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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 2;104(40):15947-52. Epub 2007 Oct 1.

A chloroplast cyclophilin functions in the assembly and maintenance of photosystem II in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.


Photosynthetic light reactions rely on the proper function of large protein complexes (including photosystems I and II) that reside in the thylakoid membrane. Although their composition, structure, and function are known, the repertoire of assembly and maintenance factors is still being determined. Here we show that an immunophilin of the cyclophilin type, CYP38, plays a critical role in the assembly and maintenance of photosystem II (PSII) supercomplexes (SCs) in Arabidopsis. Mutant plants with the CYP38 gene interrupted by T-DNA insertion showed stunted growth and were hypersensitive to high light. Leaf chlorophyll fluorescence analysis and thylakoid membrane composition indicated that cyp38 mutant plants had defects in PSII SCs. Sucrose supplementation enabled the rescue of the mutant phenotype under low-light conditions, but failed to mitigate hypersensitivity to high-light stress. Protein radiolabeling assays showed that, although individual thylakoid proteins were synthesized equally in mutant and wild type, the assembly of the PSII SC was impaired in the mutant. In addition, the D1 and D2 components of the mutant PSII had a short half-life under high-light stress. The results provide evidence that CYP38 is necessary for the assembly and stabilization of PSII.

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