BBA - Bioenergetics (v.1556, #1)

Occurrence of excitonic interactions in light-harvesting complex II (LHC II) was investigated by nonlinear polarization spectroscopy in the frequency domain (NLPF) at room temperature. NLPF spectra were obtained upon probing in the chlorophyll (Chl) a/b Soret region and pumping in the Q y region. The lowest energy Chl a absorbing at 678 nm is strongly excitonically coupled to Chl b.
Keywords: Chlorophyll; Excitation energy transfer; Excitonic interaction; LHC II; Laser spectroscopy; Nonlinear polarization spectroscopy in the frequency domain;

Effect of anoxia/reperfusion on the reversible active/de-active transition of NADH–ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) in rat heart by Elena Maklashina; Yelizaveta Sher; Hui-Zhong Zhou; Mary O Gray; Joel S Karliner; Gary Cecchini (6-12).
The multi-subunit mammalian NADH–ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) is part of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and physiologically serves to reduce ubiquinone with NADH as the electron donor. The three-dimensional structure of this enzyme complex remains to be elucidated and also little is known about the physiological regulation of complex I. The enzyme complex in vitro is known to exist as a mixture of active (A) and de-active (D) forms [Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1364 (1998) 169]. Studies are reported here examining the effect of anoxia and reperfusion on the A/D-equilibrium of complex I in rat hearts ex vivo. Complex I from the freshly isolated rat heart or after prolonged (1 h) normoxic perfusion exists in almost fully active form (87±2%). Either 30 min of nitrogen perfusion or global ischemia decreases the portion of active form of complex I to 40±2%. Upon re-oxygenation of cardiac tissue, complex I is converted back predominantly to the active form (80–85%). Abrupt alternation of anoxic and normoxic perfusion allows cycling between the two states of the enzyme. The possible role in the physiological regulation of complex I activity is discussed.
Keywords: NADH–ubiquinone oxidoreductase; Complex I; Ischemia; Mitochondrial respiration; Regulation;

Photoaccumulation of the PsaB phyllosemiquinone in Photosystem I of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by Stephen E.J Rigby; Irine P Muhiuddin; Michael C.W Evans; Saul Purton; Peter Heathcote (13-20).
Photoaccumulation of membrane preparations of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii at pH 8 and 220 K reduces the primary and secondary electron acceptors in the Photosystem I (PSI) reaction centre, and produces a maximum of two spins per P700 •+. Proton electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectra demonstrate that the phyllosemiquinone produced is that attributed to the PsaA branch of electron transfer. Photoaccumulation at pH 10 and 220 K produces a maximum of four spins per P700 •+, and proton ENDOR spectra indicate that a second phyllosemiquinone is being photoaccumulated, with markedly different proton hyperfine couplings (hfcs). This phyllosemiquinone is unaffected by mutation of PsaAW693, confirming that it does not arise from the PsaA branch of electron transfer, and we therefore attribute it to the PsaB phyllosemiquinone.
Keywords: Photosystem I; Photoaccumulation; Magnetic resonance; ENDOR; Phyllosemiquinone; PsaB; Chlamydomonas reinhardtii;

Pigment-depleted Photosystem II reaction centers (PS II-RCs) from a higher plant (pea) containing five chlorophyll a (Chl) per two pheophytin a (Phe), were treated with Chl and several derivatives under exchange conditions [FEBS Lett. 434 (1998) 88]. The resulting reconstituted complexes were compared to those obtained by pigment exchange of “conventional” PS II-RCs containing six Chl per two Phe. (1) The extraction of one Chl is fully reversible. (2) The site of extraction is the same as the one into which previously extraneous pigments have been exchanged, most likely the peripheral D1-H118. (3) Introducing an efficient quencher (Ni-Chl) into this site results in only 25% reduction of fluorescence, indicating incomplete energy equilibration among the “core” and peripheral chlorophylls.
Keywords: Photosynthesis; Photosystem II; Reaction center; D1–D2–Cytochrome b-559 complex; Pigment modification; Energy transfer;

The Lhca antenna complexes of higher plants photosystem I by Roberta Croce; Tomas Morosinotto; Simona Castelletti; Jacques Breton; Roberto Bassi (29-40).
The Lhca antenna complexes of photosystem I (PSI) have been characterized by comparison of native and recombinant preparations. Eight Lhca polypeptides have been found to be all organized as dimers in the PSI–LHCI complex. The red emission fluorescence is associated not only with Lhca1–4 heterodimer, but also with dimers containing Lhca2 and/or Lhca3 complexes. Reconstitution of Lhca1 and Lhca4 monomers as well as of the Lhca1–4 dimer in vitro was obtained. The biochemical and spectroscopic features of these three complexes are reported. The monomers Lhca1 and Lhca4 bind 10 Chls each, while the Chl a/b ratio is lower in Lhca4 as compared to Lhca1. Three carotenoid binding sites have been found in Lhca1, while only two are present in Lhca4. Both complexes contain lutein and violaxanthin while β-carotene is selectively bound to the Lhca1–4 dimer in substoichiometric amounts upon dimerization. Spectral analysis revealed the presence of low energy absorption forms in Lhca1 previously thought to be exclusively associated with Lhca4. It is shown that the process of dimerization changes the spectroscopic properties of some chromophores and increases the amplitude of the red absorption tail of the complexes. The origin of these spectroscopic features is discussed.
Keywords: Photosynthesis; Chlorophyll-protein; Recombinant Lhc protein;

To clarify the importance of deleted protein and tRNA genes on the impairment of mitochondrial function, we performed a quantitative analysis of biochemical, genetic and morphological findings in skeletal muscles of 16 patients with single deletions and 5 patients with multiple deletions of mtDNA. Clinically, all patients showed chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO). The size of deletions varied between 2.5 and 9 kb, and heteroplasmy between 31% and 94%. In patients with single deletions, the citrate synthase (CS) activity was nearly doubled. Decreased ratios of pyruvate- and succinate-dependent respiration were detected in fibers of all patients in comparison to controls. Inverse and linear correlations without thresholds were established between heteroplasmy and (i) CS referenced activities of the complexes of respiratory chain, (ii) CS referenced maximal respiratory rates, (iii) and cytochrome-c-oxidase (COX) negative fibers. In patients with single and multiple deletions, all respiratory chain complexes as well as the respiratory rates were decreased to a similar extent. All changes detected in patients with single deletions were independent of deletion size. In one patient, only genes of ND5, ND4L as well as tRNALeu(CUN), tRNASer(AGY), and tRNAHis were deleted. The pronounced decrease in COX activity in this patient points to the high pathological impact of these missing tRNA genes. The activity of nuclear encoded SDH was also significantly decreased in patients, but to a lesser extent. This is an indication of secondary disturbances of mitochondria at CPEO.In conclusion, we have shown that different deletions cause mitochondrial impairments of the same phenotype correlating with heteroplasmy. The missing threshold at the level of mitochondrial function seems to be characteristic for large-scale deletions were tRNA and protein genes are deleted.
Keywords: Chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia; Respiratory chain; Mitochondrial respiration; Heteroplasmy; Deletion; mtDNA;

Proteolytic activity against the light-harvesting complex and the D1/D2 core proteins of Photosystem II in close association to the light-harvesting complex II trimer by John H Georgakopoulos; Anna Sokolenko; Michael Arkas; Georgia Sofou; Reinhold G Herrmann; Joan H Argyroudi-Akoyunoglou (53-64).
Light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) prepared from isolated thylakoids of either broken or intact chloroplasts by three independent methods, exhibits proteolytic activity against LHCII. This activity is readily detectable upon incubation of these preparations at 37 °C (without addition of any chemicals or prior pre-treatment), and can be monitored either by the LHCII immunostain reduction on Western blots or by the Coomassie blue stain reduction in substrate-containing “activity gels”. Upon SDS–sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation of SDS-solubilized thylakoids, a method which succeeds in the separation of the pigment–protein complexes in their trimeric and monomeric forms, the protease activity copurifies with the LHCII trimer, its monomer exhibiting no activity. This LHCII trimer, apart from being “self-digested”, also degrades the Photosystem II (PSII) core proteins (D1, D2) when added to an isolated PSII core protein preparation containing the D1/D2 heterodimer. Under our experimental conditions, 50% of LHCII or the D1, D2 proteins are degraded by the LHCII–protease complex within 30 min at 37 °C and specific degradation products are observed. The protease is light-inducible during chloroplast biogenesis, stable in low concentrations of SDS, activated by Mg2+, and inhibited by Zn2+, Cd2+, EDTA and p-hydroxy-mercury benzoate (pOHMB), suggesting that it may belong to the cysteine family of proteases. Upon electrophoresis of the LHCII trimer on substrate-containing “activity gels” or normal Laemmli gels, the protease is released from the complex and runs in the upper part of the gel, above the LHCII trimer. A polypeptide of 140 kDa that exhibits proteolytic activity against LHCII, D1 and D2 has been identified as the protease. We believe that this membrane-bound protease is closely associated to the LHCII complex in vivo, as an LHCII–protease complex, its function being the regulation of the PSII unit assembly and/or adaptation.
Keywords: Light-harvesting complex protease; D1/D2 protease; LHCII trimer–protease complex; Photosystem II; Protease; Thylakoid membrane;

NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) is the largest multiprotein complex of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. His-tagged complex I purified from the strictly aerobic yeast Yarrowia lipolytica exhibited electron transfer rates from NADH to n-decylubiquinone of less than 2% when compared to turnover numbers calculated for native mitochondrial membranes from this organism. Reactivation was observed upon addition of asolectin, purified phospholipids and different phospholipid mixtures. Maximal activities of 6–7 μmol NADH min−1 mg−1 were observed following incubation with a mixture of 76% phosphatidylcholine, 19% phosphatidylethanolamine and 5% cardiolipin. For full reactivation, 400–500 phospholipid molecules per complex I were needed. This demonstrated that the inactivation of complex I from Y. lipolytica by general delipidation could be fully reversed simply by returning the phospholipids that had been removed during the purification procedure. Thus, our homogeneous and highly pure complex I preparation had retained its full catalytic potential and no specific, functionally essential component had been lost. As the purified enzyme was also found to contain only substoichiometric amounts of ubiquinone-9 (0.2–0.4 mol/mol), a functional requirement of this endogeneous ubiquinone could also be excluded.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Complex I; Yeast; Phospholipid; Yarrowia lipolytica;

Characterization of the mitochondrial respiratory pathways in Candida albicans by Eva J Helmerhorst; Michael P Murphy; Robert F Troxler; Frank G Oppenheim (73-80).
Candida albicans is an opportunistic oral pathogen. The flexibility of this microorganism in response to environmental changes includes the expression of a cyanide-resistant alternative respiratory pathway. In the present study, we characterized both conventional and alternative respiratory pathways and determined their ADP/O ratios, inhibitor sensitivity profiles and the impact of the utilization of either pathway on susceptibility to commonly used antimycotics. Oxygen consumption by isolated mitochondria using NADH or malate/pyruvate as respiratory substrates indicated that C. albicans cells express both cytoplasmic and matrix NADH–ubiquinone oxidoreductase activities. The ADP/O ratio was higher for malate/pyruvate (2.2±0.1), which generate NADH in the matrix, than for externally added NADH (1.4±0.2). In addition, malate/pyruvate respiration was rotenone-sensitive, and an enzyme activity assay further confirmed that C. albicans cells express Complex I activity. Cells grown in the presence of antimycin A expressed the cyanide-insensitive respiratory pathway. Determination of the respiratory control ratio (RCR) and ADP/O ratios of mitochondria from these cells indicated that electron transport from ubiquinone to oxygen via the alternative respiratory pathway was not coupled to ATP production; however, an ADP/O ratio of 0.8 was found for substrates that donate electrons at Complex I. Comparison of antifungal susceptibility of C. albicans cells respiring via the conventional or alternative respiratory pathways showed that respiration via the alternative pathway does not reduce the susceptibility of cells to a series of clinically employed antimycotics (using Fungitest®), or to the naturally occurring human salivary antifungal peptide, histatin 5.
Keywords: Candida albicans; Respiratory pathway; Mitochondrion;

The radical-pair state of the primary electron donor and the secondary electron acceptor (P700 +• A1 −• ) of the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) photosystem I (PS I) of Synechocystis PCC 6803 was studied by time-resolved electron paramagnetic resonance (TREPR) at high field/high frequency (3.4 T/95 GHz) using orientation selection in multilayers. The goal of the present article is to work out the basis for future studies, in which the improved resolution of such multilayers may be used to detect mutation-induced structural changes of PS I in membrane preparations. This approach is particularly interesting for systems that cannot be prepared as single crystals. However, in order to use such multilayers for structural investigations of protein complexes, it is necessary to know their orientation distribution. PS I was chosen as a test example because the wild type was recently crystallized and its X-ray structure determined to 2.5 Å resolution [Nature 411 (2001) 909]. On the basis of our experimental results we determined the orientation distribution. Furthermore, a simulation model for the general case in which the orientation distribution is not axially symmetric about the C 2 symmetry axis of the RC is developed and discussed. Spectra simulations show that changes in the TREPR spectra of PS I are much more significant for these oriented multilayers than for disordered samples. In this way the use of oriented multilayers, in conjunction with multifrequency TREPR measurements on oriented as well as on disordered samples, is a promising approach for studies of structural changes of PS I systems that are induced by point mutations.
Keywords: Photosystem I; Orientation selection; Multilayer; Time-resolved high-field EPR; Radical pair;