Absence of PsaC subunit allows assembly of photosystem I core but prevents the binding of PsaD and PsaE in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803

Jianping Yu, Lawrence B. Smart, Yean Sung Jung, John Golbeck, Lee McIntosh

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In photosystem I (PSI) of oxygenic photosynthetic organisms the psaC polypeptide, encoded by the psaC gene, provides the ligands for two [4Fe-4S] clusters, FA and FB. Unlike other cyanobacteria, two different psaC genes have been reported in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis 6803, one (copy 1) with a deduced amino acid sequence identical to that of tobacco and another (copy 2) with a deduced amino acid sequence similar to those reported for other cyanobacteria. Insertion of a gene encoding kanamycin resistance into copy 2 resulted in a photosynthesis-deficient strain, CDK25, lacking the PsaC, PsaD and PsaE polypeptides in isolated thylakoid membranes, while the PsaA/PsaB and PsaF subunits were found. Growth of the mutant cells was indistinguishable from that of wild-type cells under light-activated heterotrophic growth (LAHG). A reversible P700+ signal was detected by EPR spectroscopy in the isolated thylakoids during illumination at low temperature. Under these conditions, the EPR signals attributed to FA and FB were absent in the mutant strain, but a reversible Fx signal was present with broad resonances at g=2.079, 1.903, and 1.784. Addition of PsaC and PsaD proteins to the thylakoids gave rise to resonances at g=2.046, 1.936, 1.922, and 1.880; these values are characteristic of an interaction-type spectrum of FA- and FB-. In room-temperature optical spectroscopic analysis, addition of PsaC and PsaD to the thylakoids also restored a 30 ms kinetic transient which is characteristic of the P700+ [FA/FB]- backreaction. Expression of copy 1 was not detected in cells grown under LAHG and under mixotrophic conditions. These results demonstrate that copy 2 encodes the PsaC polypeptide in PSI in Synechocystis 6803, while copy 1 is not involved in PSI; that the PsaC polypeptide is necessary for stable assembly of PsaD and PsaE into PSI complex in vivo; and that PsaC, PsaD and PsaE are not needed for assembly of PsaA-PsaB dimer and electron transport from P700 to Fx.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-342
Number of pages12
JournalPlant molecular biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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