Rubisco activase (Rca) is a catalytic chaperone that remodels the active site, promotes the release of inhibitors and restores catalytic competence to Rubisco. Rca activity and its consequent effect on Rubisco activation and photosynthesis are modulated by changes to the chloroplast environment induced by fluctuations in light levels that reach the leaf, including redox status and adenosine diphosphate (ADP)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio. The Triticum aestivum (wheat) genome encodes for three Rca protein isoforms: 1β (42.7 kDa), 2β (42.2 kDa) and 2α (46.0 kDa). The regulatory properties of these isoforms were characterised by measuring rates of Rubisco activation and ATP hydrolysis by purified recombinant Rca proteins in the presence of physiological ADP/ATP ratios. ATP hydrolysis by all three isoforms was sensitive to inhibition by increasing amounts of ADP in the assay. In contrast, Rubisco activation activity of Rca 2β was insensitive to ADP inhibition, while Rca 1β and 2α were inhibited. Two double and one quadruple site-directed mutants were designed to elucidate if differences in the amino acid sequences between Rca 1β and 2β could explain the differences in ADP sensitivity. Changing two amino acids in Rca 2β to the corresponding residues in 1β (T358K & Q362E) resulted in significant inhibition of Rubisco activation in presence of ADP. The results show that the wheat Rca isoforms differ in their regulatory properties and that amino acid changes in the C domain influence ADP sensitivity. Advances in the understanding of Rubisco regulation will aid efforts to improve the efficiency of photosynthetic CO 2 assimilation.
A modified assay for inhibition of ice recrystallization which allows unequivocal identification of activity in plant extracts is described. Using this assay a novel, cold-induced, 36 kDa antifreeze protein has been isolated from the tap root of cold-acclimated carrot ( Daucus carota ) plants. This protein inhibits the recrystallization of ice and exhibits thermal-hysteresis activity. The polypeptide behaves as monomer in solution and is N-glycosylated. The corresponding gene is unique in the carrot genome and induced by cold. The antifreeze protein appears to be localized within the apoplast.