Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

ACHT4-driven oxidation of APS1 attenuates starch synthesis under low light intensity in Arabidopsis plants.

PMID 26424450


The regulatory mechanisms that use signals of low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) could be obscured by ROS produced under stress and thus are better investigated under homeostatic conditions. Previous studies showed that the chloroplastic atypical thioredoxin ACHT1 is oxidized by 2-Cys peroxiredoxin (2-Cys Prx) in Arabidopsis plants illuminated with growth light and in turn transmits a disulfide-based signal via yet unknown target proteins in a feedback regulation of photosynthesis. Here, we studied the role of a second chloroplastic paralog, ACHT4, in plants subjected to low light conditions. Likewise, ACHT4 reacted in planta with 2-Cys Prx, indicating that it is oxidized by a similar disulfide exchange reaction. ACHT4 further reacted uniquely with the small subunit (APS1) of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase), the first committed enzyme of the starch synthesis pathway, suggesting that it transfers the disulfides it receives from 2-Cys Prx to APS1 and turns off AGPase. In accordance, ACHT4 participated in an oxidative signal that quenched AGPase activity during the diurnal transition from day to night, and also in an attenuating oxidative signal of AGPase in a dynamic response to small fluctuations in light intensity during the day. Increasing the level of expressed ACHT4 or of ACHT4ΔC, a C terminus-deleted form that does not react with APS1, correspondingly decreased or increased the level of reduced APS1 and decreased or increased transitory starch content. These findings imply that oxidative control mechanisms act in concert with reductive signals to fine tune starch synthesis during daily homeostatic conditions.