Matching Items (7)

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Recombinant electron donors and acceptors to and from reaction center particles, and light dependent menaquinone reduction in isolated membranes of Heliobacterium modesticaldum

Description

The Heliobacterial reaction center (HbRC) is generally regarded as the most primitive photosynthetic reaction center (RC) known. Even if the HbRC is structurally and functionally simple compared to higher plants,

The Heliobacterial reaction center (HbRC) is generally regarded as the most primitive photosynthetic reaction center (RC) known. Even if the HbRC is structurally and functionally simple compared to higher plants, the mechanisms of energy transduction preceding, inside the core, and from the RC are not totally established. Elucidating these structures and mechanisms are paramount to determining where the HbRC is in the grand scheme of RC evolution. In this work, the function and properties of the solubilized cyt c553, PetJ, were investigated, as well as the role HbRC localized menaquinone plays in light-induced electron transfer, and the interaction of the Nif-specific ferredoxin FdxB with reaction center particles devoid of bound FA/FB proteins. In chapter 2, I successfully express and purify a soluble version of PetJ that functions as a temperature dependent electron donor to P800+. Recombinant PetJ retains the spectroscopic characteristics of membrane-bound PetJ. The kinetics were characteristic of a bimolecular reaction with a second order rate of 1.53 x 104 M-1s-1 at room temperature and a calculated activation energy of 91 kJ/mol. In chapter 4, I use reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to detect the light-induced generation of Menaquinol-9 (MQH2) in isolated heliobacterial membranes. This process is dependent on laser power, pH, temperature, and can be modified by the presence of the artificial electron acceptor benzyl viologen (BV) and the inhibitors azoxystrobin and terbutryn. The addition of the bc complex inhibitor azoxystrobin decreases the ratio of MQ to MQH2. This indicates competition between the HbRC and the bc complex, and hints toward a truncated cyclic electron flow pathway. In chapter 5, the Nif-Specific ferredoxin FdxB was recombinantly expressed and shown to oxidize the terminal cofactor in the HbRC, FX-, in a concentration-dependent manner. This work indicates the HbRC may be able to reduce a wide variety of electron acceptors that may be involved in specific metabolic processes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Color evolution of Kaede-type red fluorescent proteins

Description

The green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like fluorescent proteins play an important role for the color of reef-building corals. Different colors of extant coral fluorescent proteins (FPs) have evolved from a green

The green fluorescent protein (GFP)-like fluorescent proteins play an important role for the color of reef-building corals. Different colors of extant coral fluorescent proteins (FPs) have evolved from a green ancestral protein. Interestingly, green-to-red photoconversion FPs (Kaede-type Red FPs) are only found in clade D from Scleractinia (Faviina suborder). Therefore, I focus on the evolution of Kaede-type FPs from Faviina suborder ancestral FP. A total of 13 mutations have been identified previously that recapitulate the evolution of Kaede-type red FPs from the ancestral green FP. To examine the effect of each mutation, total ten reconstructed FPs were analyzed and six x-ray crystal structures were solved. These substitutions created a more hydrophilic environment around the carbonyl group of Phe61. Also, they increased the flexibility of the c-terminal chain, which keeps it from interacting with the entrance of the putative solvent channel. The photoconversion reaction shows a twophase kinetics. After the rapid initial phase, the overall reaction followed the firstorder kinetics. Based on the crystal structure analysis, I propose a new mechanism for Kaede-type FP photoconversion process, which a proton transfers via Gln38 to the carbonyl group of Phe61.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Mutations that affect the bidirectional electron transfer in photosystem I

Description

Photosystem I (PSI) is a multi-subunit, pigment-protein complex that catalyzes light-driven electron transfer (ET) in its bi-branched reaction center (RC). Recently it was suggested that the initial charge separation (CS)

Photosystem I (PSI) is a multi-subunit, pigment-protein complex that catalyzes light-driven electron transfer (ET) in its bi-branched reaction center (RC). Recently it was suggested that the initial charge separation (CS) event can take place independently within each ec2/ec3 chlorophyll pair. In order to improve our understanding of this phenomenon, we have generated new mutations in the PsaA and PsaB subunits near the electron transfer cofactor 2 (ec2 chlorophyll). PsaA-Asn604 accepts a hydrogen bond from the water molecule that is the axial ligand of ec2B and the case is similar for PsaB-Asn591 and ec2A. The second set of targeted sites was PsaA-Ala684 and PsaB-Ala664, whose methyl groups are present near ec2A and ec2B, respectively. We generated a number of mutants by targeting the selected protein residues. These mutations were expected to alter the energetics of the primary charge separation event.

The PsaA-A684N mutants exhibited increased ET on the B-branch as compared to the A-branch in both in vivo and in vitro conditions. The transient electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy revealed the formation of increased B-side radical pair (RP) at ambient and cryogenic temperatures. The ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy and fluorescence decay measurement of the PsaA-A684N and PsaB-A664N showed a slight deceleration of energy trapping. Thus making mutations near ec2 on each branch resulted into modulation of the charge separation process. In the second set of mutants, where ec2 cofactor was target by substitution of PsaA-Asn604 or PsaB-Asn591 to other amino acids, a drop in energy trapping was observed. The quantum yield of CS decreases in Asn to Leu and His mutants on the respective branch. The P700 triplet state was not observed at room and cryogenic temperature for these mutants, nor was a rapid decay of P700+ in the nanosecond timescale, indicating that the mutations do not cause a blockage of electron transfer from the ec3 Chl. Time-resolved fluorescence results showed a decrease in the lifetime of the energy trapping. We interpret this decrease in lifetime as a new channel of excitation energy decay, in which the untrapped energy dissipates as heat through a fast internal conversion process. Thus, a variety of spectroscopic measurements of PSI with point mutations near the ec2 cofactor further support that the ec2 cofactor is involved in energy trapping process.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Structure and function of the homodimeric reaction center, and hydrogen production, in Heliobacterium modesticaldum

Description

The evolution of photosynthesis caused the oxygen-rich atmosphere in which we thrive today. Although the reaction centers involved in oxygenic photosynthesis probably evolved from a protein like the reaction centers

The evolution of photosynthesis caused the oxygen-rich atmosphere in which we thrive today. Although the reaction centers involved in oxygenic photosynthesis probably evolved from a protein like the reaction centers in modern anoxygenic photosynthesis, modern anoxygenic reaction centers are poorly understood. One such anaerobic reaction center is found in Heliobacterium modesticaldum. Here, the photosynthetic properties of H. modesticaldum are investigated, especially as they pertain to its unique photochemical reaction center.

The first part of this dissertation describes the optimization of the previously established protocol for the H. modesticaldum reaction center isolation. Subsequently, electron transfer is characterized by ultrafast spectroscopy; the primary electron acceptor, a chlorophyll a derivative, is reduced in ~25 ps, and forward electron transfer occurs directly to a 4Fe-4S cluster in ~650 ps without the requirement for a quinone intermediate. A 2.2-angstrom resolution X-ray crystal structure of the homodimeric heliobacterial reaction center is solved, which is the first ever homodimeric reaction center structure to be solved, and is discussed as it pertains to the structure-function relationship in energy and electron transfer. The structure has a transmembrane helix arrangement similar to that of Photosystem I, but differences in antenna and electron transfer cofactor positions explain variations in biophysical comparisons. The structure is then compared with other reaction centers to infer evolutionary hypotheses suggesting that the ancestor to all modern reaction centers could reduce mobile quinones, and that Photosystem I added lower energy cofactors to its electron transfer chain to avoid the formation of singlet oxygen.

In the second part of this dissertation, hydrogen production rates of H. modesticaldum are quantified in multiple conditions. Hydrogen production only occurs in cells grown without ammonia, and is further increased by removal of N2. These results are used to propose a scheme that summarizes the hydrogen-production metabolism of H. modesticaldum, in which electrons from pyruvate oxidation are shuttled through an electron transport pathway including the reaction center, ultimately reducing nitrogenase. In conjunction, electron microscopy images of H. modesticaldum are shown, which confirm that extended membrane systems are not exhibited by heliobacteria.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Reconstitution of the Heliobacterial Reaction Center Into Proteoliposomes and Restoration of Its Interaction with Membrane-bound Cytochrome c553

Description

To mimic the membrane environment for the photosynthetic reaction center of the photoheterotrophic Heliobacterium modesticaldum, a proteoliposome system was developed using the lipids found in native membranes, as well as

To mimic the membrane environment for the photosynthetic reaction center of the photoheterotrophic Heliobacterium modesticaldum, a proteoliposome system was developed using the lipids found in native membranes, as well as a lipid possessing a Ni(II)-NTA head group. The liposomes were also saturated with menaquinone-9 to provide further native conditions, given that menaquinone is active within the heliobacterial reaction center in some way. Purified heliobacterial reaction center was reconstituted into the liposomes and a recombinant cytochrome c553 was decorated onto the liposome surface. The native lipid-attachment sequence of cytochrome c553 was truncated and replaced with a hexahistidine tag. Thus, the membrane-anchoring observed in vivo was simulated through the histidine tag of the recombinant cytochrome binding to the Ni(II)-NTA lipid's head group. The kinetics of electron transfer in this system was measured and compared to native membranes using transient absorption spectroscopy. The preferential-orientation of reconstituted heliobacterial reaction center was also measured by monitoring the proteoliposome system's ability to reduce a soluble acceptor, flavodoxin, in both whole and detergent-solubilized proteoliposome conditions. These data demonstrate that this proteoliposome system is reliable, biomimetic, and efficient for selectively testing the function of the photosynthetic reaction center of Heliobacterium modesticaldum and its interactions with both donors and acceptors. The recombinant cytochrome c553 performs similarly to native cytochrome c553 in heliobacterial membranes. These data also support the hypothesis that the orientation of the reconstituted reaction center is inherently selective for its bacteriochlorophyll special pair directed to the outer-leaflet of the liposome.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Understanding the Self-assembly Pathway of Higher Plant Rubisco Activase

Description

Rubisco activase (Rca) from higher plants is a stromal ATPase essential for reactivating Rubiscos rendered catalytically inactive by endogenous inhibitors. Rca’s functional state is thought to consist of ring-like hexameric

Rubisco activase (Rca) from higher plants is a stromal ATPase essential for reactivating Rubiscos rendered catalytically inactive by endogenous inhibitors. Rca’s functional state is thought to consist of ring-like hexameric assemblies, similar to other members of the AAA+ protein superfamily. However, unlike other members, it does not form obligate hexamers and is quite polydisperse in solution, making elucidation of its self-association pathway challenging. This polydispersity also makes interpretation of traditional biochemical approaches difficult, prompting use of a fluorescence-based technique (Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy) to investigate the relationship between quaternary structure and function. Like cotton β Rca, tobacco β Rca appears to assemble in a step-wise and nucleotide-dependent manner. Incubation in varying nucleotides appears to alter the equilibrium between varying oligomers, either promoting or minimizing the formation of larger oligomers. High concentrations of ADP seem to favor continuous assembly towards larger oligomers, while assembly in the presence of ATP-yS (an ATP analog) appears to halt continuous assembly in favor of hexameric species. In contrast, assembly in the “Active ATP Turnover” condition (a mixture of ATP and ADP) appears to favor an almost equal distribution of tetramer and hexamer, which when compared with ATPase activity, shows great alignment with maximum activity in the low µM range. Despite this alignment, the decrease in ATPase activity does not follow any particular oligomer, but rather decreases with increasing aggregation, suggesting that assembly dynamics may regulate ATPase activity, rather than the formation/disappearance of one specific oligomer. Work presented here also indicates that all oligomers larger than hexamers are catalytically inactive, thus providing support for the idea that they may serve as a storage mechanism to minimize wasteful hydrolysis. These findings are also supported by assembly work carried out on an Assembly Mutant (R294V), known for favoring formation of closed-ring hexamers. Similar assembly studies were carried out on spinach Rca, however, due to its aggregation propensity, FCS results were more difficult to interpret. Based on these findings, one could argue that assembly dynamics are essential for Rca function, both in ATPase and in regulation of Rubisco carboxylation activity, thus providing a rational for Rca’s high degree of polydispersity.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Electrochemical investigation of electron bifurcating oxidoreductases

Description

Biological systems have long been known to utilize two processes for energy conservation: substrate-level phosphorylation and electron transport phosphorylation. Recently, a new bioenergetic process was discovered that increases ATP yields:

Biological systems have long been known to utilize two processes for energy conservation: substrate-level phosphorylation and electron transport phosphorylation. Recently, a new bioenergetic process was discovered that increases ATP yields: flavin-based electron bifurcation (FBEB). This process couples an energetically favorable reaction with an energetically unfavorable one to conserve energy in the organism. Currently, the mechanisms of enzymes that perform FBEB are unknown. In this work, NADH-dependent reduced ferredoxin:NADP+ oxidoreductase (Nfn), a FBEB enzyme, is used as a model system to study this phenomenon. Nfn is a heterodimeric enzyme that reversibly couples the exergonic reduction of NADP+ by reduced ferredoxin with the endergonic reduction of NADP+ by NADH. Protein film electrochemistry (PFE) has been utilized to characterize the catalytic properties of three ferredoxins, possible substrates for Nfn enzymes, from organisms that perform FBEB: Pyrococcus furiosus (PfFd), Thermotoga maritima (TmFd), and Caldicellulosiruptor bescii (CbFd). Additionally, PFE is utilized to characterize three Nfn enzymes from two different archaea in the family Thermococcaceae: two from P. furiosus (PfNfnI and PfXfn), and one from Thermococcus sibiricus (TsNfnABC). Key results are as follows. The reduction potentials of the [4Fe4S]2+/1+ couple for all three ferredoxins are pH independent and modestly temperature dependent, and the Marcus reorganization energies of PfFd and TmFd are relatively small, suggesting optimized electron transfer. Electrocatalytic experiments show that PfNfnI is tuned for NADP+ reduction by both fast rates and a low binding constant for NADP+. A PfNfnI variant engineered to have only cysteines as coordinating ligands for its [FeS] clusters has significantly altered rates of electrocatalysis, substrate binding, and FBEB activity. This suggests that the heteroligands in the primary coordination sphere of the [FeS] clusters play a role in controlling catalysis by Nfn. Furthermore, a variant of PfNfnI lacking its small subunit, designed to probe allosteric effects at the bifurcating site, has altered substrate binding at the NADP(H) binding site, i.e. the bifurcation site. PfXfn and TsNfnABC, representing different types of Nfn enzymes, have different electrocatalytic properties than PfNfnI, including slower rates of FBEB. This suggests that Nfn enzymes vary significantly over phylogenetically similar organisms despite relatively high primary sequence homology.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018