Role of phosphorylation in the repair cycle and oligomeric structure of photosystem II
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The role of PSII protein phosphorylation in the oligomeric structure of the complex and in the repair of photodamaged PSII centers was studied with intact thylakoids and thylakoid membrane subfractions isolated from differentially light-treated pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) leaves. A combination of sucrose gradient fractionation of thylakoid protein complexes and immunodetection with phosphothreonine and protein-specific antibodies was used. We report in this study that the extent of phosphorylation of PSII core proteins is equivalent in dimers and monomers, and directly depends on light intensity. Phosphorylated PSII monomers migrate to the stroma-exposed thylakoids, probably following damage of the D1 protein and the dissociation of the light-harvesting complex of PSII. Once in the stroma lamellae, monomers are gradually dephosphorylated to allow the reparation of the complex. First, CP43 is dephosphorylated and as a consequence of this modification it detaches from the PSII core. In addition to D1, D2 is also thereafter dephosphorylated. Phosphorylation of PSII core polypeptides probably ensures the integrity of the monomers until repair can proceed. Dephosphorylation, on the other hand, might serve the need for opening the complex and coordinating D1 proteolysis and the attachment of ribosomes.
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