The ctpA gene encodes the C-terminal processing protease for the D1 protein of the photosystem II reaction center complex

P. R. Anbudurai, Tsafrir S. Mor, Itzhak Ohad, Sergey V. Shestakov, Himadri B. Pakrasi

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145 Scopus citations


The D1 protein of the photosystem II (PSII) complex in the thylakoid membrane of oxygenic photosynthetic organisms is synthesized as a precursor polypeptide (pD1) with a C-terminal extension. Posttranslational processing of the pD1 protein is essential to establish water oxidation activity of the PSII complex. We have recently identified a gene, ctpA, a mutation in which resulted in a loss of PSII activity in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. To study the function of the CtpA protein, we inactivated the ctpA gene by inserting a kanamycin-resistance gene into its coding sequence. The resultant mutant strain, T564, had no PSII-mediated water oxidation activity, but it had normal cytochrome b6f and photosystem I activities. Measurements of thermoluminescence profiles and rates of reduction of 2,6- dichlorophenolindophenol indicated that PSII complexes in the mutant cells had functional reaction centers that were unable to accept electrons from water. Immunoblot analysis showed that D1, D2, CP47, CP43, and the α subunit of cytochrome b559, five integral membrane proteins of PSII, were present in T564 cells. Interestingly, the D1 protein in the mutant cells was 2 kDa larger than that in wild-type cells, due to the presence of a C-terminal extension. We conclude that the CtpA protein is a processing enzyme that cleaves off the C-terminal extension of the D1 protein. Interestingly, the CtpA protein shows significant sequence similarity to the interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding proteins in the bovine, human, and insect eye systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8082-8086
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number17
StatePublished - Aug 16 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Synechocystis 6803
  • interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein
  • oxygen evolution
  • photosynthesis
  • posttranslational modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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