The Role of Phosphorylation Dynamics of CURVATURE THYLAKOID 1B in Plant Thylakoid Membranes

Plant Physiol. 2019 Dec;181(4):1615-1631. doi: 10.1104/pp.19.00942. Epub 2019 Oct 15.


Thylakoid membranes in land plant chloroplasts are organized into appressed and nonappressed membranes, which contribute to the control of energy distribution between the two photosystems (PSI and PSII) from the associated light-harvesting complexes (LHCs). Under fluctuating light conditions, fast reversible phosphorylation of the N-terminal thylakoid protein domains and changes in electrostatic forces induce modifications in thylakoid organization. To gain insight into the role and dynamics of thylakoid protein phosphorylation, we used targeted proteomics to quantify amounts of the structural proteins CURVATURE THYLAKOID1 (CURT1), including the levels of CURT1B N terminus phosphorylation and acetylation, after short-term fluctuating light treatments of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The CURT1B protein was localized to a specific curvature domain separated from the margin domain, and specifically depleted of chlorophyll-binding protein complexes. The acetylation and phosphorylation of the CURT1B N terminus were mutually exclusive. The level of CURT1B phosphorylation, but not of acetylation, increased upon light shifts that also led to an increase in PSII core protein phosphorylation. These dynamics were largely absent in the knockout mutant of PSII core protein kinase SER/THR PROTEIN KINASE8 (STN8). Moreover, in mutants impaired in interaction between phosphorylated LHCII and PSI, the phosphorylation dynamics of CURT1B and the amount of the other CURT1 proteins were misregulated, indicating a functional interaction between CURT1B and PSI-LHCII complexes in grana margins. The complex relationships between phosphorylation of PSII, LHCII, and CURT1B support the dynamics of thylakoid protein complexes that are crucial in the optimization of photosynthesis under fluctuating light intensities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Alanine / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / chemistry
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Chlorophyll / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Light
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphothreonine / metabolism
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex / chemistry
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex / metabolism*
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism
  • Thylakoids / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • At2g46820 protein, Arabidopsis
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex
  • Photosystem II Protein Complex
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Protein Subunits
  • Phosphothreonine
  • Chlorophyll
  • Alanine