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Plant Physiol. 2003 Jun;132(2):811-20. Epub 2003 May 15.

Light stress-induced one-helix protein of the chlorophyll a/b-binding family associated with photosystem I.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Arrhenius Laboratories for Natural Sciences, Stockholm University, Sweden.


The superfamily of light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding (Lhc) proteins in higher plants and green algae is composed of more than 20 different antenna proteins associated either with photosystem I (PSI) or photosystem II (PSII). Several distant relatives of this family with conserved chlorophyll-binding residues and proposed photoprotective functions are induced transiently under various stress conditions. Whereas "classical" Lhc proteins contain three-transmembrane alpha-helices, their distant relatives span the membrane with between one and four transmembrane segments. Here, we report the identification and isolation of a novel member of the Lhc family from Arabidopsis with one predicted transmembrane alpha-helix closely related to helix I of Lhc protein from PSI (Lhca4) that we named Ohp2 (for a second one-helix protein of Lhc family described from higher plants). We showed that the Ohp2 gene expression is triggered by light stress and that the Ohp2 transcript and protein accumulated in a light intensity-dependent manner. Other stress conditions did not up-regulate the expression of the Ohp2 gene. Localization studies revealed that Ohp2 is associated with PSI under low- or high-light conditions. Because all stress-induced Lhc relatives reported so far were found in PSII, we propose that the accumulation of Ohp2 might represent a novel photoprotective strategy induced within PSI in response to light stress.

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