Light energy constantly damages photosynthetic apparatuses, ultimately causing impaired growth. Particularly, the sessile nature of higher plants has allowed chloroplasts to develop unique mechanisms to alleviate the irreversible inactivation of photosynthesis. Photosystem II (PSII) is known as a primary target of photodamage. Photosynthetic organisms have evolved the so-called PSII repair cycle, in which a reaction center protein, D1, is degraded rapidly in a specific manner. Two proteases that perform processive or endopeptidic degradation, FtsH and Deg, respectively, participate in this cycle. To examine the cooperative D1 degradation by these proteases, we engaged Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) mutants lacking FtsH2 (yellow variegated2 [var2]) and Deg5/Deg8 (deg5 deg8) in detecting D1 cleaved fragments. We detected several D1 fragments only under the var2 background, using amino-terminal or carboxyl-terminal specific antibodies of D1. The appearance of these D1 fragments was inhibited by a serine protease inhibitor and by deg5 deg8 mutations. Given the localization of Deg5/Deg8 on the luminal side of thylakoid membranes, we inferred that Deg5/Deg8 cleaves D1 at its luminal loop connecting the transmembrane helices C and D and that the cleaved products of D1 are the substrate for FtsH. These D1 fragments detected in var2 were associated with the PSII monomer, dimer, and partial disassembly complex but not with PSII supercomplexes. It is particularly interesting that another processive protease, Clp, was up-regulated and appeared to be recruited from stroma to the thylakoid membrane in var2, suggesting compensation for FtsH deficiency. Together, our data demonstrate in vivo cooperative degradation of D1, in which Deg cleavage assists FtsH processive degradation under photoinhibitory conditions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science