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Keywords:

  • high light;
  • protein phosphorylation;
  • STN8 kinase;
  • stress response;
  • thylakoid membrane

Exposure of Arabidopsis thaliana plants to high levels of light revealed specific phosphorylation of a 40 kDa protein in photosynthetic thylakoid membranes. The protein was identified by MS as extracellular calcium-sensing receptor (CaS), previously reported to be located in the plasma membrane. By confocal laser scanning microscopy and subcellular fractionation, it was demonstrated that CaS localizes to the chloroplasts and is enriched in stroma thylakoids. The phosphorylation level of CaS responded strongly to light intensity. The light-dependent thylakoid protein kinase STN8 is required for CaS phosphorylation. The phosphorylation site was mapped to the stroma-exposed Thr380, located in a motif for interaction with 14-3-3 proteins and proteins with forkhead-associated domains, which suggests the involvement of CaS in stress responses and signaling pathways. The knockout Arabidopsis lines revealed a significant role for CaS in plant growth and development.