Polysaccharide associated protein (PSAP) from the green microalga Botryococcus braunii is a unique extracellular matrix hydroxyproline- rich glycoprotein Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Elsevier B.V. The green colonial microalga Botryococcus braunii produces large amounts of liquid hydrocarbons that can be converted into transportation fuels. Colony cells are held together by a complex extracellular matrix (ECM) made up of a cross-linked long-chain hydrocarbon network around which liquid hydrocarbons are stored, a retaining wall for holding hydrocarbons within the cross-linked hydrocarbon network, and a polysaccharide fibrillar sheath radiating from the retaining wall and surrounding the entire colony. Analysis of shells shed from cell apical regions during cell division and containing the retaining wall and polysaccharide fibers shows association of a single protein where the fibers meet the retaining wall, suggesting involvement of this protein in polysaccharide fiber formation. Here we use peptide mass fingerprinting and bioinformatics to identify this protein called polysaccharide associated protein (PSAP). PSAP does not show similarity to any protein in databases, but contains several Proline-rich domains. Staining studies confirm PSAP as a glycoprotein, and mass spectrometry analysis identified ten N-linked glycosylation sites comprising seven different glycans containing mainly mannose and N-acetylglucosamine. Three of these glycans also contain fucose, with one of these glycans being unusual since it also contains arabinose. Additionally, four hydroxyproline residues have short O-linked glycans of mainly arabinose and galactose, with one also containing a 6-deoxyhexose. PSAP secretion and localization to shell material is confirmed using western blot analysis and microscopy. These studies indicate PSAP contains unique glycans and suggest its involvement in ECM polysaccharide fiber biosynthesis.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Tatli, M., Ishihara, M., Heiss, C., Browne, D. R., Dangott, L. J., Vitha, S., Azadi, P., & Devarenne, T. P.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Tatli, Mehmet||Ishihara, Mayumi||Heiss, Christian||Browne, Daniel R||Dangott, Lawrence J||Vitha, Stanislav||Azadi, Parastoo||Devarenne, Timothy P

publication date

  • January 2018