Back to overview

STAY-GREEN and chlorophyll catabolic enzymes interact at light-harvesting complex II for chlorophyll detoxification during leaf senescence in Arabidopsis.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2012
Author Sakuraba Yasuhito, Schelbert Silvia, Park So-Yon, Han Su-Hyun, Lee Byoung-Doo, Andrès Céline Besagni, Kessler Felix, Hörtensteiner Stefan, Paek Nam-Chon,
Project Chlorophyll breakdown: analysis of fruit ripening, evolution and regulation
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal The Plant Cell
Volume (Issue) 24(2)
Page(s) 507 - 18
Title of proceedings The Plant Cell
DOI 10.1105/tpc.111.089474


During leaf senescence, plants degrade chlorophyll to colorless linear tetrapyrroles that are stored in the vacuole of senescing cells. The early steps of chlorophyll breakdown occur in plastids. To date, five chlorophyll catabolic enzymes (CCEs), NONYELLOW COLORING1 (NYC1), NYC1-LIKE, pheophytinase, pheophorbide a oxygenase (PAO), and red chlorophyll catabolite reductase, have been identified; these enzymes catalyze the stepwise degradation of chlorophyll to a fluorescent intermediate, pFCC, which is then exported from the plastid. In addition, STAY-GREEN (SGR), Mendel's green cotyledon gene encoding a chloroplast protein, is required for the initiation of chlorophyll breakdown in plastids. Senescence-induced SGR binds to light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), but its exact role remains elusive. Here, we show that all five CCEs also specifically interact with LHCII. In addition, SGR and CCEs interact directly or indirectly with each other at LHCII, and SGR is essential for recruiting CCEs in senescing chloroplasts. PAO, which had been attributed to the inner envelope, is found to localize in the thylakoid membrane. These data indicate a predominant role for the SGR-CCE-LHCII protein interaction in the breakdown of LHCII-located chlorophyll, likely to allow metabolic channeling of phototoxic chlorophyll breakdown intermediates upstream of nontoxic pFCC.