BBA - Bioenergetics (v.1837, #6)

Redox tuning of the catalytic activity of soluble fumarate reductases from Shewanella by Catarina M. Paquete; Ivo H. Saraiva; Ricardo O. Louro (717-725).
Many enzymes involved in bioenergetic processes contain chains of redox centers that link the protein surface, where interaction with electron donors or acceptors occurs, to a secluded catalytic site. In numerous cases these redox centers can transfer only single electrons even when they are associated to catalytic sites that perform two-electron chemistry. These chains provide no obvious contribution to enhance chemiosmotic energy conservation, and often have more redox centers than those necessary to hold sufficient electrons to sustain one catalytic turnover of the enzyme. To investigate the role of such a redox chain we analyzed the transient kinetics of fumarate reduction by two flavocytochromes c 3 of Shewanella species while these enzymes were being reduced by sodium dithionite. These soluble monomeric proteins contain a chain of four hemes that interact with a flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) catalytic center that performs the obligatory two electron–two proton reduction of fumarate to succinate. Our results enabled us to parse the kinetic contribution of each heme towards electron uptake and conduction to the catalytic center, and to determine that the rate of fumarate reduction is modulated by the redox stage of the enzyme, which is defined by the number of reduced centers. In both enzymes the catalytically most competent redox stages are those least prevalent in a quasi-stationary condition of turnover. Furthermore, the electron distribution among the redox centers during turnover suggested how these enzymes can play a role in the switch between respiration of solid and soluble terminal electron acceptors in the anaerobic bioenergetic metabolism of Shewanella.
Keywords: Electron transfer; Fumarate reductase; Shewanella; Cytochrome; NMR; Stopped-flow;

The fluorescence emission characteristics of the photosynthetic apparatus under conditions of open (F 0) and closed (F M) Photosystem II reaction centres have been investigated under steady state conditions and by monitoring the decay lifetimes of the excited state, in vivo, in the green alga Chlorella sorokiniana. The results indicate a marked wavelength dependence of the ratio of the variable fluorescence, F V  =  F M  −  F 0, over F M, a parameter that is often employed to estimate the maximal quantum efficiency of Photosystem II. The maximal value of the F V/F M ratio is observed between 660 and 680 nm and the minimal in the 690–730 nm region. It is possible to attribute the spectral variation of F V/F M principally to the contribution of Photosystem I fluorescence emission at room temperature. Moreover, the analysis of the excited state lifetime at F 0 and F M indicates only a small wavelength dependence of Photosystem II trapping efficiency in vivo.
Keywords: Maximal photochemical efficiency; Variable fluorescence; Photosystem II; Photochemical yield; Excited state dynamics;

Novel type of red-shifted chlorophyll a antenna complex from Chromera velia. I. Physiological relevance and functional connection to photosystems by Eva Kotabová; Jana Jarešová; Radek Kaňa; Roman Sobotka; David Bína; Ondřej Prášil (734-743).
Chromera velia is an alveolate alga associated with scleractinian corals. Here we present detailed work on chromatic adaptation in C. velia cultured under either blue or red light. Growth of C. velia under red light induced the accumulation of a light harvesting antenna complex exhibiting unusual spectroscopic properties with red-shifted absorption and atypical 710 nm fluorescence emission at room temperature. Due to these characteristic features the complex was designated “Red-shifted Chromera light harvesting complex” (Red-CLH complex). Its detailed biochemical survey is described in the accompanying paper (Bina et al. 2013, this issue).Here, we show that the accumulation of Red-CLH complex under red light represents a slow acclimation process (days) that is reversible with much faster kinetics (hours) under blue light. This chromatic adaptation allows C. velia to maintain all important parameters of photosynthesis constant under both light colors. We further demonstrated that the C. velia Red-CLH complex is assembled from a 17 kDa antenna protein and is functionally connected to photosystem II as it shows variability of chlorophyll fluorescence. Red-CLH also serves as an additional locus for non-photochemical quenching. Although overall rates of oxygen evolution and carbon fixation were similar for both blue and red light conditions, the presence of Red-CLH in C. velia cells increases the light harvesting potential of photosystem II, which manifested as a doubled oxygen evolution rate at illumination above 695 nm. This data demonstrates a remarkable long-term remodeling of C. velia light-harvesting system according to light quality and suggests physiological significance of ‘red’ antenna complexes.
Keywords: Chromera velia; Chromatic adaptation; Red-shifted chlorophyll; Light-harvesting complex; Photosystem II; Non-photochemical quenching;

Diversity of proton pumps in osteoclasts: V-ATPase with a3 and d2 isoforms is a major form in osteoclasts by Naomi Matsumoto; Shun Daido; Ge-Hong Sun-Wada; Yoh Wada; Masamitsu Futai; Mayumi Nakanishi-Matsui (744-749).
Osteoclasts acidify bone resorption lacunae through proton translocation by plasma membrane V-ATPase (vacuolar-type ATPase) which has an a3 isoform, one of the four isoforms of the trans-membrane a subunit (Toyomura et al., J. Biol. Chem., 278, 22023–22030, 2003). d2, a kidney- and epididymis-specific isoform of the d subunit, was also induced in osteoclast-like cells derived from the RAW264.7 line, and formed V-ATPase with a3. The amount of d2 in osteoclasts was 4-fold higher than that of d1, a ubiquitous isoform. These results indicate that V-ATPase with d2/a3 is a major osteoclast proton pump. Essentially the same results were obtained with osteoclasts derived from mouse spleen macrophages.Macrophages from a3-knock-out mice could differentiate into multi-nuclear cells with osteoclast-specific enzymes. In these cells, the d2 isoform was also induced and assembled in V-ATPase with the a1 or a2 isoform. However, they did not absorb calcium phosphate, indicating that V-ATPase with d2/a1 or d2/a2 could not perform the function of that with d2/a3.
Keywords: Vacuolar-type ATPase; Osteoclast; Isoform; a3 knock out mouse;

The bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens displays an extraordinary respiratory versatility underpinning the diversity of electron donors and acceptors that can be used to sustain anaerobic growth. Remarkably, G. sulfurreducens can also use as electron donors the reduced forms of some acceptors, such as the humic substance analog anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonate (AQDS), a feature that confers environmentally competitive advantages to the organism. Using UV–visible and stopped-flow kinetic measurements we demonstrate that there is electron exchange between the triheme cytochrome PpcA from Gs and AQDS. 2D-1H–15N HSQC NMR spectra were recorded for 15N-enriched PpcA samples, in the absence and presence of AQDS. Chemical shift perturbation measurements, at increasing concentration of AQDS, were used to probe the interaction region and to measure the binding affinity of the PpcA–AQDS complex. The perturbations on the NMR signals corresponding to the PpcA backbone NH and heme substituents showed that the region around heme IV interacts with AQDS through the formation of a complex with a definite life time in the NMR time scale. The comparison of the NMR data obtained for PpcA in the presence and absence of AQDS showed that the interaction is reversible. Overall, this study provides for the first time a clear illustration of the formation of an electron transfer complex between AQDS and a G. sulfurreducens triheme cytochrome, shedding light on the electron transfer pathways underlying the microbial oxidation of humics.
Keywords: AQDS; Geobacter; Humics; Multiheme cytochromes; NMR; Electron transfer;

Interactions involved in grasping and locking of the inhibitory peptide IF1 by mitochondrial ATP synthase by Qian Wu; Tiona Andrianaivomananjaona; Emmanuel Tetaud; Vincent Corvest; Francis Haraux (761-772).
When mitochondria become deenergized, futile ATP hydrolysis is prevented by reversible binding of an endogenous inhibitory peptide called IF1 to ATP synthase. Between initial IF1 binding and IF1 locking the enzyme experiences large conformational changes. While structural studies give access to analysis of the dead-end inhibited state, transient states have thus far not been described. Here, we studied both initial and final states by reporting, for the first time, the consequences of mutations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATP synthase on its inhibition by IF1. Kinetic studies allowed the identification of amino acids or motifs of the enzyme that are involved in recognition and/or locking of IF1 α-helical midpart. This led to an outline of IF1 binding process. In the recognition step, protruding parts of α and especially β subunits grasp IF1, most likely by a few residues of its α-helical midpart. Locking IF1 within the αβ interface involves additional residues of both subunits. Interactions of the α and β subunits with the foot of the γ subunit might contribute to locking and stabilizing of the dead-end state.Display Omitted
Keywords: ATP synthase; IF1 inhibitory peptide; Mitochondrion; Kinetics; Protein–protein interaction; Regulation;

Spectroscopic properties of photosystem II core complexes from Thermosynechococcus elongatus revealed by single-molecule experiments by Marc Brecht; Sepideh Skandary; Julia Hellmich; Carina Glöckner; Alexander Konrad; Martin Hussels; Alfred J. Meixner; Athina Zouni; Eberhard Schlodder (773-781).
In this study we use a combination of absorption, fluorescence and low temperature single-molecule spectroscopy to elucidate the spectral properties, heterogeneities and dynamics of the chlorophyll a (Chla) molecules responsible for the fluorescence emission of photosystem II core complexes (PS II cc) from the cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus. At the ensemble level, the absorption and fluorescence spectra show a temperature dependence similar to plant PS II. We report emission spectra of single PS II cc for the first time; the spectra are dominated by zero-phonon lines (ZPLs) in the range between 680 and 705 nm. The single-molecule experiments show unambiguously that different emitters and not only the lowest energy trap contribute to the low temperature emission spectrum. The average emission spectrum obtained from more than hundred single complexes shows three main contributions that are in good agreement with the reported bands F685, F689 and F695. The intensity of F695 is found to be lower than in conventional ensemble spectroscopy. The reason for the deviation might be due to the accumulation of triplet states on the red-most chlorophylls (e.g. Chl29 in CP47) or on carotenoids close to these long-wavelength traps by the high excitation power used in the single-molecule experiments. The red-most emitter will not contribute to the fluorescence spectrum as long as it is in the triplet state. In addition, quenching of fluorescence by the triplet state may lead to a decrease of long-wavelength emission.Display Omitted
Keywords: Photosystem II core complex; CP43; CP47; Single-molecule spectroscopy; Low temperature spectroscopy; Fluorescence quenching;

Epigallocatechin gallate counteracts oxidative stress in docosahexaenoxic acid-treated myocytes by Ester Casanova; Laura Baselga-Escudero; Aleix Ribas-Latre; Anna Arola-Arnal; Cinta Bladé; Lluís Arola; M. Josepa Salvadó (783-791).
Skeletal muscle is a key organ of mammalian energy metabolism, and its mitochondria are multifunction organelles that are targets of dietary bioactive compounds. The goal of this work was to examine the regulation of mitochondrial dynamics, functionality and cell energy parameters using docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and a combination of both in L6 myocytes. Compounds (at 25 μM) were incubated for 4 h. Cells cultured with DHA displayed less oxygen consumption with higher ADP/ATP ratio levels concomitant with downregulation of Cox and Ant1 gene expression. The disruption of energetic homeostasis by DHA, increases intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels and decreases mitochondrial membrane potential. The defence mechanism to counteract the excess of ROS production was by the upregulation of Ucp2, Ucp3 and MnSod gene expression. Moreover myocytes cultured with DHA had a higher mitochondrial mass with a higher proportion of large and elongated mitochondria, whereas the fission genes Drp1 and Fiss1 and the fusion gene Mfn2 were downregulated. In myocytes co-incubated with DHA and EGCG, ROS levels and the adenosine diphosphate (ADP)/adenosine triphosphate (ATP) ratio were similar to untreated myocytes and the decrease of oxygen consumption, higher mitochondrial mass and the overexpression of Ucp2 and Ucp3 genes were similar to the DHA-treated cells with also a higher amount of mitochondrial deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), and reduced Drp1 and Fiss1 gene expression levels. In conclusion the addition of EGCG to DHA returned the cells to the control conditions in terms of mitochondrial morphology, energy and redox status, which were unbalanced in the DHA-treated myocytes.
Keywords: Docosahexaenoic acid; Epigallocatechin gallate; Skeletal muscle; Mitochondria; Reactive oxygen species; Antioxidant;

We measured the kinetics of light-induced NADPH formation and subsequent dark consumption by monitoring in vivo its fluorescence in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803. Spectral data allowed the signal changes to be attributed to NAD(P)H and signal linearity vs the chlorophyll concentration was shown to be recoverable after appropriate correction. Parameters associated to reduction of NADP+ to NADPH by ferredoxin–NADP+-oxidoreductase were determined: After single excitation of photosystem I, half of the signal rise is observed in 8 ms; Evidence for a kinetic limitation which is attributed to an enzyme bottleneck is provided; After two closely separated saturating flashes eliciting two photosystem I turnovers in less than 2 ms, more than 50% of the cytoplasmic photoreductants (reduced ferredoxin and photosystem I acceptors) are diverted from NADPH formation by competing processes. Signal quantitation in absolute NADPH concentrations was performed by adding exogenous NADPH to the cell suspensions and by estimating the enhancement factor of in vivo fluorescence (between 2 and 4). The size of the visible (light-dependent) NADP (NADP+  + NADPH) pool was measured to be between 1.4 and 4 times the photosystem I concentration. A quantitative discrepancy is found between net oxygen evolution and NADPH consumption by the light-activated Calvin–Benson cycle. The present study shows that NADPH fluorescence is an efficient probe for studying in vivo the energetic metabolism of cyanobacteria which can be used for assessing multiple phenomena occurring over different time scales.
Keywords: Ferredoxin–NADP+-oxidoreductase; Calvin–Benson cycle; Cyanobacteria; NADP pool; Ferredoxin; FNR bottleneck;

Novel type of red-shifted chlorophyll a antenna complex from Chromera velia: II. Biochemistry and spectroscopy by David Bína; Zdenko Gardian; Miroslava Herbstová; Eva Kotabová; Peter Koník; Radek Litvín; Ondřej Prášil; Josef Tichý; František Vácha (802-810).
A novel chlorophyll a containing pigment–protein complex expressed by cells of Chromera velia adapted to growth under red/far-red illumination [1]. Purification of the complex was achieved by means of anion-exchange chromatography and gel-filtration. The antenna is shown to be an aggregate of ~ 20 kDa proteins of the light–harvesting complex (LHC) family, unstable in the isolated form. The complex possesses an absorption maximum at 705 nm at room temperature in addition to the main chlorophyll a maximum at 677 nm producing the major emission band at 714 nm at room temperature. The far-red absorption is shown to be the property of the isolated aggregate in the intact form and lost upon dissociation. The purified complex was further characterized by circular dichroism spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy. This work thus identified the third different class of antenna complex in C. velia after the recently described FCP-like and LHCr-like antennas. Possible candidates for red antennas are identified in other taxonomic groups, such as eustigmatophytes and the relevance of the present results to other known examples of red-shifted antenna from other organisms is discussed. This work appears to be the first successful isolation of a chlorophyll a-based far-red antenna complex absorbing above 700 nm unrelated to LHCI.
Keywords: Chromera velia; Red-shifted chlorophyll; Light-harvesting complex; Chlorophyll fluorescence; F710 (diatoms);

Single-molecule in vivo imaging of bacterial respiratory complexes indicates delocalized oxidative phosphorylation by Isabel Llorente-Garcia; Tchern Lenn; Heiko Erhardt; Oliver L. Harriman; Lu-Ning Liu; Alex Robson; Sheng-Wen Chiu; Sarah Matthews; Nicky J. Willis; Christopher D. Bray; Sang-Hyuk Lee; Jae Yen Shin; Carlos Bustamante; Jan Liphardt; Thorsten Friedrich; Conrad W. Mullineaux; Mark C. Leake (811-824).
Chemiosmotic energy coupling through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) is crucial to life, requiring coordinated enzymes whose membrane organization and dynamics are poorly understood. We quantitatively explore localization, stoichiometry, and dynamics of key OXPHOS complexes, functionally fluorescent protein-tagged, in Escherichia coli using low-angle fluorescence and superresolution microscopy, applying single-molecule analysis and novel nanoscale co-localization measurements. Mobile 100–200 nm membrane domains containing tens to hundreds of complexes are indicated. Central to our results is that domains of different functional OXPHOS complexes do not co-localize, but ubiquinone diffusion in the membrane is rapid and long-range, consistent with a mobile carrier shuttling electrons between islands of different complexes. Our results categorically demonstrate that electron transport and proton circuitry in this model bacterium are spatially delocalized over the cell membrane, in stark contrast to mitochondrial bioenergetic supercomplexes. Different organisms use radically different strategies for OXPHOS membrane organization, likely depending on the stability of their environment.
Keywords: Cytoplasmic membrane; Co-localization analysis; Fluorescence microscopy; Fluorescent protein; Oxidative phosphorylation; Single-molecule biophysics;

In oxygenic photosynthesis, cyclic electron flow around photosystem I denotes the recycling of electrons from stromal electron carriers (reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate, NADPH, ferredoxin) towards the plastoquinone pool. Whether or not cyclic electron flow operates similarly in Chlamydomonas and plants has been a matter of debate. Here we would like to emphasize that despite the regulatory or metabolic differences that may exist between green algae and plants, the general mechanism of cyclic electron flow seems conserved across species. The most accurate way to describe cyclic electron flow remains to be a redox equilibration model, while the supramolecular reorganization of the thylakoid membrane (state transitions) has little impact on the maximal rate of cyclic electron flow. The maximum capacity of the cyclic pathways is shown to be around 60 electrons transferred per photosystem per second, which is in Chlamydomonas cells treated with 3(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU) and placed under anoxic conditions. Part I of this work (aerobic conditions) was published in a previous issue of BBA-Bioenergetics (vol. 1797, pp. 44–51) (Alric et al., 2010).
Keywords: Electron transfer; Green algae; Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; Photosystem I; Cytochrome b 6 f;

Reactive oxygen species: Re-evaluation of generation, monitoring and role in stress-signaling in phototrophic organisms by Franz-Josef Schmitt; Gernot Renger; Thomas Friedrich; Vladimir D. Kreslavski; Sergei K. Zharmukhamedov; Dmitry A. Los; Vladimir V. Kuznetsov; Suleyman I. Allakhverdiev (835-848).
This review provides an overview about recent developments and current knowledge about monitoring, generation and the functional role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) – H2O2, HO2 , HO, OH, 1O2 and O2 −• – in both oxidative degradation and signal transduction in photosynthetic organisms including microscopic techniques for ROS detection and controlled generation. Reaction schemes elucidating formation, decay and signaling of ROS in cyanobacteria as well as from chloroplasts to the nuclear genome in eukaryotes during exposure of oxygen-evolving photosynthetic organisms to oxidative stress are discussed that target the rapidly growing field of regulatory effects of ROS on nuclear gene expression.Display Omitted
Keywords: Photosynthesis; Plant cells; Reactive oxygen species; Oxidative stress; Signaling systems; Chloroplast;

Effect of TMAO and betaine on the energy landscape of photosystem I by Jana B. Nieder; Martin Hussels; Robert Bittl; Marc Brecht (849-856).
The accumulation of organic co-solvents in cells is a basic strategy for organisms from various species to increase stress tolerance in extreme environments. Widespread representatives of this class of co-solvents are trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) and betaine; these small molecules are able to stabilize the native conformation of proteins and prevent their aggregation. Despite their importance, detailed experimental studies on the impact of these co-solvents on the energy landscape of proteins have not yet been carried out. We use single-molecule spectroscopy at cryogenic temperatures to examine the influence of these physiological relevant co-solvents on photosystem I (PSI) from Thermosynechococcus elongatus. In contrast to PSI ensemble spectra, which are almost unaffected by the addition of TMAO and betaine, statistical analysis of the fluorescence emission from individual PSI trimers yields insight into the interaction of the co-solvents with PSI. The results show an increased homogeneity upon addition of TMAO or betaine. The number of detectable zero-phonon lines (ZPLs) is reduced, indicating spectral diffusion processes with faster rates. In the framework of energy landscape model these findings indicate that co-solvents lead to reduced barrier heights between energy valleys, and thus efficient screening of protein conformations can take place.Display Omitted
Keywords: Osmolyte; TMAO; Betaine; Photosystem I; Energy landscape; Single-molecule spectroscopy;

Eukaryotic V-ATPase: Novel structural findings and functional insights by Vladimir Marshansky; John L. Rubinstein; Gerhard Grüber (857-879).
The eukaryotic V-type adenosine triphosphatase (V-ATPase) is a multi-subunit membrane protein complex that is evolutionarily related to F-type adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthases and A-ATP synthases. These ATPases/ATP synthases are functionally conserved and operate as rotary proton-pumping nano-motors, invented by Nature billions of years ago. In the first part of this review we will focus on recent structural findings of eukaryotic V-ATPases and discuss the role of different subunits in the function of the V-ATPase holocomplex. Despite structural and functional similarities between rotary ATPases, the eukaryotic V-ATPases are the most complex enzymes that have acquired some unconventional cellular functions during evolution. In particular, the novel roles of V-ATPases in the regulation of cellular receptors and their trafficking via endocytotic and exocytotic pathways were recently uncovered. In the second part of this review we will discuss these unique roles of V-ATPases in modulation of function of cellular receptors, involved in the development and progression of diseases such as cancer and diabetes as well as neurodegenerative and kidney disorders. Moreover, it was recently revealed that the V-ATPase itself functions as an evolutionarily conserved pH sensor and receptor for cytohesin-2/Arf-family GTP-binding proteins. Thus, in the third part of the review we will evaluate the structural basis for and functional insights into this novel concept, followed by the analysis of the potentially essential role of V-ATPase in the regulation of this signaling pathway in health and disease. Finally, future prospects for structural and functional studies of the eukaryotic V-ATPase will be discussed.
Keywords: Eukaryotic V-ATPase; Rotary proton-pumping nano-motor; Trafficking via endocytotic and exocytotic pathways; Regulation of cellular receptors function; Cytohesin-2/Arf's signaling; pH sensor;

Development of a novel cryogenic microscope with numerical aperture of 0.9 and its application to photosynthesis research by Yutaka Shibata; Wataru Katoh; Tomofumi Chiba; Keisuke Namie; Norikazu Ohnishi; Jun Minagawa; Hanayo Nakanishi; Takumi Noguchi; Hiroshi Fukumura (880-887).
A novel cryogenic optical-microscope system was developed in which the objective lens is set inside of the cryostat adiabatic vacuum space. Being isolated from the sample when it was cooled, the objective lens was maintained at room temperature during the cryogenic measurement. Therefore, the authors were able to use a color-aberration corrected objective lens with a numerical aperture of 0.9. The lens is equipped with an air vent for compatibility to the vacuum. The theoretically expected spatial resolutions of 0.39 μm along the lateral direction and 1.3 μm along the axial direction were achieved by the developed system. The system was applied to the observations of non-uniform distributions of the photosystems in the cells of a green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, at 94 K. Gaussian decomposition analysis of the fluorescence spectra at all the pixels clearly demonstrated a non-uniform distribution of the two photosystems, as reflected in the variable ratios of the fluorescence intensities assigned to photosystem II and to those assigned to photosystem I. The system was also applied to the fluorescence spectroscopy of single isolated photosystem I complexes at 90 K. The fluorescence, assigned to be emitted from a single photosystem I trimer, showed an intermittent fluctuation called blinking, which is typical for a fluorescence signal from a single molecule. The vibronic fluorescence bands at around 790 nm were observed for single photosystem I trimers, suggesting that the color aberration is not serious up to the 800 nm spectral region.
Keywords: Lateral heterogeneity of photosystem; Chlamydomonas reinhardtii; Photosystem I; Single-molecule spectroscopy; Fluorescence blinking;

Analysis of putative protomer crosstalk in the trimeric transporter BetP: The heterotrimer approach by Markus Becker; Stanislav Maximov; Michael Becker; Ute Meyer; Anja Wittmann; Reinhard Krämer (888-898).
The homotrimeric, secondary active betaine carrier BetP from Corynebacterium glutamicum is a model system for stress-regulated transport in bacteria. Its activity responds to hyperosmotic stress and it harbors two different functions, transport catalysis (betaine uptake) and stimulus sensing, resp. activity regulation. Structural information from 2D and 3D crystals as well as functional analysis of monomerized BetP suggested the presence of conformational crosstalk between the individual protomers. To study whether the oligomeric state is functionally significant on a mechanistic level we generated heterooligomeric complexes of BetP in which single protomers within the trimer can be addressed. By testing dominant negative effects in a trimer of one active protomer combined with two protomers in which transport and regulation were abolished, we provide experimental evidence for the absence of functionally significant conformational crosstalk between the protomers on the level of both transport and regulation. This is supported by experiments using mutant forms of putative interacting signal donor and acceptor domains of individual BetP protomers. This result has important consequences for oligomeric transport proteins in general and BetP in particular.
Keywords: BetP; Oligomerization; Osmoregulation; Protein interaction; Transport;

Diatoms, which are primary producers in the oceans, can rapidly switch on/off efficient photoprotection to respond to fast light-intensity changes in moving waters. The corresponding thermal dissipation of excess-absorbed-light energy can be observed as non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of chlorophyll a fluorescence. Fluorescence-induction measurements on Cyclotella meneghiniana diatoms show two NPQ processes: qE1 relaxes rapidly in the dark while qE2 remains present upon switching to darkness and is related to the presence of the xanthophyll-cycle pigment diatoxanthin (Dtx). We performed picosecond fluorescence measurements on cells locked in different (quenching) states, revealing the following sequence of events during full development of NPQ. At first, trimers of light-harvesting complexes (fucoxanthin–chlorophyll a/c proteins), or FCPa, become quenched, while being part of photosystem II (PSII), due to the induced pH gradient across the thylakoid membrane. This is followed by (partial) detachment of FCPa from PSII after which quenching persists. The pH gradient also causes the formation of Dtx which leads to further quenching of isolated PSII cores and some aggregated FCPa. In subsequent darkness, the pH gradient disappears but Dtx remains present and quenching partly pertains. Only in the presence of some light the system completely recovers to the unquenched state.
Keywords: Photosynthesis; Non-photochemical quenching; Diatom; Light-harvesting complex; Xanthophyll cycle;

The role of the high potential form of the cytochrome b559: Study of Thermosynechococcus elongatus mutants by Fernando Guerrero; Jorge L. Zurita; Mercedes Roncel; Diana Kirilovsky; José M. Ortega (908-919).
Cytochrome b559 is an essential component of the photosystem II reaction center in photosynthetic oxygen-evolving organisms, but its function still remains unclear. The use of photosystem II preparations from Thermosynechococcus elongatus of high integrity and activity allowed us to measure for the first time the influence of cytochrome b559 mutations on its midpoint redox potential and on the reduction of the cytochrome b559 by the plastoquinone pool (or QB). In this work, five mutants having a mutation in the α-subunit (I14A, I14S, R18S, I27A and I27T) and one in the β-subunit (F32Y) of cytochrome b559 have been investigated. All the mutations led to a destabilization of the high potential form of the cytochrome b559. The midpoint redox potential of the high potential form was significantly altered in the αR18S and αI27T mutant strains. The αR18S strain also showed a high sensitivity to photoinhibitory illumination and an altered oxidase activity. This was suggested by measurements of light induced oxidation and dark re-reduction of the cytochrome b559 showing that under conditions of a non-functional water oxidation system, once the cytochrome is oxidized by P680+, the yield of its reduction by QB or the PQ pool was smaller and the kinetic slower in the αR18S mutant than in the wild-type strain. Thus, the extremely positive redox potential of the high potential form of cytochrome b559 could be necessary to ensure efficient oxidation of the PQ pool and to function as an electron reservoir replacing the water oxidation system when it is not operating.Display Omitted
Keywords: Cytochrome b559; High potential form; Photosystem II; Redox potentiometry; Site-directed mutagenesis; Thermosynechococcus elongatus;

Thermodynamic and kinetic characterization of two methyl-accepting chemotaxis heme sensors from Geobacter sulfurreducens reveals the structural origin of their functional difference by Marta A. Silva; Raquel C. Valente; P. Raj Pokkuluri; David L. Turner; Carlos A. Salgueiro; Teresa Catarino (920-928).
The periplasmic sensor domains GSU582 and GSU935 are part of methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins of the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens containing one c-type heme and a PAS-like fold. Their spectroscopic properties were shown previously to share similar spectral features. In both sensors, the heme group is in the high-spin form in the oxidized state and low-spin after reduction and binding of a methionine residue. Therefore, it was proposed that this redox-linked ligand switch might be related to the signal transduction mechanism. We now report the thermodynamic and kinetic characterization of the sensors GSU582 and GSU935 by visible spectroscopy and stopped-flow techniques, at several pH and ionic strength values. Despite their similar spectroscopic features, the midpoint reduction potentials and the rate constants for reduction by dithionite are considerably different in the two sensors. The reduction potentials of both sensors are negative and well framed within the typical anoxic subsurface environments in which Geobacter species predominate. The midpoint reduction potentials of sensor GSU935 are lower than those of GSU582 at all pH and ionic strength values and the same was observed for the reduction rate constants. The origin of the different functional properties of these closely related sensors is rationalized in the terms of the structures. The results suggest that the sensors are designed to function in different working potential ranges, allowing the bacteria to trigger an adequate cellular response in different anoxic subsurface environments. These findings provide an explanation for the co-existence of two similar methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins in G. sulfurreducens.
Keywords: c-Type heme sensor; Geobacter; Redox potential; Signal transduction; Electron transfer kinetics;

ND3, ND1 and 39 kDa subunits are more exposed in the de-active form of bovine mitochondrial complex I by Marion Babot; Paola Labarbuta; Amanda Birch; Sara Kee; Matthew Fuszard; Catherine H. Botting; Ilka Wittig; Heinrich Heide; Alexander Galkin (929-939).
An intriguing feature of mitochondrial complex I from several species is the so-called A/D transition, whereby the idle enzyme spontaneously converts from the active (A) form to the de-active (D) form. The A/D transition plays an important role in tissue response to the lack of oxygen and hypoxic deactivation of the enzyme is one of the key regulatory events that occur in mitochondria during ischaemia. We demonstrate for the first time that the A/D conformational change of complex I does not affect the macromolecular organisation of supercomplexes in vitro as revealed by two types of native electrophoresis. Cysteine 39 of the mitochondrially-encoded ND3 subunit is known to become exposed upon de-activation. Here we show that even if complex I is a constituent of the I + III2  + IV (S1) supercomplex, cysteine 39 is accessible for chemical modification in only the D-form. Using lysine-specific fluorescent labelling and a DIGE-like approach we further identified two new subunits involved in structural rearrangements during the A/D transition: ND1 (MT-ND1) and 39 kDa (NDUFA9). These results clearly show that structural rearrangements during de-activation of complex I include several subunits located at the junction between hydrophilic and hydrophobic domains, in the region of the quinone binding site. De-activation of mitochondrial complex I results in concerted structural rearrangement of membrane subunits which leads to the disruption of the sealed quinone chamber required for catalytic turnover.
Keywords: Complex I; NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase; A/D transition; Conformational change; Protein tyrosine modification; N-hydroxysuccinimide;

ATP synthases from archaea: The beauty of a molecular motor by Gerhard Grüber; Malathy Sony Subramanian Manimekalai; Florian Mayer; Volker Müller (940-952).
Archaea live under different environmental conditions, such as high salinity, extreme pHs and cold or hot temperatures. How energy is conserved under such harsh environmental conditions is a major question in cellular bioenergetics of archaea. The key enzymes in energy conservation are the archaeal A1AO ATP synthases, a class of ATP synthases distinct from the F1FO ATP synthase ATP synthase found in bacteria, mitochondria and chloroplasts and the V1VO ATPases of eukaryotes. A1AO ATP synthases have distinct structural features such as a collar-like structure, an extended central stalk, and two peripheral stalks possibly stabilizing the A1AO ATP synthase during rotation in ATP synthesis/hydrolysis at high temperatures as well as to provide the storage of transient elastic energy during ion-pumping and ATP synthesis/-hydrolysis. High resolution structures of individual subunits and subcomplexes have been obtained in recent years that shed new light on the function and mechanism of this unique class of ATP synthases. An outstanding feature of archaeal A1AO ATP synthases is their diversity in size of rotor subunits and the coupling ion used for ATP synthesis with H+, Na+ or even H+ and Na+ using enzymes. The evolution of the H+ binding site to a Na+ binding site and its implications for the energy metabolism and physiology of the cell are discussed.Display Omitted
Keywords: ATPase; Na+ bioenergetics; Energy conservation; Methanogenesis; Rotary enzyme; c ring;