Two ferredoxins were isolated from the cyanobacterium Nostoc strain MAC grown autotrophically in the light or heterotrophically in the dark. In either case approximately three times as much ferredoxin I as ferredoxin II was obtained. Both ferredoxins had absorption maxima at 276, 282 (shoulder), 330, 423 and 465 nm in the oxidized state, and each possessed a single 2 Fe-2S active centre. Their isoelectric points were approx. 3.2. The midpoint redox potentials of the ferredoxins differed markedly; that of ferredoxin I was −350mV and that of ferredoxin II was −445mV, at pH 8.0. The midpoint potential of ferredoxin II was unusual in being pH dependent. Ferredoxin I was most active in supporting NADP+ photoreduction by chloroplasts, whereas ferredoxin II was somewhat more active in pyruvate decarboxylation by the phosphoroclastic system of Clostridum pasteurianum. Though the molecular weights of the ferredoxins determined by ultracentrifugation were the same within experimetnal error, the amino acid compositions showed marked differences. The N-terminal amino acid sequences of ferredoxins I and II were determined by means of an automatic sequencer. There are 11–12 differences between the sequences of the first 32 residues. It appears that the two ferredoxins have evolved separately to fulfil different roles in the organism.

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