Supramolecular organization of photosystem II in green plants

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Jan;1817(1):2-12. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2011.05.024. Epub 2011 Jun 23.


Green plant photosystem II (PSII) is involved in the light reactions of photosynthesis, which take place in the thylakoid membrane of the chloroplast. PSII is organized into large supercomplexes with variable amounts of membrane-bound peripheral antenna complexes. These supercomplexes are dimeric and contain usually 2-4 copies of trimeric LHCII complexes and have a further tendency to associate into megacomplexes or into crystalline domains, of which several types have been characterized. This review focuses on the overall composition and structure of the PSII supercomplex of green plants and its organization and interactions within the photosynthetic membrane. Further, we present the current knowledge how the thylakoid membrane is three-dimensionally organized within the chloroplast. We also discuss how the supramolecular organization in the thylakoid membrane and the PSII flexibility may play roles in various short-term regulatory mechanisms of green plant photosynthesis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Photosystem II.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chloroplasts / metabolism
  • Dimerization
  • Energy Transfer
  • Intracellular Membranes / metabolism
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex / chemistry
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Conformation


  • Photosystem II Protein Complex
  • Plant Proteins