Thylakoid protein phosphorylation was facilitated in darkness by using the ferredoxin-NADPH system. CoCl2 and DBMIB (2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropyl-p-benzoquinone) were potent inhibitors of LHCP (light-harvesting chlorophyll-binding protein) phosphorylation, but 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethyl-urea and atrazine had no significant effect. Differential effects on phosphorylation of the 9 kDa polypeptide and LHCP were observed in darkness with DBMIB and certain other inhibitors specific for Photosystem-II electron transport. Similarly, during illumination of intact chloroplasts or of the reconstituted chloroplast system, a differential action of bicarbonate was observed on the relative phosphorylation of the two proteins. The degree of phosphorylation of the 9 kDa polypeptide was increased in the presence of bicarbonate compared with its absence, whereas that of LHCP was relatively unchanged. Changes in the degree of phosphorylation of the 32 kDa polypeptide in these experiments did not correlate consistently with changes in phosphorylation of either LHCP or the 9 kDa polypeptide, although changes in the 32 kDa polypeptide more often paralleled phosphorylation of the 9 kDa polypeptide rather than the phosphorylation of LHCP. These observations suggest that the protein kinase that phosphorylates LHCP is distinct from that which phosphorylates the 9 kDa polypeptide.

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