Assembly of the barley light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b proteins in barley etiochloroplasts involves processing of the precursor on thylakoids

Parag R. Chitnis*, Daryl T. Morishige, Rachel Nechushtai, J. Philip Thornber

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations

Abstract

A barley gene encoding the major light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein (LHCP) has been sequenced and then expressed in vitro to produce a labelled LHCP precursor (pLHCP). When barley etiochloroplasts are incubated with this pLHCP, both labelled pLHCP and LHCP are found as integral thylakoid membrane proteins, incorporated into the major pigment-protein complex of the thylakoids. The presence of pLHCP in thylakoids and its proportion with respect to labelled LHCP depends on the developmental stage of the plastids used to study the import of pLHCP. The reduced amounts of chlorophyll in a chlorophyll b-less mutant of barley does not affect the proportion of pLHCP to LHCP found in the thylakoids when import of pLHCP into plastids isolated from the mutant plants is examined. Therefore, insufficient chlorophyll during early stages of plastid development does not seem to be responsible for their relative inefficiency in assembling pLHCP. A chase of labelled pLHCP that has been incorporated into the thylakoids of intact plastids, by further incubation of the plastids with unlabelled pLHCP, reveals that the pLHCP incorporated into the thylakoids can be processed to its mature size. Our observations strongly support the hypothesis that after import into plastids, pLHCP is inserted into thylakoids and then processed to its mature size under in vivo conditions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)95-107
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1988
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • chloroplasts
  • light-harvesting chlorophyll proteins
  • membrane protein assembly
  • plastid development
  • processing of precursor protein

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