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Plant Mol Biol. 1998 Jan;36(1):11-22.

The photosystem II subunit CP29 can be phosphorylated in both C3 and C4 plants as suggested by sequence analysis.

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Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Padova, Italy.


The CP29 subunit of Photosystem II is reversibly phosphorylated in Zea mays upon exposure to high light in the cold (Bergantino et al., J Biol Chem 270 (1995) 8474-8481). This phenomenon was previously proposed to be restricted to C4 plants. We present the complete sequence of the CP29 protein, deduced from a maize Lhcb4 cDNA clone, and its comparison with the previously known Lhcb4 sequences of two C3 plants: Hordeum vulgare and Arabidopsis thaliana. Despite the relatively low degree of homology in their amino-terminal region, i.e. the part of the molecule which is phosphorylated in maize, the three polypeptides conserve consensus sequences for the site of phosphorylation. We proved by immunoblotting and 33P-labelling that the same post-translational modification occurs in barley. Being thus common to C3 and C4 plant species, the phosphorylation of this minor antenna complex of Photosystem II appears now as a widespread phenomenon, possibly part of the phosphorylation cascade which signals the redox status of the plastoquinone to the nuclear transcription apparatus. Arabidopsis plants do not show phosphorylation of CP29 in the same conditions, but other low-molecular-weight phosphoproteins, whose role need to be elucidated, become evident.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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