Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 381–392 | Cite as

Inhibitors of photosystem II and the topology of the herbicide and QB binding polypeptide in the thylakoid membrane

  • A. Trebst
  • W. Draber
IV. Electron Transfer in Photosynthesis; Components


The folding through the thylakoid membrane of the D-1 herbicide binding polypeptide and of the homologous D-2 subunit of photosystem II is predicted from comparison of amino acid sequences and hydropathy index plots with the folding of the subunits L and M of a bacterial photosystem. As the functional amino acids involved in Q and Fe binding in the bacterial photosystem of R. viridis, as indicated by the X-ray structure, are conserved in the homologous D-1 and D-2 subunits of photosystem II, a detailed topology of the binding niche of QB and of herbicides on photosystem II is proposed. The model is supported by the observed amino acid changes in herbicide tolerant plants and algae. These changes are all in the binding domain on the matrix side of the D-1 polypeptide, and turn out to be of functional significance in the QB binding.

New inhibitors of QB function are described. Their chemical structure, i.e. pyridones, quinolones, chromones and benzodiones, contains the features of the phenolic type herbicides. Their essential elements, π-charges at particular atoms, QSAR and steric requirements for optimal inhibitory potency are discussed and compared with the “classical” herbicides of the urea/triazine type.

Key words

herbicides herbicide binding polypeptide D-1 protein D-2 protein photosystem II membrane topology 


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Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Trebst
    • 1
    • 2
  • W. Draber
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of BiologyRuhr-University BochumFRG
  2. 2.Agrochemicals, Chemical ResearchMonheimFRG

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