Euglena Central Metabolic Pathways and Their Subcellular Locations.
Inwongwan S., Kruger NJ., Ratcliffe RG., O'Neill EC.
Euglenids are a group of algae of great interest for biotechnology, with a large and complex metabolic capability. To study the metabolic network, it is necessary to know where the component enzymes are in the cell, but despite a long history of research into Euglena, the subcellular locations of many major pathways are only poorly defined. Euglena is phylogenetically distant from other commonly studied algae, they have secondary plastids bounded by three membranes, and they can survive after destruction of their plastids. These unusual features make it difficult to assume that the subcellular organization of the metabolic network will be equivalent to that of other photosynthetic organisms. We analysed bioinformatic, biochemical, and proteomic information from a variety of sources to assess the subcellular location of the enzymes of the central metabolic pathways, and we use these assignments to propose a model of the metabolic network of Euglena. Other than photosynthesis, all major pathways present in the chloroplast are also present elsewhere in the cell. Our model demonstrates how Euglena can synthesise all the metabolites required for growth from simple carbon inputs, and can survive in the absence of chloroplasts.