Identification and functional role of the carbonic anhydrase Cah3 in thylakoid membranes of pyrenoid of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Maria A. Sinetova, Elena V. Kupriyanova, Alexandra G. Markelova, Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev, Natalia A. Pronina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


The distribution of the luminal carbonic anhydrase Cah3 associated with thylakoid membranes in the chloroplast and pyrenoid was studied in wild-type cells of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and in its cia3 mutant deficient in the activity of the Cah3 protein. In addition, the effect of CO2 concentration on fatty acid composition of photosynthetic membranes was examined in wild-type cells and in the cia3 mutant. In the cia3 mutant, the rate of growth was lower as compared to wild-type, especially in the cells grown at 0.03% CO2. This might indicate a participation of thylakoid Cah3 in the CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) of chloroplast and reflect the dysfunction of the CCM in the cia3 mutant. In both strains, a decrease in the CO2 concentration from 2% to 0.03% caused an increase in the content of polyunsaturated fatty acids in membrane lipids. At the same time, in the cia3 mutant, the increase in the majority of polyunsaturated fatty acids was less pronounced as compared to wild-type cells, whereas the amount of 16:4ω3 did not increase at all. Immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that luminal Cah3 is mostly located in the thylakoid membranes that pass through the pyrenoid. In the cells of CCM-mutant, cia3, the Cah3 protein was much less abundant, and it was evenly distributed throughout the pyrenoid matrix. The results support our hypothesis that CO2 might be generated from HCO3- by Cah3 in the thylakoid lumen with the following CO2 diffusion into the pyrenoid, where the CO2 fixing Rubisco is located. This ensures the maintenance of active photosynthesis under CO2-limiting conditions, and, as a result, the active growth of cells. The relationships between the induction of CCM and restructuring of the photosynthetic membranes, as well as the involvement of the Cah3 of the pyrenoid in these events, are discussed. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability: from Natural to Artificial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1248-1255
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • CCM-mutant cia3
  • Carbonic anhydrase Cah3
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Fatty acids
  • Immunocytochemical localization
  • Pyrenoid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification and functional role of the carbonic anhydrase Cah3 in thylakoid membranes of pyrenoid of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this