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Generation of Photoelectric Responses by Photosystem II Core Complexes in the Presence of Externally Added Cytochrome c

Liya A. Vitukhnovskaya1,2, Ruben A. Simonyan1, Alexey Yu. Semenov1,2, and Mahir D. Mamedov1,a*

1Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119992 Moscow, Russia

2Semenov Federal Research Center for Chemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119991 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received August 10, 2021; Revised September 20, 2021; Accepted September 20, 2021
The effect of exogenous cytochrome c (cyt c) on kinetics of photoelectric responses (Δψ) of two types of photosystem II (PSII) core complexes (intact – PSII with active water-oxidizing complex and Mn-depleted complex) reconstituted into liposomes has been investigated by direct electrometric technique. PSII complexes were localized in the proteoliposome membranes with their donor side outward. An additional electrogenic phase was observed in the kinetics of Δψ generation in response to a laser flash besides the main fast (<0.3 µs) electrogenic component due to electron transfer from the redox-active tyrosine YZ to the primary quinone acceptor QA in the presence of oxidized cyt c (cyt c3+) entrapped in the internal space of proteoliposomes with intact PSII complexes. This component with characteristic time τ ≈ 40 µs and relative amplitude of ~10% of the total Δψ was attributed to the vectorial electron transfer from QA to cyt c3+ serving as an external acceptor. An additional electrogenic component with τ ~ 70 µs and a relative amplitude of ~20% of the total Δψ also appeared in the kinetics of Δψ formation, when cyt c2+ was added to the suspension of proteoliposomes containing Mn-depleted PSII core complexes. This component was attributed to the electrogenic transfer of an electron from cyt c2+ to photooxidized tyrosine YZ. These data imply that cyt c3+ serves as a very effective exogenous electron acceptor for QA in the case of intact PSII core complexes, and cyt c2+ is an extremely efficient artificial electron donor for YZ in the Mn-depleted PSII. The obtained data on the roles of cyt c2+ and cyt c3+ as an electron donor and acceptor for PSII, respectively, can be used to develop hybrid photoelectrochemical solar energy-converting systems based on photosynthetic pigment–protein complexes.
KEY WORDS: photosystem II, proteoliposomes, photoelectric response, electron transfer, cytochrome c

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297921110018