, Volume 237, Issue 2, pp 497–508 | Cite as

Inhibition of chlorophyll biosynthesis at the protochlorophyllide reduction step results in the parallel depletion of Photosystem I and Photosystem II in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803

  • Jana Kopečná
  • Roman Sobotka
  • Josef KomendaEmail author
Original Article


In most oxygenic phototrophs, including cyanobacteria, two independent enzymes catalyze the reduction of protochlorophyllide to chlorophyllide, which is the penultimate step in chlorophyll (Chl) biosynthesis. One is light-dependent NADPH:protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (LPOR) and the second type is dark-operative protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (DPOR). To clarify the roles of both enzymes, we assessed synthesis and accumulation of Chl-binding proteins in mutants of cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803 that either completely lack LPOR or possess low levels of the active enzyme due to its ectopic regulatable expression. The LPOR-less mutant grew photoautotrophically in moderate light and contained a maximum of 20 % of the wild-type (WT) Chl level. Both Photosystem II (PSII) and Photosystem I (PSI) were reduced to the same degree. Accumulation of PSII was mostly limited by the synthesis of antennae CP43 and especially CP47 as indicated by the accumulation of reaction center assembly complexes. The phenotype of the LPOR-less mutant was comparable to the strain lacking DPOR that also contained <25 % of the wild-type level of PSII and PSI when cultivated under light-activated heterotrophic growth conditions. However, in the latter case, we detected no reaction center assembly complexes, indicating that synthesis was almost completely inhibited for all Chl-proteins, including the D1 and D2 proteins.


Chlorophyll biosynthesis Cyanobacteria Photosystems Protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase Synechocystis PCC 6803 



Blue native






Clear native


Two forms of unassembled CP43


Dark-operative protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase


Light-activated heterotrophic growth


Low light


Light-dependent protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase


Normal light




Precursor/intermediate form of D1


Photosystem I


PSI monomer


PSI trimer


Photosystem II


PSII reaction center complex

RC* and RCa

Reaction center complexes lacking antennae CP47 and CP43 and accumulating in mutants unable to synthesize CP47


PSII monomer lacking CP43


PSII monomer


PSII dimer


Supercomplex containing PSII and PSI proteins


Unassembled proteins





We thank Henry Valentin for providing pCER20 plasmid, C. Neil Hunter (Sheffield University, UK) for anti-LPOR and Peter Nixon (Imperial College L ondon, UK) for the WT strain and the anti-YCF48 antibody. This work was supported by projects Algatech (CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0110), RVO61388971, by projects P501/10/1000 and P501/12/G055 of the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, and by a project 073/2010/P-PřF of the Grant Agency of the University of South Bohemia.

Supplementary material

425_2012_1761_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (176 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 176 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Kopečná
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roman Sobotka
    • 1
    • 2
  • Josef Komenda
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Phototrophic Microorganisms, Institute of MicrobiologyAcademy of SciencesTřeboňCzech Republic
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic

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