Hydroxyectoine protects Mn-depleted photosystem II against photoinhibition acting as a source of electrons

  • D. V. YanykinEmail author
  • M. Malferrari
  • S. Rapino
  • G. Venturoli
  • A. Yu Semenov
  • M. D. Mamedov
Original Article


In the present study, we have investigated the effect of hydroxyectoine (Ect-OH), a heterocyclic amino acid, on oxygen evolution in photosystem II (PS II) membrane fragments and on photoinhibition of Mn-depleted PS II (apo-WOC-PS II) preparations. The degree of photoinhibition of apo-WOC-PS II preparations was estimated by the loss of the capability of exogenous electron donor (sodium ascorbate) to restore the amplitude of light-induced changes of chlorophyll fluorescence yield (∆F). It was found that Ect-OH (i) stimulates the oxygen-evolving activity of PS II, (ii) accelerates the electron transfer from exogenous electron donors (K4[Fe(CN)6], DPC, TMPD, Fe2+, and Mn2+) to the reaction center of apo-WOC-PS II, (iii) enhances the protective effect of exogenous electron donors against donor-side photoinhibition of apo-WOC-PS II preparations. It is assumed that Ect-OH can serve as an artificial electron donor for apo-WOC-PS II, which does not directly interact with either the donor or acceptor side of the reaction center. We suggest that the protein conformation in the presence of Ect-OH, which affects the extent of hydration, becomes favorable for accepting electrons from exogenous donors. To our knowledge, this is the first study dealing with redox activity of Ect-OH towards photosynthetic pigment–protein complexes.


Photosystem II Water-oxidizing complex Hydroxyectoine Photoinhibition 



Photosystem II


Reaction center


Water-oxidizing complex


Photosystem II membrane fragments deprived of manganese


The primary electron donor of PS II


The primary and secondary plastoquinone electron acceptor of PS II, respectively






Redox-active tyrosine residue 161 of D1 protein






2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid


Hydroxyectoine ((4S,5S)-5-hydroxy-2-methyl-1,4,5,6-tetrahydropyrimidine-4-carboxylic acid)


Photoinduced changes of chlorophyll fluorescence yield of PS II


The level of fluorescence induced by the measuring light


Maximal level of fluorescence





The authors would like to thank Dr. AA Khorobrykh for many useful comments and discussions. This work was supported by the RFBR № 17-00-00201. The results presented in Fig. 1 and Fig. S2 were obtained with support from the Russian Science Foundation (Grant 14-14-00535). The results presented in Fig. 4 were obtained with support from the Minobrnauki of Russia (theme AAAA-A17-117030110140-5).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (TIF 4316 KB)
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Supplementary material 2 (TIF 617 KB)
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Supplementary material 3 (TIF 367 KB)
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Supplementary material 4 (TIF 1196 KB)
11120_2019_617_MOESM5_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 5 (DOCX 18 KB)


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Basic Biological Problems, FRC PSCBR RASPushchinoRussia
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry “Giacomo Ciamician”University of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Laboratory of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Department of Pharmacy and Biotechnology, FaBiTUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  4. 4.Belozersky Institute of Physical-Chemical BiologyLomonosov Moscow State UniversityMoscowRussia

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