Control of the Light Harvesting Function of Chloroplast Membranes: The LHCII-aggregation Model for Non-Photochemical Quenching

FEBS Lett. 2005 Aug 15;579(20):4201-6. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2005.07.003.


Dissipation of excess excitation energy within the photosystem II light-harvesting antenna (LHCII) by non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) is an important photoprotective process in plants. An update to a hypothesis for the mechanism of NPQ [FEBS Letters 292, 1991] is presented. The impact of recent advances in understanding the structure, organisation and photophysics of LHCII is assessed. We show possible locations of the predicted regulatory and quenching pigment-binding sites in the structural model of the major LHCII. We suggest that NPQ is a highly regulated concerted response of the organised thylakoid macrostructure, which can include different mechanisms and sites at different times.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Allosteric Site
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes / chemistry
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / metabolism
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex / chemistry
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plants / enzymology
  • Protein Conformation
  • Thylakoids / enzymology*
  • Xanthophylls / metabolism*


  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex
  • Plant Proteins
  • Xanthophylls