculated in this organism. We first demonstrate that no plastidial tRNA is present in mitochondria and that the mitochondrial translation mainly relies on the import of nucleus-encoded tRNA species. Then, using northern analysis, we show that the extent of mitochondrial localization for the 49 tRNA isoacceptor families encoded by the C. reinhardtii nuclear genome is highly variable. Until now the reasons for such variability were unknown. By comparing cytosolic and mitochondrial codon usage with the sub-cellular distribution of tRNAs, we provide unprecedented evidence that the steady-state level of a mitochondrial tRNA is linked not only to the frequency of the cognate codon in mitochondria but also to its frequency in the cytosol, then allowing optimal mitochondrial translation. [less ▲]

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See detailOxidative phosphorylation: Building blocks and related components
Cardol, Pierre ULg; Figueroa, Francisco; Remacle, Claire ULg et al

in Stern, David; Harris, Elizabeth; Witman, George (Eds.) The Chlamydomonas Sourcebook 3-vol set, 1-3 (2009)

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See detailThe mitochondrial genome
Cardol, Pierre ULg; Remacle, Claire ULg

in Stern, David; Harris, Elizabeth; Witman, George (Eds.) The Chlamydomonas Sourcebook 3-vol set, 1-3 (2009)

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See detailThe fully-active and structurally-stable form of the mitochondrial ATP synthase of Polytomella sp is dimeric
Villavicencio-Queijeiro, Alexa; Vazquez-Acevedo, Miriam; Cano-Estrada, Araceli et al

in Journal of Bioenergetics & Biomembranes (2009), 41(1), 1-13

Mitochondrial F1FO-ATP synthase of chlorophycean algae is a stable dimeric complex of 1,600 kDa. It lacks the classic subunits that constitute the peripheral stator-stalk and the orthodox polypeptides ... [more ▼]

Mitochondrial F1FO-ATP synthase of chlorophycean algae is a stable dimeric complex of 1,600 kDa. It lacks the classic subunits that constitute the peripheral stator-stalk and the orthodox polypeptides involved in the dimerization of the complex. Instead, it contains nine polypeptides of unknown evolutionary origin named ASA1 to ASA9. The isolated enzyme exhibited a very low ATPase activity (0.03 Units/mg), that increased upon heat treatment, due to the release of the F-1 sector. Oligomycin was found to stabilize the dimeric structure of the enzyme, providing partial resistance to heat dissociation. Incubation in the presence of low concentrations of several non-ionic detergents increased the oligomycin-sensitive ATPase activity up to 7.0-9.0 Units/mg. Incubation with 3% (w/v) taurodeoxycholate monomerized the enzyme. The monomeric form of the enzyme exhibited diminished activity in the presence of detergents and diminished oligomycin sensitivity. Cross-linking experiments carried out with the dimeric and monomeric forms of the ATP synthase suggested the participation of the ASA6 subunit in the dimerization of the enzyme. The dimeric enzyme was more resistant to heat treatment, high hydrostatic pressures, and protease digestion than the monomeric enzyme, which was readily disrupted by these treatments. We conclude that the fully-active algal mitochondrial ATP synthase is a stable catalytically active dimer; the monomeric form is less active and less stable. Monomer-monomer interactions could be mediated by the membrane-bound subunits ASA6 and ASA9, and may be further stabilized by other polypeptides such as ASA1 and ASA5. [less ▲]

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See detailImportance of the alternative pathway of respiration for avoidance of ROS production and for optimisation of photosynthesis in Chlamydomonas
Franck, Fabrice ULg; Dinant, M.; Cardol, Pierre ULg et al

Conference (2008, June)

The physiological function of the alternative pathway of respiration has been investigated by analysing two RNAi C.reinhardtii lines deprived of alternative oxidase protein (AOX1). Compared to wild-type ... [more ▼]

The physiological function of the alternative pathway of respiration has been investigated by analysing two RNAi C.reinhardtii lines deprived of alternative oxidase protein (AOX1). Compared to wild-type, AOX1- lines exhibited modified growth curves and reduced maximal cell density. These differences were more pronounced at high irradiance and in nitrate-containing medium (TAP NO3) rather than in ammonium-containing medium (TAP NH4). Although the alternative pathway was inactive, respiration was not significantly altered in transgenics. Light-saturation curves of O2-evolution were only slightly modified. However, non-photochemical quenching of fluorescence (NPQ) was strongly reduced. Further analysis showed that AOX1- transgenics present a reduced ability to promote the change in energy distribution between photosystems, known as state transition. This effect, which explains low NPQ in the light, was most pronounced in high-light cells cultivated in TAP NO3 medium. Moreover, AOX1- transgenics exhibited higher levels of intracellular peroxides, which suggests that inhibition of state transition might result from higher ROS production. In support of this hypothesis, addition of millimolar-range concentrations of H2O2 to wild-type inhibited the state transition promoted by the reduction of the plastoquinone pool in darkness. [less ▲]

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See detailIn Chlamydomonas, the Loss of Nd5 Subunit Prevents the Assembly of Whole Mitochondrial Complex I and Leads to the Formation of a Low Abundant 700 Kda Subcomplex
Cardol, Pierre ULg; Boutaffala, Layla ULg; Memmi, S. et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Bioenergetics (2008), 1777

In the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a mutant deprived of complex I enzyme activity presents a 1T deletion in the mitochondrial nd5 gene. The loss of the ND5 subunit prevents the assembly of the ... [more ▼]

In the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a mutant deprived of complex I enzyme activity presents a 1T deletion in the mitochondrial nd5 gene. The loss of the ND5 subunit prevents the assembly of the 950 kDa whole complex I. Instead, a low abundant 700 kDa subcomplex, loosely associated to the inner mitochondrial membrane, is assembled. The resolution of the subcomplex by SDS-PAGE gave rise to 19 individual spots, sixteen having been identified by mass spectrometry analysis. Eleven, mainly associated to the hydrophilic part of the complex, are homologs to subunits of the bovine enzyme whereas five (including gamma-type carbonic anhydrase subunits) are specific to green plants or to plants and fungi. None of the subunits typical of the beta membrane domain of complex I enzyme has been identified in the mutant. This allows us to propose that the truncated enzyme misses the membrane distal domain of complex I but retains the proximal domain associated to the matrix arm of the enzyme. A complex I topology model is presented in the light of our results. Finally, a supercomplex most probably corresponding to complex I-complex III association, was identified in mutant mitochondria, indicating that the missing part of the enzyme is not required for the formation of the supercomplex. [less ▲]

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See detailA type II NAD(P)H dehydrogenase mediates light-independent plastoquinone reduction in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas
Jans, Frédéric ULg; Mignolet, Emmanuel ULg; Houyoux, Pierre-Alain et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2008), 105(51), 20546-51

In photosynthetic eukaryotes, nonphotochemical plastoquinone (PQ) reduction is important for the regulation of photosynthetic electron flow. In green microalgae where this process has been demonstrated ... [more ▼]

In photosynthetic eukaryotes, nonphotochemical plastoquinone (PQ) reduction is important for the regulation of photosynthetic electron flow. In green microalgae where this process has been demonstrated, the chloroplastic enzyme that catalyses nonphotochemical PQ reduction has not been identified yet. Here, we show by an RNA interference (RNAi) approach that the NDA2 gene, belonging to a type II NAD(P)H dehydrogenases family in the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, encodes a chloroplastic dehydrogenase that functions to reduce PQ nonphotochemically in this alga. Using a specific antibody, we show that the Nda2 protein is localized in chloroplasts of wild-type cells and is absent in two Nda2-RNAi cell lines. In both mutant cell lines, nonphotochemical PQ reduction is severely affected, as indicated by altered chlorophyll fluorescence transients after saturating illumination. Compared with wild type, change in light excitation distribution between photosystems ('state transition') upon inhibition of mitochondrial electron transport is strongly impaired in transformed cells because of inefficient PQ reduction. Furthermore, the amount of hydrogen produced by Nda2-RNAi cells under sulfur deprivation is substantially decreased compared with wild type, which supports previous assumptions that endogenous substrates serve as source of electrons for hydrogen formation. These results demonstrate the importance of Nda2 for nonphotochemical PQ reduction and associated processes in C. reinhardtii. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the evolution and expression of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii nucleus-encoded transfer RNA genes
Cognat, Valerie; Deragon, Jean*-Marc; Vinogradova, Elizaveta et al

in Genetics (2008), 179(1), 113-123

In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, 259 tRNA genes were identified and classified into 49 tRNA isoaccepting families. By constructing phylogenetic trees, we determined the evolutionary history for each tRNA ... [more ▼]

In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, 259 tRNA genes were identified and classified into 49 tRNA isoaccepting families. By constructing phylogenetic trees, we determined the evolutionary history for each tRNA gene family. The majority of the IRNA sequences are more closely related to their plant counterparts than to animals ones. Northern experiments also permitted LIS to show that at least one member of each IRNA isoacceptor family is transcribed and correctly processed in vivo. A short stretch of T residues known to be a signal for termination of polymerase III transcription was found downstream of most IRNA genes. It allowed us to propose that the vast majority of the IRNA genes are expressed and to confirm that numerous IRNA genes separated by short spacers are indeed cotranscribed. Interestingly, in silico analyses and hybridization experiments show that the cellular IRNA abundance is correlated with the number of tRTNA genes and is adjusted to the codon usage to optimize translation efficiency. Finally, we studied the origin of SINEs, short interspersed elements related to tRNAs, whose presence in Chlamydomonas is exceptional. Phylogenetic analysis strongly suggests that tRNA(Asp)-related SINEs originate front a prokaryotic-type IRNA either horizontally transferred from a bacterium or originally present in mitochondria or chloroplasts. [less ▲]

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See detailEukaryotic complex I: functional diversity and experimental systems to unravel the assembly process
Remacle, Claire ULg; Barbieri, Rosario; Cardol, Pierre ULg et al

in Molecular Genetics & Genomics (2008), 280

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See detailManipulating the mitochondrial genome in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Remacle, Claire ULg

Scientific conference (2007, May)

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See detailGenetic transformation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mitochondria
Bonnefoy, Nathalie; Remacle, Claire ULg; Fox, Thomas D

in Methods in Cell Biology (2007), 80

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See detailND3 and ND4L subunits of mitochondrial complex I, both nucleus encoded in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, are required for activity and assembly of the enzyme
Cardol, Pierre ULg; Lapaille, Marie ULg; Minet, P. et al

in Eukaryotic Cell (2006), 5(9), 1460-1467

Made of more than 40 subunits, the rotenone-sensitive NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) is the most intricate membrane-bound enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. In vascular plants ... [more ▼]

Made of more than 40 subunits, the rotenone-sensitive NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) is the most intricate membrane-bound enzyme of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. In vascular plants, fungi, and animals, at least seven complex I subunits (ND1, -2, -3, -4, -4L, -5, and -6; ND is NADH dehydrogenase) are coded by mitochondrial genes. The role of these highly hydrophobic subunits in the enzyme activity and assembly is still poorly understood. In the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the ND3 and ND4L subunits are encoded in the nuclear genome, and we show here that the corresponding genes, called NUO3 and NUO11, respectively, display features that facilitate their expression and allow the proper import of the corresponding proteins into mitochondria. In particular, both polypeptides show lower hydrophobicity compared to their mitochondrion-encoded counterparts. The expression of the NUO3 and NUO11 genes has been suppressed by RNA interference. We demonstrate that the absence of ND3 or ND4L polypeptides prevents the assembly of the 950-kDa whole complex I and suppresses the enzyme activity. The putative role of hydrophobic ND subunits is discussed in relation to the structure of the complex I enzyme. A model for the assembly pathway of the Chlamydomonas enzyme is proposed. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-efficiency biolistic transformation of Chlamydomonas mitochondria can be used to insert mutations in complex I genes
Remacle, Claire ULg; Cardol, Pierre ULg; Coosemans, Nadine ULg et al

in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2006), 103(12), 4771-4776

Mitochondrial transformation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has been optimized by using a particle-gun device and cloned mitochondrial DNA or PCR fragments. A respiratory-deficient strain lacking a 1.2-kb ... [more ▼]

Mitochondrial transformation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has been optimized by using a particle-gun device and cloned mitochondrial DNA or PCR fragments. A respiratory-deficient strain lacking a 1.2-kb mitochondrial DNA region including the left telomere and part of the cob gene could be rescued as well as a double-frameshift mutant in the mitochondrial cox1 and nd1 genes. High transformation efficiency has been achieved (100-250 transformants per microgram of DNA), the best results being obtained with linearized plasmid DNA. Molecular analysis of the transformants suggests that the right telomere sequence can be copied to reconstruct the left telomere by recombination. In addition, both nondeleterious and deleterious mutations could be introduced. Myxothiazol-resistant transformants have been created by introducing a nucleotide substitution into the cob gene. Similarly, an in-frame deletion of 23 codons has been created in the nd4 mitochondrial gene of both the deleted and frameshift recipient strains. These 23 codons are believed to encode the first transmembrane segment of the ND4 protein. This Delta nd4 mutation causes a misassembly of complex 1, with the accumulation of a subcomplex that is 250-kDa smaller than the wild-type complex 1. The availability of efficient mitochondrial transformation in Chlamydomonas provides an invaluable tool for the study of mitochondrial biogenesis and, more specifically, for site-directed mutagenesis of mitochondrially encoded subunits of complex 1, of special interest because the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, whose mitochondrial genome can be manipulated virtually at will, is lacking complex 1. [less ▲]

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See detailThe mitochondrial ATP synthase of chlorophycean algae contains eight subunits of unknown origin involved in the formation of an atypical stator-stalk and in the dimerization of the complex
Vazquez-Acevedo, Miriam; Cardol, Pierre ULg; Cano-Estrada, Araceli et al

in Journal of Bioenergetics & Biomembranes (2006), 38(5-6), 271-282

Mitochondrial F1FO-ATP synthase of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Polytomella sp. is a dimer of 1,600,000 Da. In Chlamydomonas the enzyme lacks the classical subunits that constitute the peripheral stator ... [more ▼]

Mitochondrial F1FO-ATP synthase of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Polytomella sp. is a dimer of 1,600,000 Da. In Chlamydomonas the enzyme lacks the classical subunits that constitute the peripheral stator-stalk as well as those involved in the dimerization of the fungal and mammal complex. Instead, it contains eight novel polypeptides named ASA1 to 8. We show that homologs of these subunits are also present in the chlorophycean algae Polytomella sp. and Volvox carterii. Blue Native Gel Electrophoresis analysis of mitochondria from different green algal species also indicates that stable dimeric mitochondrial ATP synthases may be characteristic of all Chlorophyceae. One additional subunit, ASA9, was identified in the purified mitochondrial ATP synthase of Polytomella sp. The dissociation profile of the Polytomella enzyme at high-temperatures and cross-linking experiments finally suggest that some of the ASA polypeptides constitute a stator-stalk with a unique architecture, while others may be involved in the formation of a highly-stable dimeric complex. The algal enzyme seems to have modified the structural features of its surrounding scaffold, while conserving almost intact the structure of its catalytic subunits. [less ▲]

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