An evolutionary view on thylakoid protein phosphorylation uncovers novel phosphorylation hotspots with potential functional implications

Authors/others:Grieco, Michele; Jain, Arpit (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Ebersberger, Ingo (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main); Teige, Markus

The regulation of photosynthetic light reactions by reversible protein phosphorylation is well established today, but functional studies have so far mostly been restricted to processes affecting light-harvesting complex II and the core proteins of photosystem II. Virtually no functional data are available on regulatory effects at the other photosynthetic complexes despite the identification of multiple phosphorylation sites. Therefore we summarize the available data from 50 published phospho-proteomics studies covering the main complexes involved in photosynthetic light reactions in the 'green lineage' (i.e. green algae and land plants) as well as its cyanobacterial counterparts. In addition, we performed an extensive orthologue search for the major photosynthetic thylakoid proteins in 41 sequenced genomes and generated sequence alignments to survey the phylogenetic distribution of phosphorylation sites and their evolutionary conservation from green algae to higher plants. We observed a number of uncharacterized phosphorylation hotspots at photosystem I and the ATP synthase with potential functional relevance as well as an unexpected divergence of phosphosites. Although technical limitations might account for a number of those differences, we think that many of these phosphosites have important functions. This is particularly important for mono- and dicot plants, where these sites might be involved in regulatory processes such as stress acclimation.

Number of pages:14
Date of publication:6.2016
Journal title:Journal of Experimental Botany
Peer reviewed:true
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Bibliographical note:© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:
Publication Type:Article