Flexibility in photosynthetic electron transport: a newly identified chloroplast oxidase involved in chlororespiration

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2000 Oct 29;355(1402):1447-54. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2000.0705.


Besides electron transfer reactions involved in the 'Z' scheme of photosynthesis, alternative electron transfer pathways have been characterized in chloroplasts. These include cyclic electron flow around photosystem I (PS I) or a respiratory chain called chlororespiration. Recent work has supplied new information concerning the molecular nature of the electron carriers involved in the non-photochemical reduction of the plastoquinone (PQ) pool. However, until now little is known concerning the nature of the electron carriers involved in PQ oxidation. By using mass spectrometric measurement of oxygen exchange performed in the presence of 18O-enriched O2 and Chlamydomonas mutants deficient in PS I, we show that electrons can be directed to a quinol oxidase sensitive to propyl gallate but insensitive to salicyl hydroxamic acid. This oxidase has immunological and pharmacological similarities with a plastid protein involved in carotenoid biosynthesis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Respiration
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / metabolism
  • Chloroplasts / enzymology*
  • Chloroplasts / metabolism
  • Cytochrome b Group / metabolism
  • Cytochrome b6f Complex
  • Electron Transport
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Photosynthesis / physiology*
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / genetics
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / metabolism*
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / physiology
  • Thylakoids / metabolism*


  • Cytochrome b Group
  • Light-Harvesting Protein Complexes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins
  • Photosystem I Protein Complex
  • Plant Proteins
  • photosystem I, psaB subunit
  • Cytochrome b6f Complex
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Oxygen