Analysis of UV-absorbing photoprotectant mycosporine-like amino acid (MAA) in the cyanobacterium Arthrospira sp. CU2556
Mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) are ecologically important biomolecules with great photoprotective potential. The present study aimed to investigate the biosynthesis of MAAs in the cyanobacterium Arthrospira sp. CU2556. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with photodiode-array detection studies revealed the presence of a UV-absorbing compound with an absorption maximum at 310 nm. Based on its UV absorption spectrum and ion trap liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) analysis, the compound was identified as a primary MAA mycosporine-glycine (m/z: 246). To the best of our knowledge this is the first report on the occurrence of MAA mycosporine-glycine (M-Gly) in Arthrospira strains studied so far. In contrast to photosynthetic activity under UV-A radiation, the induction of the biosynthesis of M-Gly was significantly more prominent under UV-B radiation. The content of M-Gly was found to increase with the increase in exposure time under UV-B radiation. The MAA M-Gly was highly stable under UV radiation, heat, strongly acidic and alkaline conditions. It also exhibited good antioxidant activity and photoprotective ability by detoxifying the in vivo reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by UV radiation. Our results indicate that the studied cyanobacterium may protect itself by synthesizing the UV-absorbing/screening compounds as important defense mechanisms, in their natural brightly-lit habitat with high solar UV-B fluxes.