The photosystem I assembly apparatus consisting of Ycf3-Y3IP1 and Ycf4 modules

Nat Commun. 2018 Jun 22;9(1):2439. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04823-3.


In oxygenic photosynthesis, light energy is converted into redox energy by two photosystems (PSI and PSII). PSI forms one of the largest multiprotein complexes in thylakoid membranes consisting of a core complex, peripheral light-harvesting complexes (LHCIs) and cofactors. Although the high-resolution structure of the PSI-LHCI complex has been determined, the assembly process remains unclear due to the rapid nature of the assembly process. Here we show that two conserved chloroplast-encoded auxiliary factors, Ycf3 and Ycf4, form modules that mediate PSI assembly. The first module consists of the tetratricopeptide repeat protein Ycf3 and its interacting partner, Y3IP1, and mainly facilitates the assembly of reaction center subunits. The second module consists of oligomeric Ycf4 and facilitates the integration of peripheral PSI subunits and LHCIs into the PSI reaction center subcomplex. We reveal that these two modules are major mediators of the PSI-LHCI assembly process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / physiology*
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes / metabolism
  • Photosynthesis / physiology
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex / chemistry
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex / isolation & purification
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Protozoan Proteins / chemistry
  • Protozoan Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism*
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Thylakoids / metabolism


  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex
  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Ycf3 protein, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
  • Ycf4 protein, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii