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Plant Physiol. 1977 Oct; 60(4): 597–601.
PMCID: PMC542671

Photophosphorylation Associated with Photosystem II

III. Characterization of Uncoupling, Energy Transfer Inhibition, and Proton Uptake Reactions Associated with Photosystem II Cyclic Photophosphorylation


A number of uncouplers and energy transfer inhibitors suppress photosystem II cyclic photophosphorylation catalyzed by either a proton/electron or electron donor. Valinomycin and 2,4-dinitrophenol also inhibit photosystem II cyclic photophosphorylation, but these compounds appear to act as electron transport inhibitors rather than as uncouplers. Only when valinomycin, KCl, and 2,4-dinitrophenol were added simultaneously to phosphorylation reaction mixtures was substantial uncoupling observed. Photosystem II noncyclic and cyclic electron transport reactions generate positive absorbance changes at 518 nm. Uncoupling and energy transfer inhibition diminished the magnitude of these absorbance changes. Photosystem II cyclic electron transport catalyzed by either p-phenylenediamine or N,N,N′,N′-tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine stimulated proton uptake in KCN-Hg-NH2OH-inhibited spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) chloroplasts. Illumination with 640 nm light produced an extent of proton uptake approximately 3-fold greater than did 700 nm illumination, indicating that photosystem II-catalyzed electron transport was responsible for proton uptake. Electron transport inhibitors, uncouplers, and energy transfer inhibitors produced inhibitions of photosystem II-dependent proton uptake consistent with the effects of these compounds on ATP synthesis by the photosystem II cycle. These results are interpreted as indicating that endogenous proton-translocating components of the thylakoid membrane participate in coupling of ATP synthesis to photosystem II cyclic electron transport.

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Selected References

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