Site-Energies of Active and Inactive Pheophytins in the Reaction Center of Photosystem II from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

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Type of Publication:
Site Energies, Inactive, Pheophytins
  • Acharya, K.
  • Neupane, B.
  • Zazubovich, V.
  • Picorel, R.
  • Seibert, M.
  • Jankowiak, R.
Journal Physical Chemistry
B 11-6: 3
It is widely accepted that the primary electron acceptor in various Photosystem II (PSII) reaction center (RC) preparations is pheophytin a (Pheo a) within the D1 protein (Pheo(D1)), while Pheo(D2) (within the D2 protein) is photochemically inactive. The Pheo site energies, however, have remained elusive, due to inherent spectral congestion. While most researchers over the past two decades placed the Q(y)-states of Pheo(D1) and Pheo(D2) bands near 678-684 and 668-672 nm, respectively, recent modeling [Raszewski et al. Biophys. J. 2005, 88, 986 - 998; Cox et al. J. Phys. Chem. B 2009, 113, 12364 - 12374] of the electronic structure of the PSII RC reversed the assignment of the active and inactive Pheos, suggesting that the mean site energy of Pheo(D1) is near 672 nm, whereas Pheo(D2) (~677.5 nm) and Chl(D1) (~680 nm) have the lowest energies (i.e., the Pheo(D2)-dominated exciton is the lowest excited state). In contrast, chemical pigment exchange experiments on isolated RCs suggested that both pheophytins have their Q(y) absorption maxima at 676-680 nm [Germano et al. Biochemistry 2001, 40, 11472 - 11482; Germano et al. Biophys. J. 2004, 86, 1664 - 1672]. To provide more insight into the site energies of both Pheo(D1) and Pheo(D2) (including the corresponding Q(x) transitions, which are often claimed to be degenerate at 543 nm) and to attest that the above two assignments are most likely incorrect, we studied a large number of isolated RC preparations from spinach and wild-type Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (at different levels of intactness) as well as the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii mutant (D2-L209H), in which the active branch Pheo(D1) is genetically replaced with chlorophyll a (Chl a). We show that the Q(x)-/Q(y)-region site energies of Pheo(D1) and Pheo(D2) are ~545/680 nm and ~541.5/670 nm, respectively, in good agreement with our previous assignment [Jankowiak et al. J. Phys. Chem. B 2002, 106, 8803 - 8814]. The latter values should be used to model excitonic structure and excitation energy transfer dynamics of the PSII RCs.

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