UMR 8640 : Electrochimie

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Redesigning the QA binding site of Photosystem II allows reduction of exogenous quinones

Nat. Commun., 8, 15274


Strategies to harness photosynthesis from living organisms to generate electrical power have long been considered, yet efficiency remains low. Here, we aimed to reroute photosynthetic electron flow in photosynthetic organisms without compromising their phototrophic properties. We show that 2,6-dimethyl-p-benzoquinone (DMBQ) can be used as an electron mediator to assess the efficiency of mutations designed to engineer a novel electron donation pathway downstream of the primary electron acceptor QA of Photosystem (PS) II in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Through the use of structural prediction studies and a screen of site-directed PSII mutants we show that modifying the environment of the QA site increases the reduction rate of DMBQ. Truncating the C-terminus of the PsbT subunit protruding in the stroma provides evidence that shortening the distance between QA and DMBQ leads to sustained electron transfer to DMBQ, as confirmed by chronoamperometry, consistent with a bypass of the natural QA°- to QB pathway.

Selective Electrochemical Bleaching of the Outer Leaflet of Fluorescently Labeled Giant Liposomes

Chem. Eur. J., 23,1–8, 2017


Electrochemistry and confocal fluorescence microscopy were successfully combined to selectively bleach and monitor the fluorescence of NBD (7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3- diazole)-labeled phospholipids of giant liposomes. Three types of giant unilamellar vesicles have been investigated, the fluorescent phospholipids being localized either mainly on their outer-, inner-, or both inner/outer leaflets. We established that only the fluorescent lipids incorporated in the outer leaflet of the vesicles underwent electrochemical bleaching upon reduction. The relative fluorescence intensity decay was quantified all along the electrochemical extinction through an original fluorescence loss in electrobleaching (FLIE) assay. As expected, the reorganization of the fluorescent phospholipids followed diffusion-driven dynamics. This was also evidenced by comparison with fluorescence loss in photobleaching (FLIP) and the corresponding numerical model. The value of the lateral diffusion coefficient of phospholipids was found to be similar to that obtained by other methods reported in the literature. This versatile and selective bleaching procedure appears reliable to explore important biological and pharmacological issues.


A Dual Functional Electroactive and Fluorescent Probe for Coupled Measurements of Vesicular Exocytosis with High Spatial and Temporal Resolution

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 1 – 6


In this work, Fluorescent False Neurotransmitter 102 (FFN102), a synthesized analogue of biogenic neurotransmitters, was demonstrated to show both pH-dependent fluorescence and electroactivity. To study secretory behaviors at the single-vesicle level, FFN102 was employed as a new fluorescent/electroactive dual probe in a coupled technique (amperometry and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM)). We used N13 cells, a stable clone of BON cells, to specifically accumulate FFN102 into their secretory vesicles, and then optical and electrochemical measurements of vesicular exocytosis were experimentally achieved by using indium tin oxide (ITO) transparent electrodes. Upon stimulation, FFN102 started to diffuse out from the acidic intravesicular microenvironment to the neutral extracellular space, leading to fluorescent emissions and to the electrochemical oxidation signals that were simultaneously collected from the ITO electrode surface. The correlation of fluorescence and amperometric signals resulting from the FFN102 probe allows realtime monitoring of single exocytotic events with both high spatial and temporal resolution. This work opens new possibilities in the investigation of exocytotic mechanisms.



‘Full fusion’ is not ineluctable during vesicular exocytosis of neurotransmitters by endocrine cells

Proc. R. Soc. A 473: 20160684.


Vesicular exocytosis is an essential and ubiquitous process in neurons and endocrine cells by which neurotransmitters are released in synaptic clefts or extracellular fluids. It involves the fusion of a vesicle loaded with chemical messengers with the cell membrane through a nanometric fusion pore. In endocrine cells, unless it closes after some flickering (‘Kiss-and-Run’ events), this initial pore is supposed to expand exponentially, leading to a full integration of the vesicle membrane into the cell membrane—a stage called ‘full fusion’.We report here a compact analytical formulation that allows precise measurements of the fusion pore expansion extent and rate to be extracted from individual amperometric spike time courses. These data definitively establish that, during release of catecholamines, fusion pores enlarge at most to approximately one-fifth of the radius of their parent vesicle, hence ruling out the ineluctability of ‘full fusion’.

Theory and Simulations for the Electron-Transfer/Ion-Transfer Mode of Scanning Electrochemical Microscopy in the Presence or Absence of Homogenous Kinetics

ChemElectroChem 2017



The electron transfer/ion transfer (ET/IT) mode of the scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) was developed recently and applied to studies of heterogeneous reactions at the substrate surface. The charged products or intermediates are detected by measuring the ion transfer current of this species across the liquid/liquid interface supported at the tip of a nanopipette. In this article, we developed the theory for this technique and explored its potential advantages and limitations. Using COMSOL Multiphysics package, the approach curves were simulated for three commonly encountered experimental situations, viz., the surface generated ionic species is either chemically stable or participates in a first or second order homogeneous reaction. The simulation results are generalized in the form of analytical approximations derived under limiting conditions.