The D1 protein of photosystem II is synthesized in precursor with a carboxyl-terminal extension. Interestingly, there is quite a range in chain length of the extension, which roughly depends upon the class of organisms. In cyanobacteria, e.g. in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803, the extension consists of 16 amino acid residues, seven residues longer than its counterpart in higher plants. In this study, we examined the D1 processing in Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 by pulse-chase experiments and detected a proteolytic intermediate of this process. This finding suggests that the elongated extension in this organism is excised with a sequential two-step proteolysis, which differs markedly from the manner observed in higher plants.
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