Binding of ferredoxin NADP+ oxidoreductase (FNR) to plant photosystem I

Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2019 Sep 1;1860(9):689-698. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2019.07.007. Epub 2019 Jul 20.


The binding of FNR to PSI has been postulated long ago, however, a clear evidence is still missing. In this work, using isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), we found that FNR binds to photosystem I with its light harvesting complex I (PSI-LHCI) from C. reinhardtii with a 1:1 stoichiometry, a Kd of ~0.8 μM and ∆H of -20.7 kcal/mol. Titrations at different temperatures were used to determine the heat capacity change, ∆CP, of the binding, through which the size of the interface area between the proteins was assessed as ~3000 Å2. In a different set of ITC experiments, introduction of various sucrose concentrations was used to estimate that ~95 water molecules are released to the solvent. These observations support the notion of a binding site shared by few of the photosystem I - light harvesting complex I (PSI-LHCI) subunits in addition to PsaE. Based on these results, a hypothetical model was built for the binding site of FNR at PSI, using known crystallographic structures of: cyanobacterial PSI in complex with ferredoxin (Fd), plant PSI-LHCI and Fd:FNR complex from cyanobacteria. FNR binding site location is proposed to be at the foot of the stromal ridge and above the inner LHCI belt. It is expected to form contacts with PsaE, PsaB, PsaF and at least one of the LHCI. In addition, a ~4.5-fold increased affinity between FNR and PSI-LHCI under crowded 1 M sucrose environment led us to conclude that in C. reinhardtii FNR also functions as a subunit of PSI-LHCI.

Keywords: Binding; FNR; ITC; Membrane; PSI; Photosynthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / enzymology*
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Cyanobacteria / metabolism
  • Electron Transport
  • Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase / chemistry
  • Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase / metabolism*
  • Ferredoxins / chemistry
  • Ferredoxins / metabolism*
  • Light
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • NADP / chemistry
  • NADP / metabolism*
  • Photosynthesis*
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex / chemistry
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex / metabolism*
  • Protein Conformation


  • Ferredoxins
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex
  • NADP
  • Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase