Alterations of the oxygen-evolving apparatus induced by a 305Arg → 305Ser mutation in the CP43 protein of photosystem II from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 under chloride-limiting conditions

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The psbC gene encodes CP43, a component of Photosystem II (PSII) in higher plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. Previous work demonstrated that alteration of an arginine residue occurring at position 305 to serine produced a strain (R305S) with altered PSII activity (Knoepfle, N., Bricker, T. M., and Putnam-Evans, C. (1999) Biochemistry 38, 1582-1588). This strain grew at wild-type rates in complete BG-11 media (480 μM chloride) and evolved oxygen at rates that were 60-70% of the observed wild-type rates. The R305S strain assembled approximately 70-80% of the functional PSII centers contained in the control strain, and these PSII centers were very sensitive to photoinactivation at high light intensities. We recently observed that the R305S mutant exhibited a pronounced chloride effect. When this mutant was grown in media depleted of chloride (30 μM chloride), it exhibited a severely reduced photoautotrophic growth rate. The effect of chloride depletion on the growth rate of the mutant was reversed by the addition of 480 μM bromide to the chloride-depleted BG-11 media. Oxygen evolution rates for the mutant were further depressed to about 22% of that observed in control cells under chloride-limiting conditions. Addition of bromide restored these rates to those observed under chloride-sufficient conditions. The mutant exhibited a significantly lower relative quantum yield for oxygen evolution than did the control strain, and this was exacerbated under chloride-limiting conditions. Fluorescence yield measurements indicated that both the mutant and the control strains assembled fewer PSII reaction centers under chloride-limiting conditions. The reaction centers assembled by the mutant exhibited an enhanced sensitivity to photoinactivation under chloride-limiting conditions, with a t1/2 of photoinactivation of 2.6 min under chloride-limiting conditions as compared to a t1/2 of 4.7 min under normal growth conditions. The mutant also exhibited an enhanced stability of its S2 state and increased number of centers in the S1 state following dark incubation. These results indicate that the mutant R305S exhibits a defect in its ability to utilize chloride in support of efficient oxygen evolution in PSII. This is the first mutant of this type described in the CP43 protein.

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