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Biochemistry. 1995 May 2;34(17):5839-58.

Amino acid residues that influence the binding of manganese or calcium to photosystem II. 1. The lumenal interhelical domains of the D1 polypeptide.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of California at Riverside 92521-0129, USA.


To identify amino acid residues that ligate the manganese and calcium ions of photosystem II or that are otherwise crucial to water oxidation, site-directed mutations were constructed in the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 at all conserved carboxylate, histidine, and tyrosine residues in the lumenal interhelical domains of the D1 polypeptide. Mutants with impaired photoautotrophic growth or oxygen evolution were characterized in vivo by measuring changes in the yield of variable chlorophyll a fluorescence after a saturating flash or brief illumination given in the presence of an electron-transfer inhibitor or following each in a series of saturating flashes given in the absence of inhibitor [Chu, H.-A., Nguyen, A. P., & Debus, R. J. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 6137-6149]. Mutants were also characterized after propagation in media having other cations substituted for calcium. We conclude that Asp-59 and Asp-61 may ligate calcium, that Asp-59, Asp-61, Glu-65, and His-92 influence the properties of the manganese cluster without significantly affecting its stability or ability to assemble, that Glu-189 plays an important structural role in maintaining the catalytic efficiency of the Mn cluster and partly influences the cluster's stability or ability to assemble, that His-92 and Glu-189 influence the binding of calcium, and that His-190 strongly influences the redox properties of the secondary electron donor, YZox, and either ligates manganese or serves as a crucial base or hydrogen bond donor. In addition, we conclude that Asp-170 may ligate manganese, but that its replacement with Val, Leu, or Ile causes structural perturbations that partly compensate for the loss of the carboxylate moiety.

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