Reduction of the oxidized bacteriochlorophyll dimer in reaction centers by ferrocene is dependent upon the driving force

László Kálmán, Arlene L M Haffa, JoAnn C. Williams, Neal W. Woodbury, James P. Allen

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The rates of electron transfer from ferrocene to the oxidized bacteriochlorophyll dimer, P, in reaction centers from the purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides, were measured for a series of mutants in which the P/P+ midpoint potentials range from 410 to 765 mV (Lin et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 1994; 91: 10265-10269). The observed rate constant for each mutant was found to be linearly dependent upon the ferrocene concentration up to 50 μM. The electron transfer is described as a second order reaction with rate constants increasing from 1.5 to 35 × 106 M-1.s-1 with increasing P/P+ midpoint potential. This dependence was tested for three additional mutants, each of which exhibits a pH dependence of the P/P+ midpoint potential due to an electrostatic interaction with an introduced carboxylic group (Williams et al. Biochemistry 2001; 40: 15403- 15407). For these mutants, the pH dependence of the bimolecular rate constants followed a sigmoidal pattern that could be described with a Henderson-Hasselbalch equation, attributable to the change of the free energy difference for the reaction due to deprotonation of the introduced carboxylic side chains.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • bimolecular electron transfer
  • bacterial reaction center
  • electrostatic interactions
  • Rhodobacter sphaeroides
  • secondary electron donor


  • Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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