• Asterionella formosa;
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii;
  • CP12;
  • GAPDH;
  • PRK

The regulation of phosphoribulokinase (PRK) and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was investigated in a freshwater pennate diatom, Asterionella formosa Hassall, and compared to the well-studied chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii P. A. Dang. As has been reported for a marine centric diatom, in A. formosa, PRK was not regulated by reduction with dithiothreitol (DTT) apart from a weak induction in the presence of NADPH and DTT. However, NADPH-GAPDH was strongly activated when reduced, in contrast to a previous report on a diatom. Surprisingly, it was inhibited by NADPH, unlike in C. reinhardtii, while NADH-GAPDH was not affected. NADH-GAPDH was also strongly activated by DTT in contrast to most other photosynthetic cells. In A. formosa, unlike C. reinhardtii, 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate, the substrate of GAPDH, activated this enzyme, even in the absence of DTT, when using both NADH and NADPH as cofactors. Some of these kinetic behaviors are consistent with regulation by protein–protein interactions involving CP12, a small protein that links PRK and GAPDH in cyanobacteria, green algae, and higher plants. This conclusion was supported by immunodetection of CP12 in crude extracts of A. formosa, using antibodies raised against CP12 from C. reinhardtii. This is the first report of the existence of CP12 in a diatom, but CP12 may be a common feature of diatoms since a bioinformatic search suggested that it was also present in the Thalassiosira pseudonana Hasle et Heimdal genome v3.0. Despite the presence of CP12, this work provides further support for the differential regulation of Calvin cycle enzymes in diatoms compared to green algae.