METHODS: Site-directed mutagenesis and chloroplast transformation have been used to test the essentiality of these modifications by replacing each of the residues with alanine (Ala). Biochemical analyses were done to determine the specificity factors and kinetic constants.
RESULTS: Replacing the modified-residues in Chlamydomonas Rubisco affected the enzyme's catalytic activity. Substituting hydroxy-Pro-104 and methyl-Cys-256 with alanine influenced Rubisco catalysis.
CONCLUSION: This is the first study on these posttranslationally-modified residues in Rubisco by genetic engineering. As these forms of modifications/regulation are not available in plants, the modified residues could be a means to modulate Rubisco activity.
GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: With a better understanding of Rubisco structure-function, we can define targets for improving the enzyme.