Shutova T, Klimov VV, Andersson B, Samuelsson G
A cluster of carboxylic groups in PsbO protein is involved in proton transfer from the water oxidizing complex of Photosystem II
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta: 2007 1767:434-440

The hypothesis presented here for proton transfer away from the water oxidation complex of Photosystem II (PSII) is supported by biochemical experiments on the isolated PsbO protein in solution, theoretical analyses of better understood proton transfer systems like bacteriorhodopsin and cytochrome oxidase, and the recently published 3D structure of PS II (Pdb entry 1S5L). We propose that a cluster of conserved glutamic and aspartic acid residues in the PsbO protein acts as a buffering network providing efficient acceptors of protons derived from substrate water molecules. The charge delocalization of the cluster ensures readiness to promptly accept the protons liberated from substrate water. Therefore protons generated at the catalytic centre of PSII need not be released into the thylakoid lumen as generally thought. The cluster is the beginning of a localized, fast proton transfer conduit on the lumenal side of the thylakoid membrane. Proton-dependent conformational changes of PsbO may play a role in the regulation of both supply of substrate water to the water oxidizing complex and the resultant proton transfer.

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