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Plant Cell. 2009 Nov;21(11):3623-40. doi: 10.1105/tpc.109.068791. Epub 2009 Nov 10.

Efficient operation of NAD(P)H dehydrogenase requires supercomplex formation with photosystem I via minor LHCI in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Botany, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.


In higher plants, the chloroplast NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (NDH) complex mediates photosystem I (PSI) cyclic and chlororespiratory electron transport. We reported previously that NDH interacts with the PSI complex to form a supercomplex (NDH-PSI). In this study, NDH18 and FKBP16-2 (FK506 Binding Protein 16-2), detected in the NDH-PSI supercomplex by mass spectrometry, were shown to be NDH subunits by the analysis of their knockdown lines. On the basis of extensive mutant characterization, we propose a structural model for chloroplast NDH, whereby NDH is divided into four subcomplexes. The subcomplex A and membrane subcomplex are conserved in cyanobacteria, but the subcomplex B and lumen subcomplex are specific to chloroplasts. Two minor light-harvesting complex I proteins, Lhca5 and Lhca6, were required for the full-size NDH-PSI supercomplex formation. Similar to crr pgr5 double mutants that completely lack cyclic electron flow activity around PSI, the lhca6 pgr5 double mutant exhibited a severe defect in growth. Consistent with the impaired NDH activity, photosynthesis was also severely affected in mature leaves of lhca6 pgr5. We conclude that chloroplast NDH became equipped with the novel subcomplexes and became associated with PSI during the evolution of land plants, and this process may have facilitated the efficient operation of NDH.

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