The luminal helix l of PsaB is essential for recognition of plastocyanin or cytochrome c6 and fast electron transfer to photosystem i in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Sommer, F.; Drepper, F.; Hippler, M.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 277(8): 6573-6581


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258
PMID: 11744732
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.m110633200
Accession: 047676317

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At the lumenal side of photosystem I (PSI) in cyanobacteria, algae, and vascular plants, proper recognition and binding of the donor proteins plastocyanin (pc) and cytochrome (cyt) c(6) are crucial to allow subsequent efficient electron transfer to the photooxidized primary donor. To characterize the surface regions of PSI needed for the correct binding of both donors, loop j of PsaB of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was modified using site-directed mutagenesis and chloroplast transformation. Mutant strains D624K, E613K/D624K, E613K/W627F, and D624K/W627F accumulated <20% of PSI as compared with wild type and were only able to grow photoautotrophically at low light intensities. Mutant strains E613N, E613K, and W627F accumulated >50% of PSI as compared with wild type. This was sufficient to isolate the altered PSI and perform a detailed analysis of the electron transfer between the modified PSI and the two algal donors using flash-induced spectroscopy. Such an analysis indicated that residue Glu(613) of PsaB has two functions: (i) it is crucial for an improved unbinding of the two donors from PSI, and (ii) it orientates the positively charged N-terminal domain of PsaF in a way that allows efficient binding of pc or cyt c(6) to PSI. Mutation of Trp(627) to Phe completely abolishes the formation of an intermolecular electron transfer complex between pc and PSI and also drastically diminishes the rate of electron transfer between the donor and PSI. This mutation also hinders binding and electron transfer between the altered PSI and cyt c(6). It causes a 10-fold increase of the half-time of electron transfer within the intermolecular complex of cyt c(6) and PSI. These data strongly suggest that Trp(627) is a key residue of the recognition site formed by the core of PSI for binding and electron transfer between the two soluble electron donors and the photosystem.