Biochemistry (Moscow) (v.79, #4)

Modeling chlorophyll a fluorescence transient: Relation to photosynthesis by A. Stirbet; G. Yu. Riznichenko; A. B. Rubin; Govindjee (291-323).
To honor Academician Alexander Abramovitch Krasnovsky, we present here an educational review on the relation of chlorophyll a fluorescence transient to various processes in photosynthesis. The initial event in oxygenic photosynthesis is light absorption by chlorophylls (Chls), carotenoids, and, in some cases, phycobilins; these pigments form the antenna. Most of the energy is transferred to reaction centers where it is used for charge separation. The small part of energy that is not used in photochemistry is dissipated as heat or re-emitted as fluorescence. When a photosynthetic sample is transferred from dark to light, Chl a fluorescence (ChlF) intensity shows characteristic changes in time called fluorescence transient, the OJIPSMT transient, where O (the origin) is for the first measured minimum fluorescence level; J and I for intermediate inflections; P for peak; S for semi-steady state level; M for maximum; and T for terminal steady state level. This transient is a real signature of photosynthesis, since diverse events can be related to it, such as: changes in redox states of components of the linear electron transport flow, involvement of alternative electron routes, the build-up of a transmembrane pH gradient and membrane potential, activation of different nonphotochemical quenching processes, activation of the Calvin-Benson cycle, and other processes. In this review, we present our views on how different segments of the OJIPSMT transient are influenced by various photosynthetic processes, and discuss a number of studies involving mathematical modeling and simulation of the ChlF transient. A special emphasis is given to the slower PSMT phase, for which many studies have been recently published, but they are less known than on the faster OJIP phase.
Keywords: chlorophyll a fluorescence; Kautsky transient; mathematical simulation; nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) of the excited state of chlorophyll; plastoquinone pool; state changes

Nano-sized manganese-calcium cluster in photosystem II by M. M. Najafpour; M. Z. Ghobadi; B. Haghighi; J. J. Eaton-Rye; T. Tomo; J. -R. Shen; S. I. Allakhverdiev (324-336).
Cyanobacteria, algae, and plants are the manufacturers that release O2 via water oxidation during photosynthesis. Since fossil resources are running out, researchers are now actively trying to use the natural catalytic center of water oxidation found in the photosystem II (PS II) reaction center of oxygenic photosynthetic organisms to synthesize a biomimetic supercatalyst for water oxidation. Success in this area of research will transcend the current bottleneck for the development of energy-conversion schemes based on sunlight. In this review, we go over the structure and function of the water-oxidizing complex (WOC) found in Nature by focusing on the recent advances made by the international research community dedicated to achieve the goal of artificial water splitting based on the WOC of PS II.
Keywords: manganese; calcium; nano-sized manganese-calcium cluster; oxygen; photosynthesis; water oxidation; wateroxidizing complex

The purpose of this review is to summarize and discuss data obtained in studies on the mechanisms of the primary photophysical and photochemical reactions of protochlorophyllide photoreduction in plant materials (etiolated leaves and leaf homogenates) and in model systems. Based on the results of numerous studies, it can be stated that the reduction of active forms of the chlorophyll precursor is a multistep process comprising two or three short-lived intermediates characterized by a singlet ESR signal. The first intermediate is probably a complex with charge transfer between protochlorophyllide and the hydride ion donor NADPH. The conserved tyrosine residue Tyr193 of protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase is the donor of the second proton.
Keywords: chlorophyll; protochlorophyllide; photoreduction; non-fluorescent intermediates; fluorescence spectra; absorption spectra

Spectral and kinetic parameters and quantum yield of IR phosphorescence accompanying radiative deactivation of the chlorophyll a (Chl a) triplet state were compared in pigment solutions, greening and mature plant leaves, isolated chloroplasts, and thalluses of macrophytic marine algae. On the early stages of greening just after the Shibata shift, phosphorescence is determined by the bulk Chl a molecules. According to phosphorescence measurement, the quantum yield of triplet state formation is not less than 25%. Further greening leads to a strong decrease in the phosphorescence yield. In mature leaves developing under normal irradiation conditions, the phosphorescence yield declined 1000-fold. This parameter is stable in leaves of different plant species. Three spectral forms of phosphorescence-emitting chlorophyll were revealed in the mature photosynthetic apparatus with the main emission maxima at 955, 975, and 995 nm and lifetimes ∼1.9, ∼1.5, and 1.1–1.3 ms. In the excitation spectra of chlorophyll phosphorescence measured in thalluses of macrophytic green and red algae, the absorption bands of Chl a and accessory pigments — carotenoids, Chl b, and phycobilins — were observed. These data suggest that phosphorescence is emitted by triplet chlorophyll molecules that are not quenched by carotenoids and correspond to short wavelength forms of Chl a coupled to the normal light harvesting pigment complex. The concentration of the phosphorescence-emitting chlorophyll molecules in chloroplasts and the contribution of these molecules to chlorophyll fluorescence were estimated. Spectral and kinetic parameters of the phosphorescence corresponding to the long wavelength fluorescence band at 737 nm were evaluated. The data indicate that phosphorescence provides unique information on the photophysics of pigment molecules, molecular organization of the photosynthetic apparatus, and mechanisms and efficiency of photodynamic stress in plants.
Keywords: chlorophyll; triplet state; phosphorescence; photodymanic stress; photosynthesis

Oxylipins and plant abiotic stress resistance by T. V. Savchenko; O. M. Zastrijnaja; V. V. Klimov (362-375).
Oxylipins are signaling molecules formed enzymatically or spontaneously from unsaturated fatty acids in all aerobic organisms. Oxylipins regulate growth, development, and responses to environmental stimuli of organisms. The oxylipin biosynthesis pathway in plants includes a few parallel branches named after first enzyme of the corresponding branch as allene oxide synthase, hydroperoxide lyase, divinyl ether synthase, peroxygenase, epoxy alcohol synthase, and others in which various biologically active metabolites are produced. Oxylipins can be formed non-enzymatically as a result of oxygenation of fatty acids by free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Spontaneously formed oxylipins are called phytoprostanes. The role of oxylipins in biotic stress responses has been described in many published works. The role of oxylipins in plant adaptation to abiotic stress conditions is less studied; there is also obvious lack of available data compilation and analysis in this area of research. In this work we analyze data on oxylipins functions in plant adaptation to abiotic stress conditions, such as wounding, suboptimal light and temperature, dehydration and osmotic stress, and effects of ozone and heavy metals. Modern research articles elucidating the molecular mechanisms of oxylipins action by the methods of biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics are reviewed here. Data on the role of oxylipins in stress signal transduction, stress-inducible gene expression regulation, and interaction of these metabolites with other signal transduction pathways in cells are described. In this review the general oxylipin-mediated mechanisms that help plants to adjust to a broad spectrum of stress factors are considered, followed by analysis of more specific responses regulated by oxylipins only under certain stress conditions. New approaches to improvement of plant resistance to abiotic stresses based on the induction of oxylipin-mediated processes are discussed.
Keywords: oxylipins; jasmonate; abiotic stress; wounding; light; temperature; dehydration

New inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase catalytic activity based on 2-(3-methylphenyl)propanoic acid and 4-substituted morpholine derivatives by V. R. Khayrullina; I. A. Taipov; A. V. Veselovsky; D. S. Shcherbinin; A. Ya. Gerchikov (376-384).
New potential inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) based on the structure of 2-(3-benzoylphenyl)propanoic acid (an active component of the nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug Ketoprofen) were designed using the SARD-21 program. The docking of these compounds in the active site of 5-LOX suggested that seven compounds can interact with this enzyme. Two of them can also be dual inhibitors of 5-LOX and two isoforms of cyclooxygenase.
Keywords: molecular design; molecular docking; 5-lipoxygenase; cyclooxygenase isoforms