Nutritional regulation of organelle biogenesis in Euglena: Photo- and metabolite induction of mitochondria


Exposure of dark-grown resting Euglena gracilis Klebs var. bacillaris Cori to light, ethanol, or malate produced an increase in the specific activity of fumarase (EC. and succinate dehydrogenase (EC. during the first 8-12 h of exposure to inducer, followed by a decrease in the specific activity of both mitochondrial enzymes between 12 and 72 h. The increased specific activity represented a net increase in the level of active enzyme, and it was dependent upon cytoplasmic protein synthesis. The photoinduction of fumarase required continuous illumination while the subsequent decrease in fumarase specific activity was independent of light. Light had little effect on the ethanol and malate induction of fumarase and succinate dehydrogenase. In the mutant W3BUL, which has no detectable protochlorophyll(ide) and chloroplast DNA, light induced both mitochondrial enzymes and the kinetics of enzyme induction were similar to the induction kinetics in wild-type cells. The induction of mitochondrial enzymes appears to be controlled by a non-chloroplast photoreceptor. Dark-grown resting cells of the plastidless mutant W10SmL have lost the ability to regulate fumarase levels. In this mutant, the specific activity of fumarase fluctuated and light had little effect on these fluctuations, indicating that fumarase synthesis was uncoupled from the nonchloroplast photoreceptor. Ethanol addition produced transient changes in fumarase specific activity in W10SmL indicating that in this mutant, mitochondrial enzymes are still inductible by metabolites. Fumarase synthesis in wild-type cells was not induced in the dark by levulinic acid, a chemical inducer of the breakdown of Euglena storage carbohydrates. Taken together, our results indicate that the photoinduction of mitochondrial enzyme synthesis is not a result of the photoinduction of carbohydrate breakdown. The mechanisms by which light and organic carbon induce the synthesis of Euglena mitochondria may differ. © 1980 Springer-Verlag.

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