On the role of Fe2+ in bacterial photosynthesis. The effect of biosynthetic substitution of Fe2+ by Mn2+ on the electron transfer step Q- 1Q2 → Q1Q- 2 in reaction centers

Howard K. Nam, Robert H. Austin, G Charles Dismukes

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A test of the 'iron-wire' hypothesis for the role of Fe2+ in promoting the electron transfer between the primary (Q1) and secondary (Q2) quinones in bacterial reaction centers of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides strain R-26.1 has been conducted. Kinetics of this step, P+Q- 1Q2 → P+Q1Q- 2, and of recombination with the oxidized donor, P+Q- 1 → PQ1 and P+Q- 2 → PQ2, were followed optically at 4°C in normal iron-containing reaction centers and in reaction centers having 58% Mn2+, replacing Fe2+. This significant replacement is accomplished biosynthetically by control of the growth conditions, and so should preserve the native interactions between the cofactors. There are no significant differences observed in the recombination kinetics of the two types of reaction centers. The electron transfer between the quinones was observed to show apparent biphasic kinetics with major components of approx. 170 μs and 1.5 ms at 4°C and pH = 7.5. There is no statistically significant difference observed between the two types of reaction centers. This major change in the electronic structure of the metal and the unaltered kinetics discount the likelihood of any direct orbital participation of the metal in the electron transfer between the quinones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 26 1984



  • (Rps. sphaeroides)
  • Bacterial photosynthesis
  • Electron transfer
  • Fe effect
  • Quinone
  • Reaction center

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Medicine(all)

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