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Keywords:

  • Arabidopsis;
  • Lhcb2;
  • LHCII;
  • phosphorylation;
  • state transitions

Summary

Light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) contains three highly homologous chlorophyll-a/b-binding proteins (Lhcb1, Lhcb2 and Lhcb3), which can be assembled into both homo- and heterotrimers. Lhcb1 and Lhcb2 are reversibly phosphorylated by the action of STN7 kinase and PPH1/TAP38 phosphatase in the so-called state-transition process. We have developed antibodies that are specific for the phosphorylated forms of Lhcb1 and Lhcb2. We found that Lhcb2 is more rapidly phosphorylated than Lhcb1: 10 sec of ‘state 2 light’ results in Lhcb2 phosphorylation to 30% of the maximum level. Phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated forms of the proteins showed no difference in electrophoretic mobility and dephosphorylation kinetics did not differ between the two proteins. In state 2, most of the phosphorylated forms of Lhcb1 and Lhcb2 were present in super- and mega-complexes that comprised both photosystem (PS)I and PSII, and the state 2-specific PSI–LHCII complex was highly enriched in the phosphorylated forms of Lhcb2. Our results imply distinct and specific roles for Lhcb1 and Lhcb2 in the regulation of photosynthetic light harvesting.