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Studies on the Functional Mechanism of System II Herbicides in Isolated Chloroplasts

Renger, Gernot; Hagemann, A.; Vermaas, Wim F.J.

The effect of specific proteolytic enzymes on variable fluorescence, p-benzoquinone-mediated oxygen evolution, PS II herbicide (atrazine and bromoxynil) binding, and protein degradation has been analyzed in isolated class II pea chloroplasts. It was found that: 1. Trypsin and a lysine-specific protease effectively reduce the maximum chlorophyll-a fluorescence yield, whereas the initial fluorescence remains almost constant. At the same number of enzymatic activity units both proteases have practically the same effect. 2. Trypsin and a lysine-specific protease inhibit the p-benzoquinone-mediated flash-induced oxygen evolution with trypsin being markedly more effective at the same number of activity units of both enzymes. Unstacked thylakoids exhibit a higher sensitivity to proteolytic degradation by both enzymes. 3. Trypsin and a lysine-specific protease reduce the binding capacity of [14C]atrazine, but enhance that of [14C]bromoxynil (at long incubation times trypsin treatment also impairs bromoxynil binding). At the same specific activity a markedly longer treatment is required for the lysine-specific protease in order to achieve the same degree of modification as with trypsin. 4. Trypsin was found to attack the rapidly-turned-over 32 kDa-protein severely, whereas the lysine-specific protease does not modify this polypeptide. On the other hand, the lysine-specific protease attacks the light harvesting complex II. 5. Under our experimental conditions an arginine-specific protease did not affect chlorophyll-a fluorescence yield, p-benzoquinone-mediated oxygen evolution, herbicide binding and the poly- peptide pattern. Based on these results a mechanism is proposed in which an as yet unidentified polypeptide with exposable lysine residues, as well as the lysine-free “QB-protein” regulate the electron transfer from Q-A to QB and are involved in herbicide binding.
Published in: Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C, 10.1515/znc-1984-0510, De Gruyter