Role of a novel photosystem II-associated carbonic anhydrase in photosynthetic carbon assimilation in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
Intracellular carbonic anhydrases (CA) in aquatic photosynthetic organisms are involved in the CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM), which helps to overcome CO2 limitation in the environment. In the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, this CCM is initiated and maintained by the pH gradient created across the chloroplast thylakoid membranes by photosystem (PS) II-mediated electron transport. We show here that photosynthesis is stimulated by a novel, intracellular alpha-CA bound to the chloroplast thylakoids. It is associated with PSII on the lumenal side of the thylakoid membranes. We demonstrate that PSII in association with this lumenal CA operates to provide an ample flux of CO2 for carboxylation. (+info
A functional model for O-O bond formation by the O2-evolving complex in photosystem II.
The formation of molecular oxygen from water in photosynthesis is catalyzed by photosystem II at an active site containing four manganese ions that are arranged in di-mu-oxo dimanganese units (where mu is a bridging mode). The complex [H2O(terpy)Mn(O)2Mn(terpy)OH2](NO3)3 (terpy is 2,2':6', 2"-terpyridine), which was synthesized and structurally characterized, contains a di-mu-oxo manganese dimer and catalyzes the conversion of sodium hypochlorite to molecular oxygen. Oxygen-18 isotope labeling showed that water is the source of the oxygen atoms in the molecular oxygen evolved, and so this system is a functional model for photosynthetic water oxidation. (+info
Prochlorococcus, a marine photosynthetic prokaryote of global significance.
The minute photosynthetic prokaryote Prochlorococcus, which was discovered about 10 years ago, has proven exceptional from several standpoints. Its tiny size (0.5 to 0.7 microm in diameter) makes it the smallest known photosynthetic organism. Its ubiquity within the 40 degrees S to 40 degrees N latitudinal band of oceans and its occurrence at high density from the surface down to depths of 200 m make it presumably the most abundant photosynthetic organism on Earth. Prochlorococcus typically divides once a day in the subsurface layer of oligotrophic areas, where it dominates the photosynthetic biomass. It also possesses a remarkable pigment complement which includes divinyl derivatives of chlorophyll a (Chl a) and Chl b, the so-called Chl a2 and Chl b2, and, in some strains, small amounts of a new type of phycoerythrin. Phylogenetically, Prochlorococcus has also proven fascinating. Recent studies suggest that it evolved from an ancestral cyanobacterium by reducing its cell and genome sizes and by recruiting a protein originally synthesized under conditions of iron depletion to build a reduced antenna system as a replacement for large phycobilisomes. Environmental constraints clearly played a predominant role in Prochlorococcus evolution. Its tiny size is an advantage for its adaptation to nutrient-deprived environments. Furthermore, genetically distinct ecotypes, with different antenna systems and ecophysiological characteristics, are present at depth and in surface waters. This vertical species variation has allowed Prochlorococcus to adapt to the natural light gradient occurring in the upper layer of oceans. The present review critically assesses the basic knowledge acquired about Prochlorococcus both in the ocean and in the laboratory. (+info
Interpretation of the spatial charge displacements in bacteriorhodopsin in terms of structural changes during the photocycle.
We have recently introduced a method, made possible by an improved orienting technique using a combination of electric and magnetic fields, that allows the three-dimensional detection of the intramolecular charge displacements during the photocycle of bacteriorhodopsin. This method generates electric asymmetry, a prerequisite for the detection of electric signal on the macroscopic sample, in all three spatial dimensions. Purple membrane fragments containing bacteriorhodopsin were oriented so that their permanent electric dipole moment vectors were perpendicular to the membrane plane and pointed in the same direction. The resulting cylindrical symmetry was broken by photoselection, i. e., by flash excitation with low intensity linearly polarized light. From the measured electric signals, the three-dimensional motion of the electric charge center in the bacteriorhodopsin molecules was calculated for the first 400 microseconds. Simultaneous absorption kinetic recording provided the time-dependent concentrations of the intermediates. Combining the two sets of data, we determined the discrete dipole moments of intermediates up to M. When compared with the results of current molecular dynamics calculations, the data provided a decisive experimental test for selecting the optimal theoretical model for the proton transport and should eventually lead to a full description of the mechanism of the bacteriorhodopsin proton pump. (+info
Light-induced oxidation-reduction reactions of cytochromes in the green sulfur photosynthetic bacterium Prosthecochloris aesturarii.
The light-induced oxidation-reduction reactions of cytochromes in intact cells, starved cells, and chlorobium vesicle fractions of the green sulfur photosynthetic bacterium Prosthecochloris aesturarii were studied under anaerobic conditions. On the basis of both kinetic and spectral properties, at least three cytochrome species were found to be involved in the light-induced oxidation-reduction reactions of intact cells. These cytochromes were designated according to the positions of alpha-band maxima as C555 (rapid and slow components) and C552 (intermediate). By comparing the light-minus-dark difference spectra with the reduced-minus-oxidized difference spectra of purified cytochromes of this organism, rapid component C555 and intermediate component C552 are suggested to correspond to the purified cytochromes c-555(550) and c-551.5, respectively. Although the identity of the slow-phase component is uncertain, one possibility is that the slow phase is due to the bound form of c-555(550). In substrate-depleted (starved) cells, only one cytochrome species, C555 remained in the reduced state in the dark and oxidized upon actinic illumination. This corresponds to the rapid C555 component in intact cells. In the case of chlorobium vesicle fractions, one cytochrome species having an alpha-band maximum at 554 nm was oxidized by actinic light. The effects of several inhibitors on the absorbance changes of intact cells were studied. Antimycin A decreased the rate of the dark reduction of rapid C555 component. The complex effects of CCCP (carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone) on the oxidation-reduction reactions of cytochromes were interpreted as the results of inhibition of the electron donation to oxidized C552 and C555 (slow), and a shift of the dark steady-state redox levels of cytochromes. Based on these findings, it is suggested that the rapid C555 component is located in a cyclic electron transfer pathway. The other two cytochromes, C552 and C555 (slow), may be located in non-cyclic electron transfer pathways and receive electrons from exogenous substrates such as sodium sulfide. A tentative scheme for the electron transfer system in Prosthecochloris aestuarii is presented and its nature is discussed. (+info
Photosystem I is indispensable for photoautotrophic growth, CO2 fixation, and H2 photoproduction in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
Certain Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutants deficient in photosystem I due to defects in psaA mRNA maturation have been reported to be capable of CO2 fixation, H2 photoevolution, and photoautotrophic growth (Greenbaum, E., Lee, J. W., Tevault, C. V., Blankinship, S. L. , and Mets, L. J. (1995) Nature 376, 438-441 and Lee, J. W., Tevault, C. V., Owens, T. G.; Greenbaum, E. (1996) Science 273, 364-367). We have generated deletions of photosystem I core subunits in both wild type and these mutant strains and have analyzed their abilities to grow photoautotrophically, to fix CO2, and to photoevolve O2 or H2 (using mass spectrometry) as well as their photosystem I content (using immunological and spectroscopic analyses). We find no instance of a strain that can perform photosynthesis in the absence of photosystem I. The F8 strain harbored a small amount of photosystem I, and it could fix CO2 and grow slowly, but it lost these abilities after deletion of either psaA or psaC; these activities could be restored to the F8-psaADelta mutant by reintroduction of psaA. We observed limited O2 photoevolution in mutants lacking photosystem I; use of 18O2 indicated that this O2 evolution is coupled to O2 uptake (i.e. respiration) rather than CO2 fixation or H2 evolution. We conclude that the reported instances of CO2 fixation, H2 photoevolution, and photoautotrophic growth of photosystem I-deficient mutants result from the presence of unrecognized photosystem I. (+info
Acclimation of Arabidopsis leaves developing at low temperatures. Increasing cytoplasmic volume accompanies increased activities of enzymes in the Calvin cycle and in the sucrose-biosynthesis pathway.
Photosynthetic and metabolic acclimation to low growth temperatures were studied in Arabidopsis (Heynh.). Plants were grown at 23 degrees C and then shifted to 5 degrees C. We compared the leaves shifted to 5 degrees C for 10 d and the new leaves developed at 5 degrees C with the control leaves on plants that had been left at 23 degrees C. Leaf development at 5 degrees C resulted in the recovery of photosynthesis to rates comparable with those achieved by control leaves at 23 degrees C. There was a shift in the partitioning of carbon from starch and toward sucrose (Suc) in leaves that developed at 5 degrees C. The recovery of photosynthetic capacity and the redirection of carbon to Suc in these leaves were associated with coordinated increases in the activity of several Calvin-cycle enzymes, even larger increases in the activity of key enzymes for Suc biosynthesis, and an increase in the phosphate available for metabolism. Development of leaves at 5 degrees C also led to an increase in cytoplasmic volume and a decrease in vacuolar volume, which may provide an important mechanism for increasing the enzymes and metabolites in cold-acclimated leaves. Understanding the mechanisms underlying such structural changes during leaf development in the cold could result in novel approaches to increasing plant yield. (+info
The membrane-attached electron carrier cytochrome cy from Rhodobacter sphaeroides is functional in respiratory but not in photosynthetic electron transfer.
Rhodobacter species are useful model organisms for studying the structure and function of c type cytochromes (Cyt c), which are ubiquitous electron carriers with essential functions in cellular energy and signal transduction. Among these species, Rhodobacter capsulatus has a periplasmic Cyt c2Rc and a membrane-bound bipartite Cyt cyRc. These electron carriers participate in both respiratory and photosynthetic electron-transfer chains. On the other hand, until recently, Rhodobacter sphaeroides was thought to have only one of these two cytochromes, the soluble Cyt c2Rs. Recent work indicated that this species has a gene, cycYRs, that is highly homologous to cycYRc, and in the work presented here, functional properties of its gene product (Cyt cyRs) are defined. It was found that Cyt cyRs is unable to participate in photosynthetic electron transfer, although it is active in respiratory electron transfer, unlike its R. capsulatus counterpart, Cyt cyRc. Chimeric constructs have shown that the photosynthetic incapability of Cyt cyRs is caused, at least in part, by its redox active subdomain, which carries the covalently bound heme. It, therefore, seems that this domain interacts differently with distinct redox partners, like the photochemical reaction center and the Cyt c oxidase, and allows the bacteria to funnel electrons efficiently to various destinations under different growth conditions. These findings raise an intriguing evolutionary issue in regard to cellular apoptosis: why do the mitochondria of higher organisms, unlike their bacterial ancestors, use only one soluble electron carrier in their respiratory electron-transport chains? (+info