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MINI-REVIEW: The Mechanisms of Electrogenic Reactions in Bacterial Photosynthetic Reaction Centers: Studies in Collaboration with Alexander Konstantinov

Olga P. Kaminskaya1 and Alexey Yu. Semenov2,3,a*

1Institute of Basic Biological Problems, Pushchino Scientific Center for Biological Research, Russian Academy of Sciences, 142290 Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russia

2Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119992 Moscow, Russia

3Semenov Federal Research Center for Chemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119991 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received October 15, 2020; Revised November 11, 2020; Accepted November 21, 2020
In this review, we discuss our studies conducted in 1985-1988 in collaboration with A. A. Konstantinov, one of the top scientists in the field of membrane bioenergetics. Studying fast kinetics of membrane potential generation in photosynthetic reaction centers (RCs) of purple bacteria in response to a laser flash has made it possible to examine in detail the mechanisms of electrogenic reactions at the donor and acceptor sides of RCs. Electrogenesis associated with the intraprotein electron transfer from the exogenous secondary donors, redox dyes, and soluble cytochrome (cyt) c to the photooxidized dimer of bacteriochlorophyll P870 was studied using proteoliposomes containing RCs from the non-sulfur purple bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum. It was found that reduction of the secondary quinone electron acceptor QB accompanied by its protonation in the chromatophores from R. rubrum in response to every second light flash was electrogenic. Spectral characteristics and redox potentials of the four hemes in the tightly bound cyt c in the RC of Blastochloris viridis and electrogenic reactions associated with the electron transfer within the RC complex were identified. For the first time, relative amplitudes of the membrane potential generated in the course of individual electrogenic reactions were compared with the distances between the redox cofactors determined based on the three-dimensional structure of the Bl. viridis RC.
KEY WORDS: bacterial photosynthetic reaction centers, electron transfer, direct electrometric method, membrane potential, cytochrome c, quinone

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297921010016