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Pesaresi, Paolo; Hertle, Alexander; Pribil, Mathias; Kleine, Tatjana; Wagner, Raik; Strissel, Henning; Ihnatowicz, Anna; Bonardi, Vera; Scharfenberg, Michael; Schneider, Anja; Pfannschmidt, Thomas and Leister, Dario (2009): Arabidopsis STN7 Kinase Provides a Link between Short- and Long-Term Photosynthetic Acclimation. In: The plant cell, Vol. 21, No. 8: pp. 2402-2423 [PDF, 2MB]

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Flowering plants control energy allocation to their photosystems in response to light quality changes. This includes the phosphorylation and migration of light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) proteins (state transitions or short-term response) as well as long-term alterations in thylakoid composition (long-term response or LTR). Both responses require the thylakoid protein kinase STN7. Here, we show that the signaling pathways triggering state transitions and LTR diverge at, or immediately downstream from, STN7. Both responses require STN7 activity that can be regulated according to the plastoquinone pool redox state. However, LTR signaling does not involve LHCII phosphorylation or any other state transition step. State transitions appear to play a prominent role in flowering plants, and the ability to perform state transitions becomes critical for photosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana mutants that are impaired in thylakoid electron transport but retain a functional LTR. Our data imply that STN7-dependent phosphorylation of an as yet unknown thylakoid protein triggers LTR signaling events, whereby an involvement of the TSP9 protein in the signaling pathway could be excluded. The LTR signaling events then ultimately regulate in chloroplasts the expression of photosynthesis-related genes on the transcript level, whereas expression of nuclear-encoded proteins is regulated at multiple levels, as indicated by transcript and protein profiling in LTR mutants.

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