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A systematic exploration of bacterial form I rubisco maximal carboxylation rates.

EMBO Journal 2024 May 29
Autotrophy is the basis for complex life on Earth. Central to this process is rubisco-the enzyme that catalyzes almost all carbon fixation on the planet. Yet, with only a small fraction of rubisco diversity kinetically characterized so far, the underlying biological factors driving the evolution of fast rubiscos in nature remain unclear. We conducted a high-throughput kinetic characterization of over 100 bacterial form I rubiscos, the most ubiquitous group of rubisco sequences in nature, to uncover the determinants of rubisco's carboxylation velocity. We show that the presence of a carboxysome CO2 concentrating mechanism correlates with faster rubiscos with a median fivefold higher rate. In contrast to prior studies, we find that rubiscos originating from α-cyanobacteria exhibit the highest carboxylation rates among form I enzymes (≈10 s-1 median versus <7 s-1 in other groups). Our study systematically reveals biological and environmental properties associated with kinetic variation across rubiscos from nature.

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