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Mol Plant. 2013 Sep;6(5):1673-91. doi: 10.1093/mp/sst069. Epub 2013 May 13.

Arabidopsis thylakoid formation 1 is a critical regulator for dynamics of PSII-LHCII complexes in leaf senescence and excess light.

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  • 1National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 300 Fenglin Road, Shanghai 200032, China.


In higher plants, photosystem II (PSII) is a large pigment-protein supramolecular complex composed of the PSII core complex and the plant-specific peripheral light-harvesting complexes (LHCII). PSII-LHCII complexes are highly dynamic in their quantity and macro-organization to various environmental conditions. In this study, we reported a critical factor, the Arabidopsis Thylakoid Formation 1 (THF1) protein, which controls PSII-LHCII dynamics during dark-induced senescence and light acclimation. Loss-of-function mutations in THF1 lead to a stay-green phenotype in pathogen-infected and senescent leaves. Both LHCII and PSII core subunits are retained in dark-induced senescent leaves of thf1, indicative of the presence of PSII-LHCII complexes. Blue native (BN)-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and immunoblot analysis showed that, in dark- and high-light-treated thf1 leaves, a type of PSII-LHCII megacomplex is selectively retained while the stability of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes significantly decreased, suggesting a dual role of THF1 in dynamics of PSII-LHCII complexes. We showed further that THF1 interacts with Lhcb proteins in a pH-dependent manner and that the stay-green phenotype of thf1 relies on the presence of LHCII complexes. Taken together, the data suggest that THF1 is required for dynamics of PSII-LHCII supramolecular organization in higher plants.


Arabidopsis.; light regulation; photosynthesis; physiology of plant growth

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