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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Photosynthetic electron transfer through the cytochrome b6f complex can bypass cytochrome f.

The cytochrome b(6)f complex is an obligatory electron transfer and proton-translocating enzyme in all oxygenic photosynthesis. Its operation has been described by the "Q-cycle." This model proposes that electrons are transferred from plastoquinol to plastocyanin (the reductant of P700 in Photosystem I) through, obligatorily in series, the iron-sulfur and the cytochrome f redox centers in the cytochrome b(6)f complex. However, here we demonstrate that (a) the iron-sulfur center-dependent reductions of plastocyanin and P700 are much faster than cytochrome f reduction, both in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cytochrome f mutants and in the wild type, and (b) the steady-state photosynthetic electron transport does not correlate with strongly inhibited cytochrome f reduction kinetics in the mutants. Thus, cytochrome f is not an obligatory intermediate for electrons flowing through the cytochrome b(6)f complex. The oxidation equivalents from Photosystem I are delivered to the high potential chain of the cytochrome b(6)f complex both at the cytochrome f level and, independently, at another site connected to the quinol-oxidizing site, possibly the iron-sulfur center.[1]


  1. Photosynthetic electron transfer through the cytochrome b6f complex can bypass cytochrome f. Fernández-Velasco, J.G., Jamshidi, A., Gong, X.S., Zhou, J., Ueng, R.Y. J. Biol. Chem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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