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J Biol Chem. 2004 Jan 30;279(5):3180-7. Epub 2003 Nov 14.

Light-harvesting complex II binds to several small subunits of photosystem I.

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Plant Biochemistry Laboratory, Department of Plant Biology, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, 40 Thorvaldsensvej, Frederiksberg C DK-1871, Denmark.


Mobile light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) is implicated in the regulation of excitation energy distribution between Photosystem I (PSI) and Photosystem II (PSII) during state transitions. To investigate how LHCII interacts with PSI during state transitions, PSI was isolated from Arabidopsis thaliana plants treated with PSII or PSI light. The PSI preparations were made using digitonin. Chemical cross-linking using dithio-bis(succinimidylpropionate) followed by diagonal electrophoresis and immunoblotting showed that the docking site of LHCII (Lhcb1) on PSI is comprised of the PSI-H, -L, and -I subunits. This was confirmed by the lack of energy transfer from LHCII to PSI in the digitonin-PSI isolated from plants lacking PSI-H and -L. Digitonin-PSI was purified further to obtain an LHCII.PSI complex, and two to three times more LHCII was associated with PSI in the wild type in State 2 than in State 1. Lhcb1 was also associated with PSI from plants lacking PSI-K, but PSI from PSI-H, -L, or -O mutants contained only about 30% of Lhcb1 compared with the wild type. Surprisingly, a significant fraction of the LHCII bound to PSI in State 2 was not phosphorylated. Cross-linking prior to sucrose gradient purification resulted in copurification of phosphorylated LHCII in the wild type, but not with PSI from the PSI-H, -L, and -O mutants. The data suggest that migration of LHCII during state transitions cannot be explained sufficiently by different affinity of phosphorylated and unphosphorylated LHCII for PSI but is likely to involve structural changes in thylakoid organization.

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