The onset of respiration in the cyanobacteria Anacystis nidulans and Nostoc sp. strain Mac upon a shift from dark anaerobic to aerobic conditions was accompanied by rapid energization of the adenylate pool (owing to the combined action of ATP synthase and adenylate kinase) and also the guanylate, uridylate, and cytidylate pools (owing to nucleoside diphosphate and nucleoside monophosphate kinases). Rates of the various transphosphorylation reactions were comparable to the rate of oxidative phosphorylation, thus explaining, in part, low approximately P/O ratios which incorporate adenylates only. The increase of ATP, GTP, UTP, and CTP levels (nanomoles per minute per milligram [dry weight]) in oxygen-pulsed cells of A. nidulans and Nostoc species was calculated to be, on average, 2.3, 1.05, 0.8, and 0.57, respectively. Together with aerobic steady-state pool sizes of 1.35, 0.57, 0.5, and 0.4 nmol/mg (dry weight) for these nucleotides, a fairly uniform turnover of 1.3 to 1.5 min-1 was derived. All types of nucleotides, therefore, may be conceived of as being in equilibrium with each other, reflecting the energetic homeostasis or energy buffering of the (respiring) cyanobacterial cell. For the calculation of net efficiencies of oxidative phosphorylation in terms of approximately P/O ratios, this energy buffering was taken into account. Moreover, in A. nidulans an additional 30% of the energy initially conserved in ATP by oxidative phosphorylation was immediately used up by a plasma membrane-bound reversible H+-ATPase for H+ extrusion. Consequently, by allowing for energy buffering and ATPase-linked H+ extrusion, maximum P/O ratios of 2.6 to 3.3 were calculated. By contrast, in Nostoc sp. all the H+ extrusion, appeared to be linked to a plasma membrane-bound respiratory chain, thus bypassing any ATP formation and leading to P/O ratios of only 1.3 to 1.5 despite the correction for energy buffering
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