Light-induced formation of dimeric LHCII

Ewa Janik, Joanna Bednarska, Karol Sowiński, Rafał Luchowski, Monika Zubik, Wojciech Grudziński and Wiesław I. Gruszecki

It emerges from numerous experiments that LHCII, the major photosynthetic antenna complex of plants, can appear not only in the trimeric or monomeric states but also as a dimer. We address the problem whether the dimeric form of the complex is just a simple intermediate element of the trimer–monomer transformation or if it can also be a physiologically relevant molecular organization form? Dimers of LHCII were analyzed with application of native electrophoresis, time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy, and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. The results reveal the appearance of two types of LHCII dimers: one formed by the dissociation of one monomer from the trimeric structure and the other formed by association of monomers into a distinctively different molecular organizational form, characterized by a high rate of chlorophyll excitation quenching. The hypothetical structure of such an energy quencher is proposed. The high lightinduced LHCII dimerization is discussed as a potential element of the photoprotective response in plants.