Oscillation patterns of the oxygen yield per flash induced by a train of single-turnover flashes were measured as a function of dark incubation and different pre-illumination conditions in several autotrophic mutant strains of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 carrying short deletions within the large, lumenexposed hydrophilic region (loop E) of the chlorophyll a-binding photosystem II protein CP47. A physiological and biochemical characterization of these mutant strains has been presented previously [Eaton- Rye, J. J., & Vermaas, W. F. J. (1991) Plant Mol. Biol. 17, 1165-1177; Haag, E., Eaton-Rye, J. J., Renger, G., & Vermaas, W. F. J. (1993) Biochemistry 32, 4444-4454], and some functional properties were described recently [Gleiter, H. M., Haag, E., Shen, J.-R., Eaton-Rye, J. J., Inoue, Y., Vermaas, W. F. J., & Renger, G. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 12063-12071]. The present study shows that in several mutants the water-oxidizing complex (WOC) became inactivated during prolonged dark incubation, whereas the WOC of the wild-type strain remained active. The rate and extent of the inactivation in the mutants depend on the domain of loop E, where 3-8 amino acid residues were deleted. The most pronounced effects are observed in mutants ∆(A373-D380) and ∆(R384-V392). A competent WOC can be restored from the fully inactivated state by illumination with short saturating flashes. The number of flashes required for this process strongly depends on the site at which a deletion has been introduced into loop E. Again, the most prominent effects were found in mutants ∆(A373-D380) and ∆(R384-V392). Interestingly, the number of flashes required for activation was reduced by more than an order of magnitude in both mutants by the addition of 10 mM CaCl2 to the cell suspension. On the basis of a model for photoactivation proposed by Tamura and Cheniae (1987) [Biochim. Biophys. Acta 890, 179-194], a scheme is presented for the processes of dark inactivation and photoactivation in these mutants. The results presented here corroborate an important role of the large hydrophilic domain (loop E) of CP47 in a functional and stable WOC.
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