Molecular basis of light harvesting and photoprotection in CP24: unique features of the most recent antenna complex.
ABSTRACT: CP24 is a minor antenna complex of Photosystem II, which is specific for land plants. It has been proposed that this complex is involved in the process of excess energy dissipation, which protects plants from photodamage in high light conditions. Here, we have investigated the functional architecture of the complex, integrating mutation analysis with time-resolved spectroscopy. A comprehensive picture is obtained about the nature, the spectroscopic properties, and the role in the quenching in solution of the pigments in the individual binding sites. The lowest energy absorption band in the chlorophyll a region corresponds to chlorophylls 611/612, and it is not the site of quenching in CP24. Chlorophylls 613 and 614, which are present in the major light-harvesting complex of Photosystem appear to be absent in CP24. In contrast to all other light-harvesting complexes, CP24 is stable when the L1 carotenoid binding site is empty and upon mutations in the third helix, whereas mutations in the first helix strongly affect the folding/stability of the pigment-protein complex. The absence of lutein in L1 site does not have any effect on the quenching, whereas substitution of violaxanthin in the L2 site with lutein or zeaxanthin results in a complex with enhanced quenched fluorescence. Triplet-minus-singlet measurements indicate that zeaxanthin and lutein in site L2 are located closer to chlorophylls than violaxanthin, thus suggesting that they can act as direct quenchers via a strong interaction with a neighboring chlorophyll. The results provide the molecular basis for the zeaxanthin-dependent quenching in isolated CP24.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Lutein is the most abundant xanthophyll in the photosynthetic apparatus of higher plants. It binds to site L1 of all Lhc proteins, whose occupancy is indispensable for protein folding and quenching chlorophyll triplets. Thus, the lack of a visible phenotype in mutants lacking lutein has been surprising. RESULTS: We have re-assessed the lut2.1 phenotypes through biochemical and spectroscopic methods. Lhc proteins from the lut2.1 mutant compensate the lack of lutein by binding violaxanthin in sites L1 and L2. This substitution reduces the capacity for regulatory mechanisms such as NPQ, reduces antenna size, induces the compensatory synthesis of Antheraxanthin + Zeaxanthin, and prevents the trimerization of LHCII complexes. In vitro reconstitution shows that the lack of lutein per se is sufficient to prevent trimerization. lut2.1 showed a reduced capacity for state I-state II transitions, a selective degradation of Lhcb1 and 2, and a higher level of photodamage in high light and/or low temperature, suggesting that violaxanthin cannot fully restore chlorophyll triplet quenching. In vitro photobleaching experiments and time-resolved spectroscopy of carotenoid triplet formation confirmed this hypothesis. The npq1lut2.1 double mutant, lacking both zeaxanthin and lutein, is highly susceptible to light stress. CONCLUSION: Lutein has the specific property of quenching harmful 3Chl* by binding at site L1 of the major LHCII complex and of other Lhc proteins of plants, thus preventing ROS formation. Substitution of lutein by violaxanthin decreases the efficiency of 3Chl* quenching and causes higher ROS yield. The phenotype of lut2.1 mutant in low light is weak only because rescuing mechanisms of photoprotection, namely zeaxanthin synthesis, compensate for the ROS production. We conclude that zeaxanthin is effective in photoprotection of plants lacking lutein due to the multiple effects of zeaxanthin in photoprotection, including ROS scavenging and direct quenching of Chl fluorescence by binding to the L2 allosteric site of Lhc proteins.
Project description:The plant light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHC-II) collects and transmits solar energy for photosynthesis in chloroplast membranes and has essential roles in regulation of photosynthesis and in photoprotection. The 2.5 A structure of pea LHC-II determined by X-ray crystallography of stacked two-dimensional crystals shows how membranes interact to form chloroplast grana, and reveals the mutual arrangement of 42 chlorophylls a and b, 12 carotenoids and six lipids in the LHC-II trimer. Spectral assignment of individual chlorophylls indicates the flow of energy in the complex and the mechanism of photoprotection in two close chlorophyll a-lutein pairs. We propose a simple mechanism for the xanthophyll-related, slow component of nonphotochemical quenching in LHC-II, by which excess energy is transferred to a zeaxanthin replacing violaxanthin in its binding site, and dissipated as heat. Our structure shows the complex in a quenched state, which may be relevant for the rapid, pH-induced component of nonphotochemical quenching.
Project description:Lhcb5 is an antenna protein that is highly conserved in plants and green algae. It is part of the inner layer of photosystem II antenna system retained in high light acclimated plants. To study the structure-function relation and the role of individual pigments in this complex, we (i) "knocked out" each of the chromophores bound to multiple (nine total) chlorophyll sites and (ii) exchanged the xanthophylls bound to the three xanthophyll sites. The occupancy and associated energy of the pigment binding sites were determined. The role of the individual pigments in protein folding, stability, energy transfer, and dissipation was studied in vitro. The results indicate that lutein has a primary role in the folding and stability of the complex, whereas violaxanthin and zeaxanthin have a negative effect on folding yield and stability, respectively. The data showed a distinct function for the L1 and L2 carotenoid binding sites, the former preferentially involved in gathering the excitation energy to chlorophyll a (Chl a), whereas the latter modulates the concentration of chlorophyll singlet excited states dependent on the xanthophylls bound to it, likely via an interaction with Chl-603. Our results also underscored the role of zeaxanthin and lutein in quenching the excitation energy, whereas violaxanthin was shown to be very effective in energy transfer. The characteristics of the isolated proteins were consistent with the observed role of Lhcb5 in vivo in catalyzing fluorescence quenching upon zeaxanthin binding.
Project description:In oxygenic photosynthetic eukaryotes, the hydroxylated carotenoid zeaxanthin is produced from preexisting violaxanthin upon exposure to excess light conditions. Zeaxanthin binding to components of the photosystem II (PSII) antenna system has been investigated thoroughly and shown to help in the dissipation of excess chlorophyll-excited states and scavenging of oxygen radicals. However, the functional consequences of the accumulation of the light-harvesting complex I (LHCI) proteins in the photosystem I (PSI) antenna have remained unclarified so far. In this work we investigated the effect of zeaxanthin binding on photoprotection of PSI-LHCI by comparing preparations isolated from wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana (i.e., with violaxanthin) and those isolated from the A. thaliana nonphotochemical quenching 2 mutant, in which violaxanthin is replaced by zeaxanthin. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements showed that zeaxanthin binding leads to a previously unrecognized quenching effect on PSI-LHCI fluorescence. The efficiency of energy transfer from the LHCI moiety of the complex to the PSI reaction center was down-regulated, and an enhanced PSI resistance to photoinhibition was observed both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, zeaxanthin was shown to be effective in inducing dissipative states in PSI, similar to its well-known effect on PSII. We propose that, upon acclimation to high light, PSI-LHCI changes its light-harvesting efficiency by a zeaxanthin-dependent quenching of the absorbed excitation energy, whereas in PSII the stoichiometry of LHC antenna proteins per reaction center is reduced directly.
Project description:Plant photosynthesis relies on the capacity of chlorophylls and carotenoids to absorb light. One of the roles of carotenoids is to harvest green-blue light and transfer the excitation energy to the chlorophylls. The corresponding dynamics were investigated here for the first time, to our knowledge, in the CP26 and CP24 minor antenna complexes. The results for the two complexes differ substantially. In CP26 fast transfer (80 fs) occurs from the carotenoid S(2) state to chlorophylls a absorbing at 675 and 678 nm, whereas transfer from the hot S(1) state to the lowest energy chlorophylls is observed in <1 ps. In CP24, energy transfer from the S(2) state leads in 80 fs to the population of chlorophylls b and high-energy chlorophylls a absorbing at 670 nm, whereas the low-energy chlorophylls a are populated only in several picoseconds. The results suggest that CP26 has a structural and functional organization similar to that of LHCII, whereas CP24 differs substantially from the other Lhc complexes, especially regarding the lutein L1 binding domain. No energy transfer from the carotenoid S(1) state to chlorophylls was observed in either complex, suggesting that this state is energetically below the chlorophyll Qy state and therefore may play a role in the quenching of chlorophyll excitations.
Project description:Contribution of different LHCII antenna carotenoids to protective NPQ (pNPQ) were tested using a range of xanthophyll biosynthesis mutants of Arabidopsis: plants were either devoid of lutein (lut2), violaxanthin (npq2), or synthesized a single xanthophyll species, namely violaxanthin (aba4npq1lut2), zeaxanthin (npq2lut2), or lutein (chy1chy2lut5). A novel pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorescence analysis procedure, that used a gradually increasing actinic light intensity, allowed the efficiency of pNPQ to be tested using the photochemical quenching (qP) parameter measured in the dark (qPd). Furthermore, the yield of photosystem II (?PSII) was calculated, and the light intensity which induces photoinhibition in 50% of leaves for each mutant was ascertained. Photoprotective capacities of each xanthophyll were quantified, taking into account chlorophyll a/b ratios and excitation pressure. Here, light tolerance, pNPQ capacity, and ?PSII were highest in wild type plants. Of the carotenoid mutants, lut2 (lutein-deficient) plants had the highest light tolerance, and the joint the highest ?PSII with violaxanthin only plants. We conclude that all studied mutants possess pNPQ and a more complete composition of xanthophylls in their natural binding sites is the most important factor governing photoprotection, rather than any one specific xanthophyll suggesting a strong structural effect of the molecules upon the LHCII antenna organization and discuss the results significance for future crop development.
Project description:The minor light-harvesting complexes CP24, CP26, and CP29 have been proposed to play a key role in the zeaxanthin (Zx)-dependent high light-induced regulation (NPQ) of excitation energy in higher plants. To characterize the detailed roles of these minor complexes in NPQ and to determine their specific quenching effects we have studied the ultrafast fluorescence kinetics in knockout (ko) mutants koCP26, koCP29, and the double mutant koCP24/CP26. The data provide detailed insight into the quenching processes and the reorganization of the Photosystem (PS) II supercomplex under quenching conditions. All genotypes showed two NPQ quenching sites. Quenching site Q1 is formed by a light-induced functional detachment of parts of the PSII supercomplex and a pronounced quenching of the detached antenna parts. The antenna remaining bound to the PSII core was also quenched substantially in all genotypes under NPQ conditions (quenching site Q2) as compared with the dark-adapted state. The latter quenching was about equally strong in koCP26 and the koCP24/CP26 mutants as in the WT. Q2 quenching was substantially reduced, however, in koCP29 mutants suggesting a key role for CP29 in the total NPQ. The observed quenching effects in the knockout mutants are complicated by the fact that other minor antenna complexes do compensate in part for the lack of the CP24 and/or CP29 complexes. Their lack also causes some LHCII dissociation already in the dark.
Project description:The xanthophyll cycle is the metabolic process by which the carotenoid violaxanthin is de-epoxidated to zeaxanthin, a xanthophyll with a crucial photoprotective role in higher plants and mosses. The role of zeaxanthin is still unclear in green algae, and a peculiar violaxanthin de-epoxidating enzyme was found in the model organism Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Here, we investigated the molecular details and functions of the xanthophyll cycle in the case of Chlorella vulgaris, one of the green algae most considered for industrial cultivation, where resistance to high light stress is a prerequisite for sustainable biomass production. Identification of the violaxanthin de-epoxidase enzyme in C. vulgaris was performed by genome mining and in vitro analysis of the catalytic activity of the gene product identified. The photoprotective role of zeaxanthin was then investigated in vivo and in isolated pigment-binding complexes. The results obtained demonstrate the functioning, even though with a different pH sensitivity, of a plant-like violaxanthin de-epoxidase enzyme in C. vulgaris. Differently from C. reinhardtii, zeaxanthin accumulation in C. vulgaris was found to be crucial for photoprotective quenching of excitation energy harvested by both photosystem I and II. These findings demonstrate an evolutionary divergence of photoprotective mechanisms among Chlorophyta.
Project description:The biosynthesis of chlorophylls and carotenoids and the assembly of thylakoid membranes are critical for the photoautotrophic growth of plants. Different factors are involved in these two processes. In recent years, members of the DnaJ-like zinc finger domain proteins have been found to take part in the biogenesis and/or the maintenance of plastids. One member of this family of proteins, PSA2, was recently found to localize to the thylakoid lumen and regulate the accumulation of photosystem I. In this study, we report that the silencing of PSA2 in Arabidopsis thaliana resulted in variegated leaves and retarded growth. Although both chlorophylls and total carotenoids decreased in the psa2 mutant, violaxanthin, and zeaxanthin accumulated in the mutant seedlings grown under growth condition. Lower levels of non-photochemical quenching and electron transport rate were also found in the psa2 mutant seedlings under growth condition compared with those of the wild-type plants, indicating an impaired capability to acclimate to normal light irradiance when PSA2 was silenced. Moreover, we also observed an abnormal assembly of grana thylakoids and poorly developed stroma thylakoids in psa2 chloroplasts. Taken together, our results demonstrate that PSA2 is a member of the DnaJ-like zinc finger domain protein family that affects light acclimation and chloroplast development.
Project description:African eggplants (Solanum aethiopicum and S. macrocarpon) are among the most economically important and valuable vegetable and fruit crops. They are a major source of biologically active nutritional substances and metabolites which are essential for plant growth, development, stress adaptation and defense. Among these metabolites are the carotenoids which act as accessory pigments for photosynthesis and precursor to plant hormones. Though African eggplants are known to be resistant to various abiotic stresses, the effect of these stresses on secondary metabolites has not been well defined. The objective of this study was to establish the effect of drought stress on carotenoid profiles of nineteen African eggplant accessions selected based on leaf and fruit morphological traits. Stress was achieved by limiting irrigation and maintaining the wilting state of the crops. Fresh leaves were sampled at different maturity stages; before stress, 2 weeks and 4 weeks after stress for carotenoid analysis. The fresh harvested leaf tissues were immediately frozen in liquid nitrogen and ground. Analysis was carried out using a Dionex HPLC machine coupled to Photo Array Detector and Chromeleon software package (Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA). Major carotenoids viz;. Xanthophylls (neoxanthin, violaxanthin, zeaxanthin and lutein) and carotenes (?-carotene and ?-carotene), phytofluene, lycopene, phytoene as well as chlorophylls (chlorophyll-b and Chlorophyll-a) were targeted. The carotenoids increased with maturity stage of the crop. Although the stressed crops reported significantly decreased amount of carotenes, chlorophylls, neoxanthin and violaxanthin, the concentration of zeaxanthin increased with stress whereas lutein had no significant change. Chlorophyll-a was significantly high in all the control accessions. Two accessions reported significantly higher contents of carotenoids as compared to the other accessions. The results of this study indicate that water stress has significant impact on the concentration of some carotenoids and photosynthetic pigments. This will definitely add value to the study of stress tolerance in crops.