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Effect of protein modification by malondialdehyde on the interaction between the oxygen-evolving complex 33 kDa protein and photosystem II core proteins

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Previously we observed that the oxygen-evolving complex 33 kDa protein (OEC33) which stabilizes the Mn cluster in photosystem II (PSII), was modified with malondialdehyde (MDA), an end-product of peroxidized polyunsaturated fatty acids, and the modification increased in heat-stressed plants (Yamauchi et al. 2008). In this study, we examined whether the modification of OEC33 with MDA affects its binding to the PSII complex and causes inactivation of the oxygen-evolving complex. Purified OEC33 and PSII membranes that had been removed of extrinsic proteins of the oxygen-evolving complex (PSII∆OEE) of spinach (Spinacia oleracea) were separately treated with MDA. The binding was diminished when both OEC33 and PSII∆OEE were modified, but when only OEC33 or PSII∆OEE was treated, the binding was not impaired. In the experiment using thylakoid membranes, release of OEC33 from PSII and corresponding loss of oxygen-evolving activity were observed when thylakoid membranes were treated with MDA at 40°C but not at 25°C. In spinach leaves treated at 40°C under light, maximal efficiency of PSII photochemistry (F v/F m ratio of chlorophyll fluorescence) and oxygen-evolving activity decreased. Simultaneously, MDA contents in heat-stressed leaves increased, and OEC33 and PSII core proteins including 47 and 43 kDa chlorophyll-binding proteins were modified with MDA. In contrast, these changes were to a lesser extent at 40°C in the dark. These results suggest that MDA modification of PSII proteins causes release of OEC33 from PSII and it is promoted in heat and oxidative conditions.

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Bromo-chloro-indolyl phosphate


Chlorophyll-binding protein


Maximal efficiency of PSII photochemistry




Nitroblue tetrazolium


Oxygen-evolving complex


Oxygen-evolving complex 33 kDa protein


Photosystem II


PSII containing no extrinsic proteins


Polyunsaturated fatty acid


Reactive oxygen species


Thiobarbituric acid


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We acknowledge Dr. Jun’ichi Mano of Yamaguchi University and Dr. Yukihiro Kimura of Kobe University for helpful discussions and kindly reading the manuscript. We thank Dr. Chikahiro Miyake of Kobe University for instructing oxygen evolution analysis. This research was supported by Grants-in-Aid for Exploratory Research (Grant 21658112) to Y.Y. from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan.

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Correspondence to Yasuo Yamauchi.

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Yamauchi, Y., Sugimoto, Y. Effect of protein modification by malondialdehyde on the interaction between the oxygen-evolving complex 33 kDa protein and photosystem II core proteins. Planta 231, 1077–1088 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00425-010-1112-2

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  • Heat stress
  • Lipid peroxidation
  • Malondialdehyde
  • Oxygen-evolving complex
  • Photosystem II
  • 33 kDa protein