Leaf C40.4: a carotenoid-associated protein involved in the modulation of photosynthetic efficiency?

Plant J. 1999 Aug;19(4):399-410. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.1999.00537.x.


Comparative analysis by differential RNA display (DDRT-PCR) of the expression patterns of potato plants induced and non-induced to tuberize, led to the isolation of a cDNA clone, C40.4, that is strongly upregulated in the leaves of tuberizing plants. Leaf expression of this transcript was shown to be light-dependent, with increased levels of mRNA and protein being detected during the light hours. Sequence analysis revealed near complete identity to potato CDSP34, a thylakoid protein induced by drought stress, and strong homology to the carotenoid-associated proteins fibrillin, ChrB and PAP from pepper fruit, and CHRC from cucumber flowers. By using an antibody against pepper fibrillin, we were able to demonstrate a chloroplastic location of the C40.4 protein in association with the thylakoid membranes. Two-dimensional analysis of thylakoid pigment-protein complexes showed a specific association of the protein with the photosystem II (PSII) multi-subunit complex. Antisense plants with reduced levels of accumulation of C40.4 showed a stunted growth and decreased tuber yield and exhibited reduced values of non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll a fluorescence. Altogether, these results indicate a preferential association of the C40.4 protein with the light harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCII) antenna pigment complexes, and suggest a functional role of this protein in photosynthesis, by modulating photosynthetic efficiency and dissipation of excess absorbed light energy within the antenna complex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Carotenoids / metabolism*
  • Chlorophyll / metabolism
  • Chlorophyll A
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Light
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Photosynthesis*
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / metabolism
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex
  • Pigments, Biological / metabolism
  • Plant Leaves / genetics*
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plant Leaves / ultrastructure
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Plant Roots / physiology
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • RNA, Antisense / genetics
  • RNA, Antisense / physiology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Solanum tuberosum / genetics
  • Solanum tuberosum / physiology*
  • Solanum tuberosum / ultrastructure
  • Thylakoids / genetics
  • Thylakoids / metabolism
  • Thylakoids / ultrastructure
  • Up-Regulation


  • C40.4 protein, Solanum demissum
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex
  • Pigments, Biological
  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Antisense
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Chlorophyll
  • Carotenoids
  • Chlorophyll A

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AJ131455