Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1995 Oct 24;92(22):10237-41.

Light intensity regulation of cab gene transcription is signaled by the redox state of the plastoquinone pool.

Author information

Oceanographic and Atmospheric Sciences Division, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA.


The eukaryotic green alga Dunaliella tertiolecta acclimates to decreased growth irradiance by increasing cellular levels of light-harvesting chlorophyll protein complex apoproteins associated with photosystem II (LHCIIs), whereas increased growth irradiance elicits the opposite response. Nuclear run-on transcription assays and measurements of cab mRNA stability established that light intensity-dependent changes in LHCII are controlled at the level of transcription. cab gene transcription in high-intensity light was partially enhanced by reducing plastoquinone with 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethyl urea (DCMU), whereas it was repressed in low-intensity light by partially inhibiting the oxidation of plastoquinol with 2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropyl-p-benzoquinone (DBMIB). Uncouplers of photosynthetic electron transport and inhibition of water splitting had no effect on LHCII levels. These results strongly implicate the redox state of the plastoquinone pool in the chloroplast as a photon-sensing system that is coupled to the light-intensity regulation of nuclear-encoded cab gene transcription. The accumulation of cellular chlorophyll at low-intensity light can be blocked with cytoplasmically directed phosphatase inhibitors, such as okadaic acid, microcystin L-R, and tautomycin. Gel mobility-shift assays revealed that cells grown in high-intensity light contained proteins that bind to the promoter region of a cab gene carrying sequences homologous to higher plant light-responsive elements. On the basis of these experimental results, we propose a model for a light intensity signaling system where cab gene expression is reversibly repressed by a phosphorylated factor coupled to the redox status of plastoquinone through a chloroplast protein kinase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center