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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1988 Dec;267(2):521-8.

Changes in the activities of various lipid and carbohydrate biosynthetic enzymes in the diatom Cyclotella cryptica in response to silicon deficiency.

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Biotechnology Research Branch, Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colorado 80401.


The effects of silicon deficiency on the activities of several enzymes involved in lipid and storage carbohydrate synthesis in the diatom Cyclotella cryptica were determined. The activity of UDPglucose pyrophosphorylase was not affected after 4 h of silicon-deficient growth, but the activity of UDPglucose: beta-(1----3)-glucan-beta-3-glucosyltransferase (chrysolaminarin synthase) was reduced by 31% during this period. Acetyl-CoA synthetase, acetyl-CoA hydrolase, and citrate synthase activities were present in cell-free extracts of C. cryptica, but did not change in response to 4 h of silicon deficiency. However, the activity of acetyl-CoA carboxylase increased approximately two- and fourfold after 4 and 15 h of silicon-deficient growth, respectively. This induction could be blocked by cycloheximide (20 micrograms/ml) and actinomycin D (10 micrograms/ml), suggesting that silicon deficiency may induce an increase in the rate of acetyl-CoA carboxylase synthesis. These changes in enzymatic activity may be partially responsible for the accumulation of lipids that has been observed in C. cryptica and other diatoms in response to silicon deficiency.

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