Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 643–647 | Cite as

Synergism of ammonium and palmitic acid in uncoupling of electron transfer and ATP synthesis in chloroplasts

  • V. K. OpanasenkoEmail author
  • L. A. Vasyukhina


Uncoupling by ammonium of electron transfer and ATP synthesis during linear transfer of electrons from water to photosystem 1 acceptors was studied in pea chloroplasts. It was shown that 40 μM palmitic acid decreased several-fold the ammonium concentrations necessary for 50% inhibition of ATP synthesis. The protonophore carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone has no such property. The enhancement by palmitate of ammonium-induced uncoupling is accompanied by acceleration of basal electron transfer and decrease in the photoinduced uptake of hydrogen ions (H+). In the absence of ammonium, palmitate has no effect on basal transport and stimulates uptake of hydrogen ions. This means that in the case of combined action of palmitate and ammonium an additional leakage of H+ takes place, resulting in dissipation of the pH gradient. Synergic action of two metabolites, free fatty acid and ammonium, is supposed to provide for functioning of a system of mild regulation of energy coupling processes in native plant cell chloroplasts. Possible mechanisms of synergism are discussed.

Key words

ammonium uncoupling palmitic acid electron transfer ATP synthesis chloroplasts 



carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone




free fatty acids


photoinduced uptake of hydrogen ions


palmitic acid


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Basic Biological ProblemsRussian Academy of SciencesPushchino, Moscow RegionRussia

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