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Plant Cell. 2012 May;24(5):1894-906. doi: 10.1105/tpc.112.097139. Epub 2012 May 8.

A chloroplast light-regulated oxidative sensor for moderate light intensity in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Plant Sciences, Weizman Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


The transition from dark to light involves marked changes in the redox reactions of photosynthetic electron transport and in chloroplast stromal enzyme activity even under mild light and growth conditions. Thus, it is not surprising that redox regulation is used to dynamically adjust and coordinate the stromal and thylakoid compartments. While oxidation of regulatory proteins is necessary for the regulation, the identity and the mechanism of action of the oxidizing pathway are still unresolved. Here, we studied the oxidation of a thylakoid-associated atypical thioredoxin-type protein, ACHT1, in the Arabidopsis thaliana chloroplast. We found that after a brief period of net reduction in plants illuminated with moderate light intensity, a significant oxidation reaction of ACHT1 arises and counterbalances its reduction. Interestingly, ACHT1 oxidation is driven by 2-Cys peroxiredoxin (Prx), which in turn eliminates peroxides. The ACHT1 and 2-Cys Prx reaction characteristics in plants further indicated that ACHT1 oxidation is linked with changes in the photosynthetic production of peroxides. Our findings that plants with altered redox poise of the ACHT1 and 2-Cys Prx pathway show higher nonphotochemical quenching and lower photosynthetic electron transport infer a feedback regulatory role for this pathway.

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