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Phylogenetic and functional diversity of aldehyde-alcohol dehydrogenases in microalgae

Abstract : Aldehyde-alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHEs) are large metalloenzymes that typically perform the two-step reduction of acetyl-CoA into ethanol. These enzymes consist of an N-terminal acetylating aldehyde dehydrogenase domain (ALDH) and a C-terminal alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) domain. ADHEs are present in various bacterial phyla as well as in some unicellular eukaryotes. Here we focus on ADHEs in microalgae, a diverse and polyphyletic group of plastid-bearing unicellular eukaryotes. Genome survey shows the uneven distribution of the ADHE gene among free-living algae, and the presence of two distinct genes in various species. We show that the non-photosynthetic Chlorophyte alga Polytomella sp. SAG 198.80 harbors two genes for ADHE-like enzymes with divergent C-terminal ADH domains. Immunoblots indicate that both ADHEs accumulate in Polytomella cells growing aerobically on acetate or ethanol. ADHE1 of ~ 105-kDa is found in particulate fractions, whereas ADHE2 of ~ 95-kDa is mostly soluble. The study of the recombinant enzymes revealed that ADHE1 has both the ALDH and ADH activities, while ADHE2 has only the ALDH activity. Phylogeny shows that the divergence occurred close to the root of the Polytomella genus within a clade formed by the majority of the Chlorophyte ADHE sequences, next to the cyanobacterial clade. The potential diversification of function in Polytomella spp. unveiled here likely took place after the loss of photosynthesis. Overall, our study provides a glimpse at the complex evolutionary history of the ADHE in microalgae which includes (i) acquisition via different gene donors, (ii) gene duplication and (iii) independent evolution of one of the two enzymatic domains.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03110153
Contributor : Dominique Fournier <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 12:36:32 PM
Last modification on : Monday, March 29, 2021 - 2:47:22 PM

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Robert van Lis, Yohann Couté, Sabine Brugière, Nicolas Tourasse, Benoist Laurent, et al.. Phylogenetic and functional diversity of aldehyde-alcohol dehydrogenases in microalgae. Plant Molecular Biology, Springer Verlag (Germany), In press, ⟨10.1007/s11103-020-01105-9⟩. ⟨hal-03110153⟩

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