Direct interaction of the major light-harvesting complex II and PsbS in nonphotochemical quenching.
ABSTRACT: The photosystem II (PSII) subunit S (PsbS) plays a key role in nonphotochemical quenching, a photoprotective mechanism for dissipation of excess excitation energy in plants. The precise function of PsbS in nonphotochemical quenching is unknown. By reconstituting PsbS together with the major light-harvesting complex of PSII (LHC-II) and the xanthophyll zeaxanthin (Zea) into proteoliposomes, we have tested the individual contributions of PSII complexes and Zea to chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence quenching in a membrane environment. We demonstrate that PsbS is stable in the absence of pigments in vitro. Significant Chl fluorescence quenching of reconstituted LHC-II was observed in the presence of PsbS and Zea, although neither Zea nor PsbS alone was sufficient to induce the same quenching. Coreconstitution with PsbS resulted in the formation of LHC-II/PsbS heterodimers, indicating their direct interaction in the lipid bilayer. Two-photon excitation measurements on liposomes containing LHC-II, PsbS, and Zea showed an increase of electronic interactions between carotenoid S1 and Chl states, ?(Coupling)(CarS1-Chl), that correlated directly with Chl fluorescence quenching. These findings are in agreement with a carotenoid-dependent Chl fluorescence quenching by direct interactions of LHCs of PSII with PsbS monomers.
Project description:Selective 2-photon excitation (TPE) of carotenoid dark states, Car S(1), shows that in the major light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCII), the extent of electronic interactions between carotenoid dark states (Car S(1)) and chlorophyll (Chl) states, phi(Coupling)(Car S(1)-Chl), correlates linearly with chlorophyll fluorescence quenching under different experimental conditions. Simultaneously, a linear correlation between both Chl fluorescence quenching and phi(Coupling)(Car S(1)-Chl) with the intensity of red-shifted bands in the Chl Q(y) and carotenoid absorption was also observed. These results suggest quenching excitonic Car S(1)-Chl states as origin for the observed effects. Furthermore, real time measurements of the light-dependent down- and up-regulation of the photosynthetic activity and phi(Coupling)(Car S(1)-Chl) in wild-type and mutant (npq1, npq2, npq4, lut2 and WT+PsbS) Arabidopsis thaliana plants reveal that also in vivo the quenching parameter NPQ correlates always linearly with the extent of electronic Car S(1)-Chl interactions in any adaptation status. Our in vivo measurements with Arabidopsis variants show that during high light illumination, phi(Coupling)(Car S(1)-Chl) depends on the presence of PsbS and zeaxanthin (Zea) in an almost identical way as NPQ. In summary, these results provide clear evidence for a very close link between electronic Car S(1)-Chl interactions and the regulation of photosynthesis. These findings support a photophysical mechanism in which short-living, low excitonic carotenoid-chlorophyll states serve as traps and dissipation valves for excess excitation energy.
Project description:In higher plants, the PsbS subunit of photosystem II (PSII) plays a crucial role in pH- and xanthophyll-dependent nonphotochemical quenching of excess absorbed light energy, thus contributing to the defense mechanism against photoinhibition. We determined the amino acid sequence of Zea mays PsbS and produced an antibody that recognizes with high specificity a region of the protein located in the stroma-exposed loop between the second and third putative helices. By means of this antiserum, the thylakoid membranes of various higher plant species revealed the presence of a 42-kDa protein band, indicating the formation of a dimer of the 21-kDa PsbS protein. Crosslinking experiments and immunoblotting with other antisera seem to exclude the formation of a heterodimer with other PSII protein components. The PsbS monomer/dimer ratio in isolated thylakoid membranes was found to vary with luminal pH in a reversible manner, the monomer being the prevalent form at acidic and the dimer at alkaline pH. In intact chloroplasts and whole plants, dimer-to-monomer conversion is reversibly induced by light, known to cause luminal acidification. Sucrose-gradient centrifugation revealed a prevalent association of the PsbS monomer and dimer with light-harvesting complex and PSII core complexes, respectively. The finding of the existence of a light-induced change in the quaternary structure of the PsbS subunit may contribute to understanding the mechanism of PsbS action during nonphotochemical quenching.
Project description:In photosynthetic organisms, feedback dissipation of excess absorbed light energy balances harvesting of light with metabolic energy consumption. This mechanism prevents photodamage caused by reactive oxygen species produced by the reaction of chlorophyll (Chl) triplet states with O?. Plants have been found to perform the heat dissipation in specific proteins, binding Chls and carotenoids (Cars), that belong to the Lhc family, while triggering of the process is performed by the PsbS subunit, needed for lumenal pH detection. PsbS is not found in algae, suggesting important differences in energy-dependent quenching (qE) machinery. Consistent with this suggestion, a different Lhc-like gene product, called LhcSR3 (formerly known as LI818) has been found to be essential for qE in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. In this work, we report the production of two recombinant LhcSR isoforms from C. reinhardtii and their biochemical and spectroscopic characterization. We found the following: (i) LhcSR isoforms are Chl a/b- and xanthophyll-binding proteins, contrary to higher plant PsbS; (ii) the LhcSR3 isoform, accumulating in high light, is a strong quencher of Chl excited states, exhibiting a very fast fluorescence decay, with lifetimes below 100 ps, capable of dissipating excitation energy from neighbor antenna proteins; (iii) the LhcSR3 isoform is highly active in the transient formation of Car radical cation, a species proposed to act as a quencher in the heat dissipation process. Remarkably, the radical cation signal is detected at wavelengths corresponding to the Car lutein, rather than to zeaxanthin, implying that the latter, predominant in plants, is not essential; (iv) LhcSR3 is responsive to low pH, the trigger of non-photochemical quenching, since it binds the non-photochemical quenching inhibitor dicyclohexylcarbodiimide, and increases its energy dissipation properties upon acidification. This is the first report of an isolated Lhc protein constitutively active in energy dissipation in its purified form, opening the way to detailed molecular analysis. Owing to its protonatable residues and constitutive excitation energy dissipation, this protein appears to merge both pH-sensing and energy-quenching functions, accomplished respectively by PsbS and monomeric Lhcb proteins in plants.
Project description:The photosystem II (PSII) protein PsbS and the enzyme violaxanthin deepoxidase (VDE) are known to influence the dynamics of energy-dependent quenching (qE), the component of nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) that allows plants to respond to fast fluctuations in light intensity. Although the absence of PsbS and VDE has been shown to change the amount of quenching, there have not been any measurements that can detect whether the presence of these proteins alters the type of quenching that occurs. The chlorophyll fluorescence lifetime probes the excited-state chlorophyll relaxation dynamics and can be used to determine the amount of quenching as well as whether two different genotypes with the same amount of NPQ have similar dynamics of excited-state chlorophyll relaxation. We measured the fluorescence lifetimes on whole leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana throughout the induction and relaxation of NPQ for wild type and the qE mutants, npq4, which lacks PsbS; npq1, which lacks VDE and cannot convert violaxanthin to zeaxanthin; and npq1 npq4, which lacks both VDE and PsbS. These measurements show that although PsbS changes the amount of quenching and the rate at which quenching turns on, it does not affect the relaxation dynamics of excited chlorophyll during quenching. In addition, the data suggest that PsbS responds not only to ?pH but also to the ?? across the thylakoid membrane. In contrast, the presence of VDE, which is necessary for the accumulation of zeaxanthin, affects the excited-state chlorophyll relaxation dynamics.
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:Plants dissipate excess excitation energy as heat by non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). NPQ has been thought to resemble in vitro aggregation quenching of the major antenna complex, light harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHC-II). Both processes are widely believed to involve a conformational change that creates a quenching centre of two neighbouring pigments within the complex. Using recombinant LHC-II lacking the pigments implicated in quenching, we show that they have no particular role. Single crystals of LHC-II emit strong, orientation-dependent fluorescence with an emission maximum at 680 nm. The average lifetime of the main 680 nm crystal emission at 100 K is 1.31 ns, but only 0.39 ns for LHC-II aggregates under identical conditions. The strong emission and comparatively long fluorescence lifetimes of single LHC-II crystals indicate that the complex is unquenched, and that therefore the crystal structure shows the active, energy-transmitting state of LHC-II. We conclude that quenching of excitation energy in the light-harvesting antenna is due to the molecular interaction with external pigments in vitro or other pigment-protein complexes such as PsbS in vivo, and does not require a conformational change within the complex.
Project description:Plants are subject to dramatic fluctuations in the intensity of sunlight throughout the day. When the photosynthetic machinery is exposed to high light, photons are absorbed in excess, potentially leading to oxidative damage of its delicate membrane components. A photoprotective molecular process called non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) is the fastest response carried out in the thylakoid membranes to harmlessly dissipate excess light energy. Despite having been intensely studied, the site and mechanism of this essential regulatory process are still debated. Here, we show that the main NPQ component called energy-dependent quenching (qE) is present in plants with photosynthetic membranes largely enriched in the major trimeric light-harvesting complex (LHC) II, while being deprived of all minor LHCs and most photosystem core proteins. This fast and reversible quenching depends upon thylakoid lumen acidification (?pH). Enhancing ?pH amplifies the extent of the quenching and restores qE in the membranes lacking PSII subunit S protein (PsbS), whereas the carotenoid zeaxanthin modulates the kinetics and amplitude of the quenching. These findings highlight the self-regulatory properties of the photosynthetic light-harvesting membranes in vivo, where the ability to switch reversibly between the harvesting and dissipative states is an intrinsic property of the major LHCII.
Project description:In nature, plants experience large fluctuations in light intensity and they need to balance the absorption and utilization of this energy appropriately. Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) is a rapidly switchable mechanism that protects plants from photodamage caused by high light exposure by dissipating the excess absorbed energy as heat. It is triggered by the pH gradient across the thylakoid membrane and requires the protein PsbS and the xanthophyll zeaxanthin. However, the site and mechanism of the quencher(s) remain unknown. Here, we constructed a mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana that lacks light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), the main antenna complex of plants, to verify its contribution to NPQ. The mutant plant has normally stacked thylakoid membranes, displays no upregulation of other LHCs but shows a relative decrease in Photosystem I (PSI), which compensates for the decrease of the PSII antenna. The mutant plant exhibits a reduction in NPQ of about 60% and the remaining NPQ resembles that of mutant plants lacking chlorophyll (Chl) b, which lack all PSII peripheral antenna complexes. We thus report that PsbS-dependent NPQ occurs mainly in LHCII, but there is an additional quenching site in the PSII core.
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:Photosynthetic organisms prevent oxidative stress from light energy absorbed in excess through several photoprotective mechanisms. A major component is thermal dissipation of chlorophyll singlet excited states and is called nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). NPQ is catalyzed in green algae by protein subunits called LHCSRs (Light Harvesting Complex Stress Related), homologous to the Light Harvesting Complexes (LHC), constituting the antenna system of both photosystem I (PSI) and PSII. We investigated the role of LHCSR1 and LHCSR3 in NPQ activation to verify whether these proteins are involved in thermal dissipation of PSI excitation energy, in addition to their well-known effect on PSII. To this aim, we measured the fluorescence emitted at 77 K by whole cells in a quenched or unquenched state, using green fluorescence protein as the internal standard. We show that NPQ activation by high light treatment in <i>Chlamydomonas reinhardtii</i> leads to energy quenching in both PSI and PSII antenna systems. By analyzing quenching properties of mutants affected on the expression of LHCSR1 or LHCSR3 gene products and/or state 1-state 2 transitions or zeaxanthin accumulation, namely, <i>npq4</i>, <i>stt7</i>, <i>stt7 npq4</i>, <i>npq4 lhcsr1</i>, <i>lhcsr3</i>-complemented <i>npq4 lhcsr1</i> and <i>npq1</i>, we showed that PSI undergoes NPQ through quenching of the associated LHCII antenna. This quenching event is fast-reversible on switching the light off, is mainly related to LHCSR3 activity, and is dependent on thylakoid luminal pH. Moreover, PSI quenching could also be observed in the absence of zeaxanthin or STT7 kinase activity.