The inhibitor DBMIB provides insight into the functional architecture of the Qo site in the cytochrome b6f complex.

PMID 15196013


Previously [Roberts, A. G., and Kramer, D. M. (2001) Biochemistry 40, 13407-13412], we showed that 2 equiv of the quinone analogue 2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropylbenzoquinone (DBMIB) could occupy the Q(o) site of the cytochrome (cyt) b(6)f complex simultaneously. In this work, a study of electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra from the oriented cyt b(6)f complex shows that the Rieske iron-sulfur protein (ISP) is in distinct orientations, depending on the stoichiometry of the inhibitor at the Q(o) site. With a single DBMIB at the Q(o) site, the ISP is oriented with the 2Fe-2S cluster toward cyt f, which is similar to the orientation of the ISP in the X-ray crystal structure of the cyt b(6)f complex from thermophilic cyanobacterium Mastigocladus laminosus in the presence of DBMIB, as well as that of the chicken mitochondrial cyt bc(1) complex in the presence of the class II inhibitor myxothiazol, which binds in the so-called "proximal niche", near the cyt b(L) heme. These data suggest that the high-affinity DBMIB site is at the proximal niche Q(o) pocket. With >or=2 equiv of DBMIB bound, the Rieske ISP is in a position that resembles the ISP(B) position of the chicken mitochondrial cyt bc(1) complex in the presence of stigmatellin and the Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cyt b(6)f complex in the presence of tridecylstigmatellin (TDS), which suggests that the low-affinity DBMIB site is at the distal niche. The close interaction of DBMIB bound at the distal niche with the ISP induced the well-known effects on the 2Fe-2S EPR spectrum and redox potential. To further test the effects of DBMIB on the ISP, the extents of cyt f oxidation after flash excitation in the presence of photosystem II inhibitor DCMU were measured as a function of DBMIB concentration in thylakoids. Addition of DBMIB concentrations at which a single binding was expected did not markedly affect the extent of cyt f oxidation, whereas higher concentrations, at which double occupancy was expected, increased the extent of cyt f oxidation to levels similar to that of cyt f oxidation in the presence of a saturating concentration of stigmatellin. Simulations of the EPR g-tensor orientations of the 2Fe-2S cluster versus the physical orientations based on single-crystal studies of the cyt bc(1) complex suggest that the soluble ISP domain of the spinach cyt b(6)f complex can rotate by at least 53 degrees, which is consistent with long-range ISP domain movement. Implications of these results are discussed in the context of the X-ray crystal structures of the chicken mitochondrial cyt bc(1) complex and the M. laminosus and C. reinhardtii cyt b(6)f complexes.

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