The rate of second electron transfer to QB- in bacterial reaction center of impaired proton delivery shows hydrogen-isotope effect

Ágnes Maróti, Colin A. Wraight, Péter Maróti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


The 2nd electron transfer in reaction center of photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides is a two step process in which protonation of QB- precedes interquinone electron transfer. The thermal activation and pH dependence of the overall rate constants of different RC variants were measured and compared in solvents of water (H2O) and heavy water (D2O). The electron transfer variants where the electron transfer is rate limiting (wild type and M17DN, L210DN and H173EQ mutants) do not show solvent isotope effect and the significant decrease of the rate constant of the second electron transfer in these mutants is due to lowering the operational pKa of QB-/QBH: 4.5 (native), 3.9 (L210DN), 3.7 (M17DN) and 3.1 (H173EQ) at pH 7. On the other hand, the proton transfer variants where the proton transfer is rate limiting demonstrate solvent isotope effect of pH-independent moderate magnitude (2.11 ± 0.26 (WT + Ni2 +), 2.16 ± 0.35 (WT + Cd2 +) and 2.34 ± 0.44 (L210DN/M17DN)) or pH-dependent large magnitude (5.7 at pH 4 (L213DN)). Upon deuteration, the free energy and the enthalpy of activation increase in all proton transfer variants by about 1 kcal/mol and the entropy of activation becomes negligible in L210DN/M17DN mutant. The results are interpreted as manifestation of equilibrium and kinetic solvent isotope effects and the structural, energetic and kinetic possibility of alternate proton delivery pathways are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-230
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • Bacterial photosynthesis
  • Flash-induced proton delivery
  • Protonation mutant
  • Reaction center protein
  • Solvent isotope effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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