Characterization of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes isolated from pea thylakoid membrane by one-step treatment with ?- and ?-dodecyl-D-maltoside.
ABSTRACT: It was the work of Jan Anderson, together with Keith Boardman, that showed it was possible to physically separate photosystem I (PSI) from photosystem II (PSII), and it was Jan Anderson who realized the importance of this work in terms of the fluid-mosaic model as applied to the thylakoid membrane. Since then, there has been a steady progress in the development of biochemical procedures to isolate PSII and PSI both for physical and structural studies. Dodecylmaltoside (DM) has emerged as an effective mild detergent for this purpose. DM is a glucoside-based surfactant with a bulky hydrophilic head group composed of two sugar rings and a non-charged alkyl glycoside chain. Two isomers of this molecule exist, differing only in the configuration of the alkyl chain around the anomeric centre of the carbohydrate head group, axial in ?-DM and equatorial in ?-DM. We have compared the use of ?-DM and ?-DM for the isolation of supramolecular complexes of PSII by a single-step solubilization of stacked thylakoid membranes isolated from peas. As a result, we have optimized conditions to obtain homogeneous preparations of the C(2)S(2)M(2) and C(2)S(2) supercomplexes following the nomenclature of Dekker & Boekema (2005 Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1706, 12-39). These PSII-LHCII supercomplexes were subjected to biochemical and structural analyses.
Project description:Prochlorococcus is a major contributor to primary production, and globally the most abundant photosynthetic genus of picocyanobacteria because it can adapt to highly stratified low-nutrient conditions that are characteristic of the surface ocean. Here, we examine the structural adaptations of the photosynthetic thylakoid membrane that enable different Prochlorococcus ecotypes to occupy high-light, low-light and nutrient-poor ecological niches. We used atomic force microscopy to image the different photosystem I (PSI) membrane architectures of the MED4 (high-light) Prochlorococcus ecotype grown under high-light and low-light conditions in addition to the MIT9313 (low-light) and SS120 (low-light) Prochlorococcus ecotypes grown under low-light conditions. Mass spectrometry quantified the relative abundance of PSI, photosystem II (PSII) and cytochrome b6f complexes and the various Pcb proteins in the thylakoid membrane. Atomic force microscopy topographs and structural modelling revealed a series of specialized PSI configurations, each adapted to the environmental niche occupied by a particular ecotype. MED4 PSI domains were loosely packed in the thylakoid membrane, whereas PSI in the low-light MIT9313 is organized into a tightly packed pseudo-hexagonal lattice that maximizes harvesting and trapping of light. There are approximately equal levels of PSI and PSII in MED4 and MIT9313, but nearly twofold more PSII than PSI in SS120, which also has a lower content of cytochrome b6f complexes. SS120 has a different tactic to cope with low-light levels, and SS120 thylakoids contained hundreds of closely packed Pcb-PSI supercomplexes that economize on the extra iron and nitrogen required to assemble PSI-only domains. Thus, the abundance and widespread distribution of Prochlorococcus reflect the strategies that various ecotypes employ for adapting to limitations in light and nutrient levels.
Project description:Photosystem II (PSII) occurs in different forms and supercomplexes in thylakoid membranes. Using a transplastomic strain of Nicotiana tabacum histidine tagged on the subunit PsbE, we have previously shown that a mild extraction protocol with ?-dodecylmaltoside enriches PSII characteristic of lamellae and grana margins. Here, we characterize residual granal PSII that is not extracted by this first solubilization step. Using affinity purification, we demonstrate that this PSII fraction consists of PSII-LHCII mega- and supercomplexes, PSII dimers, and PSII monomers, which were separated by gel filtration and functionally characterized. Our findings represent an alternative demonstration of different PSII populations in thylakoid membranes, and they make it possible to prepare PSII-LHCII supercomplexes in high yield.
Project description:Thylakoid phosphorylation is predominantly mediated by the protein kinases STN7 and STN8. While STN7 primarily catalyzes LHCII phosphorylation, which enables LHCII to migrate from photosystem (PS) II to PSI, STN8 mainly phosphorylates PSII core proteins. The reversible phosphorylation of PSII core proteins is thought to regulate the PSII repair cycle and PSII supercomplex stability, and play a role in modulating the folding of thylakoid membranes. Earlier studies clearly demonstrated a considerable substrate overlap between the two STN kinases, raising the possibility of a balanced interdependence between them at either the protein or activity level. Here, we show that such an interdependence of the STN kinases on protein level does not seem to exist as neither knock-out nor overexpression of STN7 or STN8 affects accumulation of the other. STN7 and STN8 are both shown to be integral thylakoid proteins that form part of molecular supercomplexes, but exhibit different spatial distributions and are subject to different modes of regulation. Evidence is presented for the existence of a second redox-sensitive motif in STN7, which seems to be targeted by thioredoxin f. Effects of altered STN8 levels on PSII core phosphorylation, supercomplex formation, photosynthetic performance and thylakoid ultrastructure were analyzed in Arabidopsis thaliana using STN8-overexpressing plants (oeSTN8). In general, oeSTN8 plants were less sensitive to intense light and exhibited changes in thylakoid ultrastructure, with grana stacks containing more layers and reduced amounts of PSII supercomplexes. Hence, we conclude that STN8 acts in an amount-dependent manner similar to what was shown for STN7 in previous studies. However, the modes of regulation of the STN kinases appear to differ significantly.
Project description:Grana are a characteristic feature of higher plants' thylakoid membranes, consisting of stacks of appressed membranes enriched in Photosystem II (PSII) and associated light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) proteins, together forming the PSII-LHCII supercomplex. Grana stacks undergo light-dependent structural changes, mainly by reorganizing the supramolecular structure of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes. LHCII is vital for grana formation, in which also PSII-LHCII supercomplexes are involved. By combining top-down and crosslinking mass spectrometry we uncover the spatial organization of paired PSII-LHCII supercomplexes within thylakoid membranes. The resulting model highlights a basic molecular mechanism whereby plants maintain grana stacking at changing light conditions. This mechanism relies on interactions between stroma-exposed N-terminal loops of LHCII trimers and Lhcb4 subunits facing each other in adjacent membranes. The combination of light-dependent LHCII N-terminal trimming and extensive N-terminal ?-acetylation likely affects interactions between pairs of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes across the stromal gap, ultimately mediating membrane folding in grana stacks.
Project description:Photosystem II is known to be a highly dynamic multi-protein complex that participates in a variety of regulatory and repair processes. In contrast, photosystem I (PSI) has, until quite recently, been thought of as relatively static. We report the discovery of plant PSI-LHCII megacomplexes containing multiple LHCII trimers per PSI reaction center. These PSI-LHCII megacomplexes respond rapidly to changes in light intensity, as visualized by native gel electrophoresis. PSI-LHCII megacomplex formation was found to require thylakoid stacking, and to depend upon growth light intensity and leaf age. These factors were, in turn, correlated with changes in PSI/PSII ratios and, intriguingly, PSI-LHCII megacomplex dynamics appeared to depend upon PSII core phosphorylation. These findings suggest new functions for PSI and a new level of regulation involving specialized subpopulations of photosystem I which have profound implications for current models of thylakoid dynamics.
Project description:The photo-stability of photosystem I (PSI) is of high importance for the photosynthetic processes. For this reason, we studied the protective action of two biogenic polyamines (PAs) spermine (Spm) and spermidine (Spd) on PSI activity in isolated thylakoid membranes subjected to photoinhibition. Our results show that pre-loading thylakoid membranes with Spm and Spd reduced considerably the inhibition of O2 uptake rates, P700 photooxidation and the accumulation of superoxide anions (O2(-)) induced by light stress. Spm seems to be more effective than Spd in preserving PSI photo-stability. The correlation of the extent of PSI protection, photosystem II (PSII) inhibition and O2(-) generation with increasing Spm doses revealed that PSI photo-protection is assumed by two mechanisms depending on the PAs concentration. Given their antioxidant character, PAs scavenge directly the O2(-) generated in thylakoid membranes at physiological concentration (1 mM). However, for non-physiological concentration, the ability of PAs to protect PSI is due to their inhibitory effect on PSII electron transfer.
Project description:Understanding the mechanistic basis of balanced excitation energy distribution between photosystem II and photosystem I (PSII and PSI) requires detailed investigation of the thylakoid light-harvesting system composed of energetically connected LHCII trimers. The exact mechanisms controlling the excitation energy distribution remain elusive, but reversible phosphorylation is known to be one important component. Here, we addressed the role of grana margins in regulation of excitation energy distribution, as these thylakoid domains host all the complexes of photosynthetic light reactions with dynamic response to environmental cues. First, the effect of detergents for the thylakoid membrane connectivity is explained. We show that a specific interaction between the separate LHCII trimers as well as between the LHCII trimers and the PSII and PSI-LHCI complexes is a prerequisite for energetically connected and functional thylakoid membrane. Second, we demonstrate that the optimization of light reactions under changing light conditions takes place in energetically connected LHCII lake and is attained by lateral rearrangements of the PSII-LHCII and PSI-LHCI-LHCII complexes depending especially on the phosphorylation status of the LHCII protein isoform LHCB2.
Project description:Photosynthetic oxidation of water and production of oxygen by photosystem II (PSII) in thylakoid membranes of plant chloroplasts is highly affected by changes in light intensities. To minimize damage imposed by excessive sunlight and sustain the photosynthetic activity PSII, organized in supercomplexes with its light harvesting antenna, undergoes conformational changes, disassembly and repair via not clearly understood mechanisms. We characterized the phosphoproteome of the thylakoid membranes from Arabidopsis thaliana wild type, stn7, stn8 and stn7stn8 mutant plants exposed to high light. The high light treatment of the wild type and stn8 caused specific increase in phosphorylation of Lhcb4.1 and Lhcb4.2 isoforms of the PSII linker protein CP29 at five different threonine residues. Phosphorylation of CP29 at four of these residues was not found in stn7 and stn7stn8 plants lacking the STN7 protein kinase. Blue native gel electrophoresis followed by immunological and mass spectrometric analyses of the membrane protein complexes revealed that the high light treatment of the wild type caused redistribution of CP29 from PSII supercomplexes to PSII dimers and monomers. A similar high-light-induced disassembly of the PSII supercomplexes occurred in stn8, but not in stn7 and stn7stn8. Transfer of the high-light-treated wild type plants to normal light relocated CP29 back to PSII supercomplexes. We postulate that disassembly of PSII supercomplexes in plants exposed to high light involves STN7-kinase-dependent phosphorylation of the linker protein CP29. Disruption of this adaptive mechanism can explain dramatically retarded growth of the stn7 and stn7stn8 mutants under fluctuating normal/high light conditions, as previously reported.
Project description:In higher plant thylakoids, the heterogeneous distribution of photosynthetic protein complexes is a determinant for the formation of grana, stacks of membrane discs that are densely populated with Photosystem II (PSII) and its light harvesting complex (LHCII). PSII associates with LHCII to form the PSII-LHCII supercomplex, a crucial component for solar energy conversion. Here, we report a biochemical, structural and functional characterization of pairs of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes, which were isolated under physiologically-relevant cation concentrations. Using single-particle cryo-electron microscopy, we determined the three-dimensional structure of paired C2S2M PSII-LHCII supercomplexes at 14?Å resolution. The two supercomplexes interact on their stromal sides through a specific overlap between apposing LHCII trimers and via physical connections that span the stromal gap, one of which is likely formed by interactions between the N-terminal loops of two Lhcb4 monomeric LHCII subunits. Fast chlorophyll fluorescence induction analysis showed that paired PSII-LHCII supercomplexes are energetically coupled. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed that additional flexible physical connections may form between the apposing LHCII trimers of paired PSII-LHCII supercomplexes in appressed thylakoid membranes. Our findings provide new insights into how interactions between pairs of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes can link adjacent thylakoids to mediate the stacking of grana membranes.
Project description:An intriguing molecular architecture called the "semi-crystalline photosystem II (PSII) array" has been observed in the thylakoid membranes in vascular plants. It is an array of PSII-light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) supercomplexes that only appears in low light, but its functional role has not been clarified. Here, we identified PSII-LHCII supercomplexes in their monomeric and multimeric forms in low light-acclimated spinach leaves and prepared them using sucrose-density gradient ultracentrifugation in the presence of amphipol A8-35. When the leaves were acclimated to high light, only the monomeric forms were present, suggesting that the multimeric forms represent a structural adaptation to low light and that disaggregation of the PSII-LHCII supercomplex represents an adaptation to high light. Single-particle EM revealed that the multimeric PSII-LHCII supercomplexes are composed of two ("megacomplex") or three ("arraycomplex") units of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes, which likely constitute a fraction of the semi-crystalline PSII array. Further characterization with fluorescence analysis revealed that multimeric forms have a higher light-harvesting capability but a lower thermal dissipation capability than the monomeric form. These findings suggest that the configurational conversion of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes may serve as a structural basis for acclimation of plants to environmental light.