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    ATP production by mitochondria isolated from Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells was accelerated upon both direct and indirect mitochondrial photo-activation (MPA). The extent of direct MPA was dependent on the wavelength of excitation light. Direct MPA was created by light in cytochrome c spectral absorption bands (440, 520 and 550 nm), this light was absorbed producing electronically excited cytochrome c, and the excitation energy of the latter was used in the ATP production chain. The activity of cytochrome c was tested with 600 nm light, where cytochrome c does not absorb, and thus ATP production rate remained the same as in darkness. Note that ATP production rates were significantly larger under light at 550, 520 and 440 nm. Therefore, photo-activation of cytochrome c was the first step of MPA synthesis of ATP. Indirect MPA of ATP production also proceeded via electronically excited cytochrome c, by energy transfer from electronically excited Co/BN film to cytochrome c located in the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM). Co/BN excitons were generated by photons absorbed by the Co/BN film, which was not in contact with the mitochondrial sample. Next, these excitons propagated along the Co/BN film to the part of the film that was in contact with the mitochondrial sample. There the exciton energy was transferred to cytochrome c located in the IMM, producing electronically excited cytochrome c. Thus, excited cytochrome c was generated in a way different from that of direct MPA. Next, the energy of excited cytochrome c was used in activated ATP synthesis, with virtually the same effect for 519 and 427 nm excitation. Thus, the first step of ATP synthesis in indirect MPA was the exciton energy transfer from Co/BN film to cytochrome c located in the IMM, producing an electronically excited cytochrome c molecule. A phenomenological mechanism of direct and indirect MPA was proposed, and the model parameters were obtained by fitting the model to the experimental data. However, more information is needed before the detailed mechanism of ATP synthesis activation by electronically excited cytochrome c could be understood. The present results support the earlier proposed hypothesis of indirect MPA of ATP production in vertebrate retina in daylight. Published by Elsevier B.V.


    Igor Khmelinskii, Vladimir I Makarov. Photo-activation of mitochondrial ATP synthesis. Journal of photochemistry and photobiology. B, Biology. 2022 Mar;228:112376

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    PMID: 35121525

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