Photosystem II (PSII) membranes exhibit catalase and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activities. Mild heat treatment of PSII membranes for 90 min at 30 °C releases most of these enzyme activities into the supernatant, accompanied by a 7-fold activation of PPO. In contrast, mild heat treatment of thylakoid membranes does not release significant amounts of either activity, indicating that both enzymes are bound to the luminal surface of the thylakoid membrane. The heat-released PSII membrane-associated catalase and PPO have been purified and characterized. Catalase activity was correlated with a 63 kDa polypeptide which was purified by batch adsorption to anion- exchange beads followed by gel filtration. The PSII membrane associated catalase is unstable in solution, probably due to irreversible aggregation. The enzyme was characterized in terms of molecular and subunit size, amino- acid composition, UV-visible absorption, heme content, pH optimum, inhibitor sensitivity, and K(m) value for H2O2. Its properties indicate that the PSII membrane-associated catalase is a luminal thylakoid membrane-bound heme enzyme that has not been identified previously. The residual catalase activity of PSII membranes after mild heat treatment is irreversibly inhibited with 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole, a specific inhibitor of heme catalases, without inhibition of O2-evolution activity. This result indicates that little, if any, of the catalase activity from PSII membranes in the dark is catalyzed by the O2-evolving center of PSII. PPO activity was correlated with a 48 kDa polypeptide. However, the 48 kDa polypeptide and another heat-released polypeptide of 72 kDa have the same N-terminal sequence, which is also identical to that of a known 64 kDa protein [Hind, G., Marshak, D. R., and Coughlan, S. J. (1995) Biochemistry 34, 8157-8164]. During heat treatment of PSII membranes and further manipulations it was found that the 72 kDa polypeptide was largely converted into the 48 kDa polypeptide. Thus, the 72 kDa polypeptide appears to be a latent precursor of the active 48 kDa PPO. The PSII membrane-associated PPO was purified by anion-exchange chromatography and was characterized in terms of substrate specificity, pH optimum, inhibitor sensitivity and native molecular weight. The heat-released PPO appears to be identical to the enzyme previously isolated from spinach thylakoid membranes [Golbeck, J. H., and Cammarata, K. V. (1981) Plant Physiol. 67, 977-984].
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