NAD turnover and utilisation of metabolites for RNA synthesis in a reaction sensing the redox state of the cytochrome b6f complex in isolated chloroplasts

Colin K. Pearson, Stanley B Wilson, Robert Schaffer, Alexander W. Ross

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27 Citations (Scopus)


NAD is normally regarded as a redox molecule or as the substrate for ADP-ribosylation reactions. In this study, we describe the rapid metabolism of NAD by Percoll-gradient-purified lettuce chloroplasts and show that the adenine moiety can be incorporated into RNA in a dark-activated reaction that senses the redox state of the cytochrome b6f complex. Isolated chloroplasts rapidly metabolised radiolabelled NAD+ to 5'-AMP (within seconds) and adenosine during a 60-min incubation in vitro; the products were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography. No radiolabelled ADP-ribose was detected. Radioactivity was incorporated into trichloroacetic-acid-insoluble material during this period, with approximately 2-4-fold more incorporation occurring in the dark. Most of this radiolabel was rendered acid-soluble by dilute alkaline digestion at 37-degrees-C, yielding an approximately equal mixture of 2'-AMP and 3'-AMP, and by RNase digestion, identifying the acid-insoluble radioactive material as RNA. Protein-bound ADP-ribose would have yielded 5'-AMP and/or oligomeric/polymeric ADP-ribose after alkali digestion. The utilisation of NAD metabolites for RNA synthesis was restricted to the thylakoid compartment of the chloroplast.

The use of a variety of electron-transport inhibitors such as 2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropyl-p-benzoquinone, bromanil (tetrabromo-1,4-benzoquinone), electron donors (dithiothreitol), electron acceptors (ferricyanide) and an uncoupler showed that the incorporation of radiolabel from NAD into acid-insoluble material was favoured when the cytochrome b6f complex was in the oxidised state (as pertaining to incubations in the dark).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-404
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1993


  • rat-liver mitochondria
  • ADP-ribosylation
  • protein-phosphorylation
  • ribonucleic-acid
  • polypeptides
  • membrane

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