, Volume 194, Issue 2, pp 250-255

The relationship of arginine groups to photosynthetic HCO 3 - uptake inUlva sp. mediated by a putative anion exchanger

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Abstract

The marine macroalgaUlva sp. can take up HCO 3 - via a process which chemically resembles that of anion exchange in red blood cells (Drechsler et al. 1993, Planta191, 34–40). In this work we explore the possibility that high-pK amino-acid residues could be functionally involved in the binding/transport of HCO 3 - . It was found that the specific arginyl-reacting agents phenylglyoxal and 2,3-butanedione inhibited photosynthesis ofUlva competitively with inorganic carbon at pH 8.2–8.4 (which is close to the pH of normal seawater), where HCO 3 - was the predominant inorganic carbon form taken up. The inhibition by phenylglyoxal was irreversible at 32°C and high pH values, while that of butanedione became irreversible in the presence of borate. These interactions, as well as the protection of the irreversible phenylglyoxal-inhibition by inorganic carbon and by the membrane-impermeant agents 4,4′-diisothiocyanostilbene 2,2′-disulfonate and 4,4′-dinitrostilbene-2,2′-disulfonate indicate that arginine (and possibly also lysine) are involved in the HCO 3 - uptake process, probably at the plasmalemma level. The photosynthetic affinity ofUlva to external inorganic carbon gradually decreased with increasing pH from 8.2 to 10.5, and this decrease parallels the decline in protonation of amino acids with a pK of around 10. Based on this information, as well as the inhibition studies, it is suggested that arginine and lysine residues are essential proteinaceous constituents involved in anionic inorganic carbon (HCO 3 - and possibly also CO 3 2- ) uptake into theUlva cells.

This paper is in partial fulfillment of a Ph.D. study by R. Sharkia. Supported by the Israel Academy of Sciences, grant 441/93 (to S.B.), and by the Fund for Encouragement of Research, Histadrut, Israel (to R.S.).