Cell wall proteomics of the green alga Haematococcus pluvialis (Chloroplyceae)

Sheng Bing Wang, Qiang Hu, Milton Sommerfeld, Feng Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


The green microalga Haematococcus pluvialis can synthesize and accumulate large amounts of the ketocarotenoid astaxanthin, and undergo profound changes in cell wall composition and architecture during the cell cycle and in response to environmental stresses. In this study, cell wall proteins (CWPs) of H. pluvialis were systematically analyzed by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) coupled with peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF) and sequence-database analysis. In total, 163 protein bands were analyzed, which resulted in positive identification of 81 protein orthologues. The highly complex and dynamic composition of CWPs is manifested by the fact that the majority of identified CWPs are differentially expressed at specific stages of the cell cycle along with a number of common wall-associated 'housekeeping' proteins. The detection of cellulose synthase orthologue in the vegetative cells suggested that the biosynthesis of cellulose occurred during primary wall formation, in contrast to earlier observations that cellulose was exclusively present in the secondary wall of the organism. A transient accumulation of a putative cytokinin oxidase at the early stage of encystment pointed to a possible role in cytokinin degradation while facilitating secondary wall formation and/or assisting in cell expansion. This work represents the first attempt to use a proteomic approach to investigate CWPs of microalgae. The reference protein map constructed and the specific protein markers obtained from this study provide a framework for future characterization of the expression and physiological functions of the proteins involved in the biogenesis and modifications in the cell wall of Haematococcus and related organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-708
Number of pages17
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Astaxanthin
  • Cell wall proteins
  • Haematococcus pluvialis
  • Microalgae
  • Peptide mass fingerprinting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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