ATP compartmentation in plastids and cytosol of Arabidopsis thaliana revealed by fluorescent protein sensing
PNAS 2018, 115(45):E10778-E10787

Voon CP, Guan X, Sun Y, Sahu A, Chan MN, Gardeström P, Wagner S, Fuchs P, Nietzel T, Versaw WK, Schwarzländer M, Lim BL

Matching ATP:NADPH provision and consumption in the chloroplast is a prerequisite for efficient photosynthesis. In terms of ATP:NADPH ratio, the amount of ATP generated from the linear electron flow does not meet the demand of the Calvin–Benson–Bassham (CBB) cycle. Several different mechanisms to increase ATP availability have evolved, including cyclic electron flow in higher plants and the direct import of mitochondrial-derived ATP in diatoms. By imaging a fluorescent ATP sensor protein expressed in living Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings, we found that MgATP2− concentrations were lower in the stroma of mature chloroplasts than in the cytosol, and exogenous ATP was able to enter chloroplasts isolated from 4- and 5-day-old seedlings, but not chloroplasts isolated from 10- or 20-day-old photosynthetic tissues. This observation is in line with the previous finding that the expression of chloroplast nucleotide transporters (NTTs) in Arabidopsis mesophyll is limited to very young seedlings. Employing a combination of photosynthetic and respiratory inhibitors with compartment-specific imaging of ATP, we corroborate the dependency of stromal ATP production on mitochondrial dissipation of photosynthetic reductant. Our data suggest that, during illumination, the provision and consumption of ATP:NADPH in chloroplasts can be balanced by exporting excess reductants rather than importing ATP from the cytosol.

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