Light- and metabolism-related regulation of the chloroplast ATP synthase has distinct mechanisms and functions

Kaori Kohzuma, Cristina Dal Bosco, Jörg Meurer, David M. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The chloroplast CF0-CF1-ATP synthase (ATP synthase) is activated in the light and inactivated in the dark by thioredoxin-mediated redox modulation of a disulfide bridge on its γ subunit. The activity of the ATP synthase is also fine-tuned during steady-state photosynthesis in response to metabolic changes, e.g. altering CO2 levels to adjust the thylakoid proton gradient and thus the regulation of light harvesting and electron transfer. The mechanism of this fine-tuning is unknown. We test here the possibility that it also involves redox modulation. We found that modifying the Arabidopsis thaliana γ subunit by mutating three highly conserved acidic amino acids, D211V, E212L, and E226L, resulted in a mutant, termed mothra, in which ATP synthase which lacked light-dark regulation had relatively small effects on maximal activity in vivo. In situ equilibrium redox titrations and thiol redox-sensitive labeling studies showed that the γ subunit disulfide/sulfhydryl couple in the modified ATP synthase has a more reducing redox potential and thus remains predominantly oxidized under physiological conditions, implying that the highly conserved acidic residues in the γ subunit influence thiol redox potential. In contrast to its altered light-dark regulation, mothra retained wild-type fine-tuning of ATP synthase activity in response to changes in ambient CO2 concentrations, indicating that the light-dark- and metabolic-related regulation occur through different mechanisms, possibly via small molecule allosteric effectors or covalent modification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13156-13163
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May 3
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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