Arrangement of Photosystem II and ATP Synthase in Chloroplast Membranes of Spinach and Pea
The Plant Cell
American Society of Plant Biologists
© 2010 American Society of Plant Biologists. Open access article
We used cryoelectron tomography to reveal the arrangements of photosystem II (PSII) and ATP synthase in vitreous sections of intact chloroplasts and plunge-frozen suspensions of isolated thylakoid membranes. We found that stroma and grana thylakoids are connected at the grana margins by staggered lamellar membrane protrusions. The stacking repeat of grana membranes in frozen-hydrated chloroplasts is 15.7 nm, with a 4.5-nm lumenal space and a 3.2-nm distance between the flat stromal surfaces. The chloroplast ATP synthase is confined to minimally curved regions at the grana end membranes and stroma lamellae, where it covers 20% of the surface area. In total, 85% of the ATP synthases are monomers and the remainder form random assemblies of two or more copies. Supercomplexes of PSII and light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) occasionally form ordered arrays in appressed grana thylakoids, whereas this order is lost in destacked membranes. In the ordered arrays, each membrane on either side of the stromal gap contains a two-dimensional crystal of supercomplexes, with the two lattices arranged such that PSII cores, LHCII trimers, and minor LHCs each face a complex of the same kind in the opposite membrane. Grana formation is likely to result from electrostatic interactions between these complexes across the stromal gap.
The work was supported in part by RR000592 from the National Institutes of Health to D.N. and J.R.M.
This is the final version of the article. Available from the publisher via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 22, pp. 1299 - 1312