Functional and topological aspects of pH-dependent regulation of electron and proton transport in chloroplasts in silico

Alexey V. Vershubskii, Ilya V. Kuvykin, Vladimir I. Priklonskii, Alexander N. Tikhonov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, we summarize results of computer simulation of electron and proton transport processes coupled to ATP synthesis in chloroplasts performed within the frames of a mathematical model developed as a system of differential equations for concentrations of electron carriers and hydrogen ion inside and outside the granal and stromal thylakoids. The model takes into account topological peculiarities and lateral heterogeneity of the chloroplast lamellar system. This allowed us to analyze the influence of restricted diffusion of protons inside small compartments of a chloroplast (e.g., in the narrow inter-thylakoid gap) on electron transport processes. The model adequately describes two modes of pH-dependent feedback control of electron transport associated with: (i) the acidification of the thylakoid lumen, which causes the slowing down of plastoquinol oxidation and stimulates an increase in dissipation of excess energy in PS2, and (ii) the alkalization of stroma, inducing the activation of the BBC (Bassham-Benson-Calvin) cycle and intensified consumption of ATP and NADPH. The influence of ATP on electron transport is mediated by modulation of the thylakoid membrane conductivity to protons through the ATP synthase complexes. We also analyze the contribution of alternative electron transport pathways to the maintenance of optimal balance between the energy donating and energy consuming stages of the light-induced photosynthetic processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-179
Number of pages16
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Chloroplasts
  • Electron and proton transport
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Photosynthesis
  • Regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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