Modeling the Moonlighting Fuction of Rubisco


The concept of moonlighting describes proteins, which perform two independent functions. Recent research has identified moonlighting proteins in a multitude of organisms. One of these proteins is Rubisco, the enzyme responsible for CO2 fixation in plants and algae. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the large subunit of Rubisco seems to be able to bind RNA under certain conditions, performing a moonlighting function which helps properly assembling the Rubisco complex.

In this project, a small model of the moonlighting function of the large subunit of Rubisco should be assembled and simulated to test the effect of the moonlighting on the two pathways and their interplay.


Topics and Keywords

Moonlighting Proteins, Rubisco, CO2 Fixation, Chlamydomonas, ODE modeling


Tasks and Milestones

1. Literature research on Rubisco and its moonlighting function

2. Modeling of the two pathways, which share the moonlighting protein

3. Analysis of the effect of moonlighting

4. Thesis/Report writing



Cohen, Idan et al. “A conserved mechanism controls translation of rubisco large subunit in different photosynthetic organisms”. Plant Physiology, 2006

Huberts, Klei “Moonlighting protein: An intriguing mode of multitasking”, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2010