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Järvi, Sari; Suorsa, Marjaana; Tadini, Luca; Ivanauskaite, Aiste; Rantala, Sanna; Allahverdiyeva, Yagut; Leister, Dario and Aro, Eva-Mari (2016): Thylakoid-Bound FtsH Proteins Facilitate Proper Biosynthesis of Photosystem I. In: Plant Physiology, Vol. 171, No. 2: pp. 1333-1343

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Thylakoid membrane-bound FtsH proteases have a well-characterized role in degradation of the photosystem II (PSII) reaction center protein D1 upon repair of photodamaged PSII. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) var1 and var2 mutants, devoid of the FtsH5 and FtsH2 proteins, respectively, are capable of normal D1 protein turnover under moderate growth light intensity. Instead, they both demonstrate a significant scarcity of PSI complexes. It is further shown that the reduced level of PSI does not result from accelerated photodamage of the PSI centers in var1 or var2 under moderate growth light intensity. On the contrary, radiolabeling experiments revealed impaired synthesis of the PsaA/B reaction center proteins of PSI, which was accompanied by the accumulation of PSI-specific assembly factors. psaA/B transcript accumulation and translation initiation, however, occurred in var1 and var2 mutants as in wild-type Arabidopsis, suggesting problems in later stages of PsaA/B protein expression in the two var mutants. Presumably, the thylakoid membrane-bound FtsH5 and FtsH2 have dual functions in the maintenance of photosynthetic complexes. In addition to their function as a protease in the degradation of the photodamaged D1 protein, they also are required, either directly or indirectly, for early assembly of the PSI complexes.

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