Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Brassinosteroid-induced CO(2) assimilation is associated with increased stability of redox-sensitive photosynthetic enzymes in the chloroplasts in cucumber plants.

PMID 22960180


Brassinosteroids (BRs) play important roles in plant growth, development, photosynthesis and stress tolerance; however, the mechanism underlying BR-enhanced photosynthesis is currently unclear. Here, we provide evidence that an increase in the BR level increased the quantum yield of PSII, activities of Rubisco activase (RCA) and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase), and CO(2) assimilation. BRs upregulated the transcript levels of genes and activity of enzymes involved in the ascorbate-glutathione cycle in the chloroplasts, leading to an increased ratio of reduced (GSH) to oxidized (GSSG) glutathione in the chloroplasts. An increased GSH/GSSG ratio protected RCA from proteolytic digestion and increased the stability of redox-sensitive enzymes in the chloroplasts. These results strongly suggest that BRs are capable of regulating the glutathione redox state in the chloroplasts through the activation of the ascorbate-glutathione cycle. The resulting increase in the chloroplast thiol reduction state promotes CO(2) assimilation, at least in part, by enhancing the stability and activity of redox-sensitive photosynthetic enzymes through post-translational modifications.