Photoprotective energy dissipation in higher plants involves alteration of the excited state energy of the emitting chlorophyll (s) in the light harvesting antenna Ii (LHCII)
Johnson, M.P.; Ruban, A.V.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 284(35): 23592-23601
Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), a mechanism of energy dissipation in higher plants protects photosystem II (PSII) reaction centers from damage by excess light. NPQ involves a reduction in the chlorophyll excited state lifetime in the PSII harvesting antenna (LHCII) by a quencher. Yet, little is known about the effect of the quencher on chlorophyll excited state energy and dynamics. Application of picosecond time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy demonstrated that NPQ involves a red-shift (60 +/- 5 cm(-1)) and slight enhancement of the vibronic satellite of the main PSII lifetime component present in intact chloroplasts. Whereas this fluorescence red-shift was enhanced by the presence of zeaxanthin, it was not dependent upon it. The red-shifted fluorescence of intact chloroplasts in the NPQ state was accompanied by red-shifted chlorophyll a absorption. Nearly identical absorption and fluorescence changes were observed in isolated LHCII complexes quenched in a low detergent media, suggesting that the mechanism of quenching is the same in both systems. In both cases, the extent of the fluorescence red-shift was shown to correlate with the lifetime of a component. The alteration in the energy of the emitting chlorophyll(s) in intact chloroplasts and isolated LHCII was also accompanied by changes in lutein 1 observed in their 77K fluorescence excitation spectra. We suggest that the characteristic red-shifted fluorescence emission reflects an altered environment of the emitting chlorophyll(s) in LHCII brought about by their closer interaction with lutein 1 in the quenching locus.