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Title: PSB27: A thylakoid protein enabling Arabidopsis to adapt to changing light intensity

Project Title: Immunophilins in the assembly and maintenance of photosynthetic electron transport chain in Arabidopsis Applicant: The Regents of the University of California PI: Sheng Luan, University of California at Berkeley Photosynthetic light energy conversion entails coordinated function of complex molecular machines that capture and convert light energy into chemical forms through photosynthetic electron transport chain. Each molecular machine, such as photosystem II (PSII), may consist of dozens of protein subunits and small molecule cofactors. Despite advanced understanding of the structure and function of these complexes, little is known about “How individual proteins and cofactors assemble into a functional machine and how do these molecular machines maintain their structure and function under a highly hazardous lumenal environment.” Our studies on immunophilins have unexpectedly contributed to the understanding of this question. Originally defined as cellular receptors for immunosuppressants, immunophilins have been discovered in a wide range of organisms from bacteria, fungi, plants, to animals. Immunophilins function in protein folding processes as chaperones and foldases. Arabidopsis genome encodes ca. 50 immunophilins. The most striking finding is that 16 immunophilin members are targeted to chloroplast thylakoid lumen, by far the largest group in the lumenal proteome. What is the function of immunophilins inmore » the thylakoid lumen? Our studies have demonstrated critical roles for several immunophilins in the biogenesis and maintenance of photosynthetic complexes such as PSII. These studies have made a critical link between immunophilins and the assembly of photosynthetic machines and thus opened up a new area of research in photosynthesis. Our goal is to dissect the roles of immunophilins and their partners in the assembly and maintenance of the photosynthetic electron transport chain. The specific objectives for this funding period will be: 1. To dissect the mechanism of action for CYP38. Our studies suggest an “autoinhibitory” model for CYP38 action. We plan to test this model and determine the mechanistic details for CYP38 function by biochemical and genetic procedures. 2. To determine the mechanism of action of FKBP20-2/FKBP16-3. Studies on FBKP16-3 and FKBP20-2 suggest that they may work together as a redox-dependent duo in PSII assembly. We will test this hypothesis using biochemical and genetic tools. 3. To determine the function of lumenal FKBPs by multi-gene mutagenesis approach. Using new genetic knockout (KO) procedures especially CRISPR/CAS9 system, we plan to generate multi-gene KO models that will likely provide vital information on those FKBPs with functional redundancy. 4. Functional analysis of thylakoid lumen network. We will focus our effort on objectives 1-3. Objective 4 represents a long-term goal to establish a more comprehensive network of proteins in the thylakoid lumen and their function in the assembly and maintenance of photosynthetic complexes. I hypothesize that the 16 immunophilin-type chaperones and foldases in the thylakoid lumen constitute an “assembly line” for the various components in the photosynthetic electron transport chain. Understanding this assembly line will enable further engineering of more efficient photosynthetic machines to capture more light energy and enhance plant productivity. Furthermore, it is envisioned that such molecular “assembly line” may be rebuilt to produce artificial photosynthesis in vitro or in non-photosynthetic organisms. These are highly relevant to the mission of “Photosynthetic Systems” and “Physical Biosciences” programs to “enhance our understanding of energy capture, conversion, and/or storage.” During the funding period, we have performed a number of experiments under the proposed objectives and obtained several new results. We have found in Objective 1 that CYP38 is associated to the thylokoid membrane with a larger complex that might be PSII supercomplex. Under objective 2, we have found that FKBP16-2 interacted with PSB27 that was further pursuited and published a research article in PNAS (attached). Under Objective 3, we have identified several mutants of other FKBPs in the thyalkoid lumen that should be further studied if future funding is available. Under Objective 4, we have started to build a network of lumenal proteins that play a number of roles in photosynthesis. For example, the CYP37 and CYP28 are linked to chloroplast signaling to nucleus, critical for controlling plant response to high light and adaptation to climate change. Unfortunately these studies have been terminated due to funding shortage.« less
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  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Dept of Plant and Microbial Biology
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Technical Report
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Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)
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United States