NADPH:protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (POR) is a key enzyme for the light-induced greening of etiolated angiosperm plants. It belongs to the ‘RED’ family of reductases, epimerases and dehydrogenases. All POR proteins characterized so far contain evolutionarily conserved cysteine residues implicated in protochlorophyllide (Pchlide)-binding and catalysis. cDNAs were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis that encode PORB mutant proteins with defined Cys→Ala exchanges. These cDNAs were expressed in transgenic plants of a PORB-deficient knock-out mutant (porB) of Arabidopsis thaliana. Results show that porB plants expressing PORB mutant proteins with Ala substitutions of Cys276 or Cys303 are hypersensitive to high-light conditions during greening. Hereby, failure to assemble higher molecular weight complexes of PORB with its twin isoenzyme, PORA, as encountered with (Cys303→Ala)-PORB plants, caused more severe effects than replacing Cys276 by an Ala residue in the active site of the enzyme, as encountered in (Cys276→Ala)-PORB plants. Our results are consistent with the presence of two distinct pigment binding sites in PORB, with Cys276 establishing the active site of the enzyme and Cys303 providing a second, low affinity pigment binding site that is essential for the assembly of higher molecular mass light-harvesting PORB::PORA complexes and photoprotection of etiolated seedlings. Failure to assemble such complexes provoked photodynamic damage through the generation of singlet oxygen. Together, our data highlight the importance of PORB for Pchlide homoeostasis and greening in Arabidopsis.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 4, 2017
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