Wientjes E, Oostergetel GT, Jansson S, Boekema EJ. Croce R
The role of Lhca complexes in the supramolecular organization of higher plant photosystem I
Journal of Biological Chemistry: 2009 284(12):7800-7807

In this work, Photosystem I supercomplexes have been purified from Lhca-deficient lines of Arabidopsis thaliana using a mild detergent treatment that does not induce loss of outer antennas. The complexes have been studied by integrating biochemical analysis with electron microscopy. This allows the direct correlation of changes in protein content with changes in supramolecular structure of Photosystem I to get information about the position of the individual Lhca subunits, the association of the antenna to the core, and the influence of the individual subunits on the stability of the system. Photosystem I complexes with only two or three antenna complexes were purified, showing that the binding of Lhca1/4 and Lhca2/3 dimers to the core is not interdependent, although weak binding of Lhca2/3 to the core is stabilized by the presence of Lhca4. Moreover, Lhca2 and Lhca4 can be associated with the core in the absence of their "dimeric partners." The structure of Photosystem I is very rigid, and the absence of one antenna complex leaves a "hole" in the structure that cannot be filled by other Lhcas, clearly indicating that the docking sites for the individual subunits are highly specific. There is, however, an exception to the rule: Lhca5 can substitute for Lhca4, yielding highly stable PSI supercomplexes with a supramolecular organization identical to the WT.

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