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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Aug;1817(8):1314-21. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2012.02.036. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Photosynthetic electron flow to oxygen and diffusion of hydrogen peroxide through the chloroplast envelope via aquaporins.

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Institute of Basic Biological Problems, Moscow, Russia.


Light-induced generation of superoxide radicals and hydrogen peroxide in isolated thylakoids has been studied with a lipophilic spin probe, cyclic hydroxylamine 1-hydroxy-4-isobutyramido-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinium (TMT-H) to detect superoxide radicals, and the spin trap α-(4-pyridyl-1-oxide)-N-tert-butylnitron (4-POBN) to detect hydrogen peroxide-derived hydroxyl radicals. Accumulation of the radical products of the above reactions has been followed using electron paramagnetic resonance. It is found that the increased production of superoxide radicals and hydrogen peroxide in higher light is due to the enhanced production of these species within the thylakoid membrane, rather than outside the membrane. Fluorescent probe Amplex red, which forms fluorescent product, resorufin, in the reaction with hydrogen peroxide, has been used to detect hydrogen peroxide outside isolated chloroplasts using confocal microscopy. Resorufin fluorescence outside the chloroplasts is found to be suppressed by 60% in the presence of the inhibitor of aquaporins, acetazolamide (AZA), indicating that hydrogen peroxide can diffuse through the chloroplast envelope aquaporins. It is demonstrated that AZA also inhibits carbonic anhydrase activity of the isolated envelope. We put forward a hypothesis that carbonic anhydrase presumably can be attached to the envelope aquaporins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Photosynthesis Research for Sustainability: from Natural to Artificial.

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