A conserved rubredoxin is necessary for photosystem II accumulation in diverse oxygenic photoautotrophs
J Biol Chem 2013, 288 (37): 26688-96

Calderon RH, García-Cerdán JG, Malnoë A, Cook R, Russell JJ, Gaw C, Dent RM, de Vitry C, Niyogi KK

In oxygenic photosynthesis, two photosystems work in tandem to harvest light energy and generate NADPH and ATP. Photosystem II (PSII), the protein-pigment complex that uses light energy to catalyze the splitting of water, is assembled from its component parts in a tightly regulated process that requires a number of assembly factors. The 2pac mutant of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was isolated and found to have no detectable PSII activity, whereas other components of the photosynthetic electron transport chain, including photosystem I, were still functional. PSII activity was fully restored by complementation with the RBD1 gene, which encodes a small iron-sulfur protein known as a rubredoxin. Phylogenetic evidence supports the hypothesis that this rubredoxin and its orthologs are unique to oxygenic phototrophs and distinct from rubredoxins in Archaea and bacteria (excluding cyanobacteria). Knockouts of the rubredoxin orthologs in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and the plant Arabidopsis thaliana were also found to be specifically affected in PSII accumulation. Taken together, our data suggest that this rubredoxin is necessary for normal PSII activity in a diverse set of organisms that perform oxygenic photosynthesis.

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