Association of His117 in the D2 protein of photosystem II with a chlorophyll that affects excitation-energy transfer efficiency to the reaction center

Michael T. Lince, Willem Vermaas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

His117 of the D2 protein of photosystem II (PS II) is a conserved residue in the second transmembrane region of the protein and has been suggested to bind chlorophyll. Nine site-directed mutations were introduced at residue 117, using both photosystem I (PS I)-containing and PS I-less background strains of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Of these nine, four (H117C, H117M, H117N, and H117T) were photoautotrophic in the PS I-containing background. The other mutants (H117F, H117L, H117P, H117R, and H117Y) did not accumulate appreciable amounts of PS II in their thylakoids. The type of residues that can functionally replace His117 support the notion of His117 serving as a chlorophyll ligand. The properties of the H117N and H117T mutants were characterized in more detail. Whereas the properties of the H117N mutant were close to those of wild type, in the Hl17T mutant the 77-K fluorescence emission spectrum shows a much smaller amplitude at 695 nm than expected on the basis of the amount of PS II that is present. Moreover, in H117T, the amount of light needed to half-saturate O2-evolution rates was twofold higher than in the control strain, and the variable fluorescence yield was quenched. However, O2 evolution rates at saturating light intensity and electron-transport kinetics were normal in the mutant. Also, the radical accessory chlorophyll (Chl(z)/+) formed by donation of an electron to the PS-II reaction center could be generated normally by illumination at low temperature in the H117T mutant. We conclude that the chlorophyll associated with residue 117 of the D2 protein is important for efficient excitation transfer between the proximal antenna and the PS II reaction center. A possible mechanism involving a chlorophyll cation to explain the quenching in the H117T mutant is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-602
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Volume256
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 15 1998

Keywords

  • Chlorophyll fluorescence
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Energy transfer
  • Photosystem II
  • Reaction center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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