The S3 State of the Oxygen-Evolving Complex in Photosystem II Is Converted to the S2YZ State at Alkaline pH

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Here we report an EPR signal that is induced by a pH jump to alkaline pH in the S3 state of the oxygen-evolving complex in photosystem II. The S3 state is first formed with two flashes at pH 6. Thereafter, the pH is changed in the dark prior to freezing of the sample. The EPR signal is 90-100 G wide and centered around g = 2. The signal is reversibly induced with a pK = 8.5 ± 0.3 and is very stable with a decay half-time of 5-6 min. If the pH is changed in the dark from pH 8.6 to 6.0, the signal disappears although the S3 state remains. We propose that the signal arises from the interaction between the Mn cluster and YZ, resulting in the spin-coupled S2YZ signal. Our data suggest that the potential of the YZ/YZ redox couple is sensitive to the ambient pH in the S3 state. The alkaline pH decreases the potential of the YZ/YZ couple so that YZ can give back an electron to the S3 state, thereby obtaining the S2YZ EPR signal. The tyrosine oxidation also involves proton release from YZ, and the results support a mechanism where this proton is released to the bulk medium presumably via a close-lying base. Thus, the equilibrium is changed from S3YZ to S2YZ by the alkaline pH. At normal pH (pH 5.5-7), this equilibrium is set strongly to the S3YZ state. The results are discussed in relation to the present models of water oxidation. Consequences for the relative redox potentials of YZ/YZ and S3/S2 at different pH values are discussed. We also compare the pH-induced S2YZ signal with the S2YZ signal from Ca2+-depleted photosystem II.


  • Paulina Geijer
  • Susan F Morvaridi
  • Stenbjörn Styring
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10881-10891
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch