Lindahl M, Funk C, Webster J, Bingsmark S, Adamska I, Andersson B
Expression of ELIPs and PS II-S protein in spinach during acclimative reduction of the Photosystem II antenna in response to increased tight intensities
Photosynthesis Research: 1997 54:227-236
The PS II-S protein and the so-called early light-inducible proteins (ELTPs) are homologous to the chlorophyll alb-binding (Cab) gene products functioning in light-harvesting. The functional significance of these two CAB homologues is not known although they have been considered to bind pigments and in the case of the PS II-S protein this has been experimentally supported. The role of these two proteins does not appear to be light-harvesting but instead they are suggested to play a role as quenchers of free chlorophyll molecules during biogenesis and/or degradation of pigment-binding proteins. Such a role would be essential to eliminate the toxic and damaging effects that can be induced by free chlorophyll in the light. To this end the expression and characteristics of the ELIPs and the PS II-S protein were investigated in spinach leaves acclimating from low to high light intensities. Under these conditions there is a reduction in the antenna size of Photosystem II due to proteolytic digestion of its major chlorophyll alb-binding protein (LHC II). During this acclimative proteolysis, up to one third of LHC II can be degraded and consequently substantial amounts of chlorophyll molecules will lose their binding sites. Our results reveal that there is a close correlation between ELIP accumulation and the onset of the LHC II degradation as low light-grown spinach leaves are subjected to increased light intensities. In contrast, there was no change in the relative level of the PS II-S protein during the acclimation process. It is concluded that the role for the ELIPs may be related to binding of liberated chlorophyll molecules and quenching of the toxic effects during LHC II degradation. In addition it was shown that in spinach four different ELIP species can be expressed and that they show different accumulation patterns in response to increased light intensities.
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