Two redundant octanoyltransferases and one obligatory lipoyl synthase provide protein-lipoylation autonomy to plastids of Arabidopsis



Octanoyltransferases (LIP2) are important for the lipoylation of several α-ketoacid decarboxylases and glycine decarboxylase, all of which are essential multienzyme complexes of central metabolism, by attaching de novo-synthesised octanoyl moieties to the respective target subunits. Lipoyl synthase (LIP1) then inserts two sulphur atoms each into the protein-bound octanoyl chains to generate the functional lipoamide arms. In plants, most of the above multienzyme complexes occur only in mitochondria. Pyruvate dehydrogenase is an exception, since it also occurs in plastids. Plastidial LIP1 and LIP2 are known, but it is not clear how essential these enzymes are. Here, we report that not just one but two redundant LIP2 isoforms, LIP2p and LIP2p2, operate in plastids of Arabidopsis. The combined deletion of the two isoenzymes is embryo-lethal. Deletion of the plastidial lipoyl synthase LIP1p is also embryo-lethal, indicating that all plastidial LIP1 activity is due to LIP1p. These features suggest that protein lipoylation is based on an autonomous and partially redundant de novo lipoylation pathway in plastids.