Photosystem I (PSI) uses light energy and electrons supplied by photosystem II (PSII) to reduce NADP+ to NADPH. PSI is very tolerant of excess light but extremely sensitive to excess electrons from PSII. It has been assumed that PSI is protected from photoinhibition by strict control of the intersystem electron transfer chain (ETC). Here we demonstrate that the iron–sulphur (FeS) clusters of PSI are more sensitive to high light stress than previously anticipated, but PSI with damaged FeS clusters still functions as a non-photochemical photoprotective energy quencher (PSI-NPQ). Upon photoinhibition of PSI, the highly reduced ETC further triggers thylakoid phosphorylation-based mechanisms that increase energy flow towards PSI. It is concluded that the sensitivity of FeS clusters provides an additional photoprotective mechanism that is able to downregulate PSII, based on PSI quenching and protein phosphorylation.
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Research was financially supported by the Academy of Finland Center of Excellence project (271832), a post-doctoral research grant to M.T. (260094) and an Academy Professor research grant to E.-M.A. (273870). S.S. and F.M. thankfully acknowledge the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Energy Agency and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The PsaD antibody is a kind gift from H. Vibe Scheller, and the pgr5 mutant and the gl1 wild-type control were kindly provided by T. Shikanai.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Tiwari, A., Mamedov, F., Grieco, M. et al. Photodamage of iron–sulphur clusters in photosystem I induces non-photochemical energy dissipation. Nature Plants 2, 16035 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nplants.2016.35
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