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Polyclonal antibodies against the TLA1 protein also recognize with high specificity the D2 reaction center protein of PSII in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii


The Chlamydomonas reinhardtii DNA-insertional transformant truncated light-harvesting antenna 1 (tla1) mutant, helped identify the novel TLA1 gene (GenBank Accession # AF534570-71) as an important genetic determinant in the chlorophyll antenna size of photosynthesis. Down-regulation in the amount of the TLA1 23 kDa protein in the cell resulted in smaller chlorophyll antenna size for both photosystems (in Tetali et al. Planta 225:813-829, 2007). Specific polyclonal antibodies, raised against the recombinant TLA1 protein, showed a cross-reaction with the predicted 23 kDa TLA1 protein in C. reinhardtii protein extracts, but also showed a strong cross-reaction with a protein band migrating to 28.5 kDa. Questions of polymorphism, or posttranslational modification of the TLA1 protein were raised as a result of the unexpected 28.5 kDa cross-reaction. Work in this paper aimed to elucidate the nature of the unexpected 28.5 kDa cross-reaction, as this was deemed to be important in terms of the functional role of the TLA1 protein in the regulation of the chlorophyll antenna size of photosynthesis. Immuno-precipitation of the 28.5 kDa protein, followed by LC-mass spectrometry, showed amino acid sequences ascribed to the psbD/D2 reaction center protein of PSII. The common antigenic determinant between TLA1 and D2 was shown to be a stretch of nine conserved amino acids V-F-L(V)LP-GNAL in the C-terminus of the two proteins, constituting a high antigenicity "GNAL" domain. Antibodies raised against the TLA1 protein containing this domain recognized both the TLA1 and the D2 protein. Conversely, antibodies raised against the TLA1 protein minus the GNAL domain specifically recognized the 23 kDa TLA1 protein and failed to recognize the 28.5 kDa D2 protein. D2 antibodies raised against an oligopeptide containing this domain also cross-reacted with the TLA1 protein. It is concluded that the 28.5 kDa cross-reaction of C. reinhardtii protein extracts with antiTLA1 antibodies is due to antibody affinity for the GNAL domain of the D2 protein and has no bearing on the identity or function of the TLA1 protein.

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