In photosystem II, oxygen evolution occurs by the accumulation of photo-induced oxidizing equivalents at the oxygen-evolving complex (OEC). The sequentially oxidized states are called the S0-S4 states, and the dark stable state is S1. Hydrogen bonds to water form a network around the OEC; this network is predicted to involve multiple peptide carbonyl groups. In this work, we tested the idea that a network of hydrogen bonded water molecules plays a catalytic role in water oxidation. As probes, we used OEC peptide carbonyl frequencies, the substrate-based inhibitor, ammonia, and the sugar, trehalose. Reaction-induced FT-IR spectroscopy was used to describe the protein dynamics associated with the S1 to S2 transition. A shift in an amide CO vibrational frequency (1664 (S1) to 1653 (S2) cm-1) was observed, consistent with an increase in hydrogen bond strength when the OEC is oxidized. Treatment with ammonia/ammonium altered these CO vibrational frequencies. The ammonia-induced spectral changes are attributed to alterations in hydrogen bonding, when ammonia/ammonium is incorporated into the OEC hydrogen bond network. The ammonia-induced changes in CO frequency were reversed or blocked when trehalose was substituted for sucrose. This trehalose effect is attributed to a displacement of ammonia molecules from the hydrogen bond network. These results imply that ammonia, and by extension water, participate in a catalytically essential hydrogen bond network, which involves OEC peptide CO groups. Comparison to the ammonia transporter, AmtB, reveals structural similarities with the bound water network in the OEC.
The time required to recover from cold-induced paralysis (chill-coma) is a common measure of insect cold tolerance used to test central questions in thermal biology and predict the effects of climate change on insect populations. The onset of chill-coma in the fall field cricket (Gryllus pe ... more
Influenza recurs seasonally in temperate regions of the world; however, our ability to predict the timing, duration, and magnitude of local seasonal outbreaks of influenza remains limited. Here we develop a framework for initializing real-time forecasts of seasonal influenza outbreaks, usin ... more
Undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinomas (NPCs) are commonly present with latent EBV infection. However, events regulating EBV infection at early stages of the disease and the role of EBV in disease pathogenesis are largely undefined. Genetic alterations leading to activation of cyclin D1 ... more