Evidence that bicarbonate is not the substrate in photosynthetic oxygen evolution
|ANGSTROM RESOLUTION; CARBONIC-ANHYDRASE; COMPLEX; CRYSTAL-STRUCTURE; DONOR SIDE; EVOLVING PHOTOSYSTEM-II; FLASHING LIGHT; MN-CLUSTER; Plant Sciences; S-3 STATE; WATER OXIDATION
|AMER SOC PLANT BIOLOGISTS
It is widely accepted that the oxygen produced by photosystem II of cyanobacteria, algae, and plants is derived from water. Earlier proposals that bicarbonate may serve as substrate or catalytic intermediate are almost forgotten, though not rigorously disproved. These latter proposals imply that CO2 is an intermediate product of oxygen production in addition to O-2. In this work, we investigated this possible role of exchangeable HCO3- in oxygen evolution in two independent ways. (1) We studied a possible product inhibition of the electron transfer into the catalytic Mn4Ca complex during the oxygen-evolving reaction by greatly increasing the pressure of CO2. This was monitored by absorption transients in the near UV. We found that a 3,000-fold increase of the CO2 pressure over ambient conditions did not affect the UV transient, whereas the S-3 -> S-4 -> S-0 transition was half-inhibited by raising the O-2 pressure only 10-fold over ambient, as previously established. (2) The flash-induced O-2 and CO2 production by photosystem II was followed simultaneously with membrane inlet mass spectrometry under approximately 15% H-2 O-18 enrichment. Light flashes that revealed the known oscillatory O-2 release failed to produce any oscillatory CO2 signal. Both types of results exclude that exchangeable bicarbonate is the substrate for (and CO2 an intermediate product of) oxygen evolution by photosynthesis. The possibility that a tightly bound carbonate or bicarbonate is a cofactor of photosynthetic water oxidation has remained.
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