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Plant Physiol. 2001 May;126(1):307-16.

Multiple functions for the C terminus of the PsaD subunit in the cyanobacterial photosystem I complex.

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  • 1Département de Biologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, Service de Bioénergétique, and Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Unité de Recherche Associée 2096, CE de Saclay, 91191 Gif sur Yvette cedex, France.


PsaD subunit of Synechocystis sp PCC 6803 photosystem I (PSI) plays a critical role in the stability of the complex and is part of the docking site for ferredoxin (Fd). In the present study we describe major physiological and biochemical effects resulting from mutations in the accessible C-terminal end of the protein. Four basic residues were mutated: R111, K117, K131, and K135, and a large 36-amino acid deletion was generated at the C terminus. PSI from R111C mutant has a 5-fold decreased affinity for Fd, comparable with the effect of the C terminus deletion, and NADP+ is photoreduced with a 2-fold decreased rate, without consequence on cell growth. The K117A mutation has no effect on the affinity for Fd, but decreases the stability of PsaE subunit, a loss of stability also observed in R111C and the deletion mutants. The double mutation K131A/K135A does not change Fd binding and reduction, but decreases the overall stability of PSI and impairs the cell growth at temperatures above 30 degrees C. Three mutants, R111C, K117A, and the C-terminal deleted exhibit a higher content of the trimeric form of PSI, in apparent relation to the removal of solvent accessible positive charges. Various regions in the C terminus of cyanobacterial PsaD thus are involved in Fd strong binding, PSI stability, and accumulation of trimeric PSI.

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