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By Glenn Dryhurst (Auth.)

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The standard hydrogen electrode. It is this E 1 /2 value which is generally accepted as the formal potential (Ε°') of the ubiquinone-ubiquinol couple (see Fig. 5 and associated discussion). Controlled-potential electrochemical reduction of ubiquinone-20 at a potential on the polarographic diffusion current plateau gave a product that exhibited a polarographic oxidation wave having the same E 1 / 2 as ubiqui+ none-20. This product was shown to be the 2 e " , 2 H reduction product ubiquinol-20. The coincidence of the E 1 /2 values of ubiquinone-20 and ubiquinol-20 is good evidence that, on a slow time scale at least, the redox process of this couple is electrochemically reversible.

Before investigating the chromatophore-bound ubiquinone and rhodoquinone, Erabi et al. [78] first studied the polarographic reduction of the latter two compounds in the pure state. In an ethanol-aqueous ( 4 : 1 , v/v) * Rhodoquinone is generally regarded as a member of the ubiquinone family and is found in the bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum [79]. Its structure is shown below; η is usually 9 or 10. Ο f In the case of photosynthetic bacteria, such as R. rubrum, the process of photosynthesis occurs in the chromatophores.

Possibly the voltammetric process 2 + involves 2e~,1H . In the case of peak IV C of rhodoquinone bound to the chromatophore, E p /2 at pH 7 was - 3 0 mV vs. 9. Thus, it was concluded that at pH 7, chromatophore-bound rhodoquinone is reduced in a 2e",2H+ process. Cyclic voltammetry seemed to suggest that the ubiquinone-50 process was probably reversible, although Erabi et al. [78] gave little data to support this conclusion. It has been shown by Higuti et al. [81] that 9 0 - 9 5 % of ubiquinone-50 is easily extractable from lyophilized chromatophores with isooctane, and the various activities thus depressed may be restored by adding ubiquinone-50 to the extracted chromatophores.

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