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PLoS One. 2015 Apr 2;10(4):e0121658. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121658. eCollection 2015.

The thylakoid membrane protein CGL160 supports CF1CF0 ATP synthase accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, United States of America; Institute for Genomics and Proteomics UCLA, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Potsdam, Germany.
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, United States of America.


The biogenesis of the major thylakoid protein complexes of the photosynthetic apparatus requires auxiliary proteins supporting individual assembly steps. Here, we identify a plant lineage specific gene, CGL160, whose homolog, atp1, co-occurs with ATP synthase subunits in an operon-like arrangement in many cyanobacteria. Arabidopsis thaliana T-DNA insertion mutants, which no longer accumulate the nucleus-encoded CGL160 protein, accumulate less than 25% of wild-type levels of the chloroplast ATP synthase. Severe cosmetic or growth phenotypes result under either short day or fluctuating light growth conditions, respectively, but this is ameliorated under long day constant light growth conditions where the growth, ATP synthase activity and photosynthetic electron transport of the mutants are less affected. Accumulation of other photosynthetic complexes is largely unaffected in cgl160 mutants, suggesting that CGL160 is a specific assembly or stability factor for the CF1CF0 complex. CGL160 is not found in the mature assembled complex but it does interact specifically with subunits of ATP synthase, predominantly those in the extrinsic CF1 sub-complex. We suggest therefore that it may facilitate the assembly of CF1 into the holocomplex.

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