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J Biol Chem. 2007 Apr 13;282(15):10915-21. Epub 2007 Feb 15.

Late assembly steps and dynamics of the cyanobacterial photosystem I.

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Institute of Biology, Humboldt University Berlin, 10115 Berlin, Germany.


The dynamics of photosystem I assembly in cyanobacteria have been addressed using in vivo pulse-chase labeling of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 proteins in combination with blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The analyses indicate the existence of three different monomeric photosystem I complexes and also the high stability of photosystem I trimers. We show that in addition to a complete photosystem I monomer, containing all 11 subunits, we detected a PsaK-less monomer and a short-lived PsaL/PsaK-less complex. The latter two monomers were missing in the ycf37 mutant of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 that accumulates also less trimers. Pulse-chase experiments suggest that the three monomeric complexes have different functions in the biogenesis of the trimer. Based on these findings we propose a model where PsaK is incorporated in the latest step of photosystem I assembly. The PsaK-less photosystem I monomer may represent an intermediate complex that is important for the exchange of the two PsaK variants during high light acclimation. Implications of the presented data with respect to Ycf37 function are discussed.

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