BBA - Bioenergetics (v.1767, #8)

The role of mitochondria in protection of the heart by preconditioning by Andrew P. Halestrap; Samantha J. Clarke; Igor Khaliulin (1007-1031).
A prolonged period of ischaemia followed by reperfusion irreversibly damages the heart. Such reperfusion injury (RI) involves opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) under the conditions of calcium overload and oxidative stress that accompany reperfusion. Protection from MPTP opening and hence RI can be mediated by ischaemic preconditioning (IP) where the prolonged ischaemic period is preceded by one or more brief (2–5 min) cycles of ischaemia and reperfusion. Following a brief overview of the molecular characterisation and regulation of the MPTP, the proposed mechanisms by which IP reduces pore opening are reviewed including the potential roles for reactive oxygen species (ROS), protein kinase cascades, and mitochondrial potassium channels. It is proposed that IP-mediated inhibition of MPTP opening at reperfusion does not involve direct phosphorylation of mitochondrial proteins, but rather reflects diminished oxidative stress during prolonged ischaemia and reperfusion. This causes less oxidation of critical thiol groups on the MPTP that are known to sensitise pore opening to calcium. The mechanisms by which ROS levels are decreased in the IP hearts during prolonged ischaemia and reperfusion are not known, but appear to require activation of protein kinase Cε, either by receptor-mediated events or through transient increases in ROS during the IP protocol. Other signalling pathways may show cross-talk with this primary mechanism, but we suggest that a role for mitochondrial potassium channels is unlikely. The evidence for their activity in isolated mitochondria and cardiac myocytes is reviewed and the lack of specificity of the pharmacological agents used to implicate them in IP is noted. Some K+ channel openers uncouple mitochondria and others inhibit respiratory chain complexes, and their ability to produce ROS and precondition hearts is mimicked by bona fide uncouplers and respiratory chain inhibitors. IP may also provide continuing protection during reperfusion by preventing a cascade of MPTP-induced ROS production followed by further MPTP opening. This phase of protection may involve survival kinase pathways such as Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) either increasing ROS removal or reducing mitochondrial ROS production.
Keywords: Mitochondrial permeability transition pore; Ischaemia; Reperfusion; ROS; Calcium; PKC; KATP channel;

Long-chain nonesterified (“free”) fatty acids (FFA) can affect the mitochondrial generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in two ways: (i) by depolarisation of the inner membrane due to the uncoupling effect and (ii) by partly blocking the respiratory chain. In the present work this dual effect was investigated in rat heart and liver mitochondria under conditions of forward and reverse electron transport. Under conditions of the forward electron transport, i.e. with pyruvate plus malate and with succinate (plus rotenone) as respiratory substrates, polyunsaturated fatty acid, arachidonic, and branched-chain saturated fatty acid, phytanic, increased ROS production in parallel with a partial inhibition of the electron transport in the respiratory chain, most likely at the level of complexes I and III. A linear correlation between stimulation of ROS production and inhibition of complex III was found for rat heart mitochondria. This effect on ROS production was further increased in glutathione-depleted mitochondria. Under conditions of the reverse electron transport, i.e. with succinate (without rotenone), unsaturated fatty acids, arachidonic and oleic, straight-chain saturated palmitic acid and branched-chain saturated phytanic acid strongly inhibited ROS production. This inhibition was partly abolished by the blocker of ATP/ADP transfer, carboxyatractyloside, thus indicating that this effect was related to uncoupling (protonophoric) action of fatty acids. It is concluded that in isolated rat heart and liver mitochondria functioning in the forward electron transport mode, unsaturated fatty acids and phytanic acid increase ROS generation by partly inhibiting the electron transport and, most likely, by changing membrane fluidity. Only under conditions of reverse electron transport, fatty acids decrease ROS generation due to their uncoupling action.
Keywords: Reactive oxygen species (ROS); Mitochondria; Fatty acid; Respiratory chain; Uncoupling; ADP/ATP carrier;

Stabilization of charge separation and cardiolipin confinement in antenna–reaction center complexes purified from Rhodobacter sphaeroides by Manuela Dezi; Francesco Francia; Antonia Mallardi; Giuseppe Colafemmina; Gerardo Palazzo; Giovanni Venturoli (1041-1056).
The reaction center-light harvesting complex 1 (RC–LH1) purified from the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides has been studied with respect to the kinetics of charge recombination and to the phospholipid and ubiquinone (UQ) complements tightly associated with it. In the antenna-RC complexes, at 6.5 < pH < 9.0, P+QB recombines with a pH independent average rate constant <k> more than three times smaller than that measured in LH1-deprived RCs. At increasing pH values, for which <k> increases, the deceleration observed in RC–LH1 complexes is reduced, vanishing at pH > 11.0. In both systems kinetics are described by a continuous rate distribution, which broadens at pH > 9.5, revealing a strong kinetic heterogeneity, more pronounced in the RC–LH1 complex. In the presence of the antenna the QAQB state is stabilized by about 40 meV at 6.5 < pH < 9.0, while it is destabilized at pH > 11. The phospholipid/RC and UQ/RC ratios have been compared in chromatophore membranes, in RC–LH1 complexes and in the isolated peripheral antenna (LH2). The UQ concentration in the lipid phase of the RC–LH1 complexes is about one order of magnitude larger than the average concentration in chromatophores and in LH2 complexes. Following detergent washing RC–LH1 complexes retain 80–90 phospholipid and 10–15 ubiquinone molecules per monomer. The fractional composition of the lipid domain tightly bound to the RC–LH1 (determined by TLC and 31P-NMR) differs markedly from that of chromatophores and of the peripheral antenna. The content of cardiolipin, close to 10% weight in chromatophores and LH2 complexes, becomes dominant in the RC–LH1 complexes. We propose that the quinone and cardiolipin confinement observed in core complexes reflects the in vivo heterogeneous distributions of these components. Stabilization of the charge separated state in the RC–LH1 complexes is tentatively ascribed to local electrostatic perturbations due to cardiolipin.
Keywords: LH1-reaction center complex; Bacterial photosynthetic apparatus; Cardiolipin; Ubiquinone pool; Electron transfer; Rhodobacter sphaeroides;

Purification, characterization and crystallization of the core complex from thermophilic purple sulfur bacterium Thermochromatium tepidum by Hiroaki Suzuki; Yu Hirano; Yukihiro Kimura; Shinichi Takaichi; Masayuki Kobayashi; Kunio Miki; Zheng-Yu Wang (1057-1063).
A light-harvesting-reaction center (LH1-RC) core complex has been highly purified from a thermophilic purple sulfur bacterium, Thermochromatium tepidum. The bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) a molecules in the LH1 exhibit a Q y transition at 914 nm, more than 25 nm red-shift from those of its mesophilic counterparts. The LH1-RC complex was isolated in a monomeric form as confirmed by sucrose density gradient centrifugation, blue native PAGE and size-exclusion chromatography. Four subunits (L, M, H and a tetraheme cytochrome) in RC and two polypeptides (α and β) in LH1 were identified. Spirilloxanthin was determined to be the predominant carotenoid in the core complex. The purified core complex was highly stable, no significant change in the LH1 Q y transition was observed over 10 days of incubation at room temperature in dark. Circular dichroism spectrum of the LH1 complex was characterized by low intensity and nonconservative spectral shape, implying a high symmetry of the large LH1 ring and interaction between the BChl a and carotenoid molecules. A dimeric feature of the BChl a molecules in LH1 was revealed by magnetic circular dichroism spectrum. Crystals of the core complex were obtained which diffracted X-rays to about 10 Å.
Keywords: Light-harvesting; Reaction center; Photosynthesis; Blue native PAGE; Circular dichroism; Magnetic circular dichroism;

The stoichiometry of the two photosystems in higher plants revisited by Da-Yong Fan; Alexander B. Hope; Paul J. Smith; Husen Jia; Ronald J. Pace; Jan M. Anderson; Wah Soon Chow (1064-1072).
The stoichiometry of Photosystem II (PSII) to Photosystem I (PSI) reaction centres in spinach leaf segments was determined by two methods, each capable of being applied to monitor the presence of both photosystems in a given sample. One method was based on a fast electrochromic (EC) signal, which in the millisecond time scale represents a change in the delocalized electric potential difference across the thylakoid membrane resulting from charge separation in both photosystems. This method was applied to leaf segments, thus avoiding any potential artefacts associated with the isolation of thylakoid membranes. Two variations of this method, suppressing PSII activity by prior photoinactivation (in spinach and poplar leaf segments) or suppressing PSI by photo-oxidation of P700 (the chlorophyll dimer in PSI) with background far-red light (in spinach, poplar and cucumber leaf segments), each gave the separate contribution of each photosystem to the fast EC signal; the PSII/PSI stoichiometry obtained by this method was in the range 1.5–1.9 for the three plant species, and 1.5–1.8 for spinach in particular. A second method, based on electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), gave values in a comparable range of 1.7–2.1 for spinach. A third method, which consisted of separately determining the content of functional PSII in leaf segments by the oxygen yield per single turnover-flash and that of PSI by photo-oxidation of P700 in thylakoids isolated from the corresponding leaves, gave a PSII/PSI stoichiometry (1.5–1.7) that was consistent with the above values. It is concluded that the ratio of PSII to PSI reaction centres is considerably higher than unity in typical higher plants, in contrast to a surprisingly low PSII/PSI ratio of 0.88, determined by EPR, that was reported for spinach grown in a cabinet under far-red-deficient light in Sweden [Danielsson et al. (2004) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1608: 53–61]. We suggest that the low PSII/PSI ratio in the Swedish spinach, grown in far-red-deficient light with a lower PSII content, is not due to greater accuracy of the EPR method of measurement, as suggested by the authors, but is rather due to the growth conditions.
Keywords: Electrochromic signal; P700; Photosystem I; Photosystem II; Photosystem stoichiometry;