Ferredoxin (Fd), is a small [2Fe-2S] cluster containing protein found in all organisms performing oxygenic photosynthesis. Fd is the first soluble acceptor of electrons on the stromal side of the chloroplast electron transport chain, and as such is pivotal to determining the distribution of these electrons to different metabolic reactions. In chloroplasts, the principle sink for electrons is in the production of NADPH, which is mostly consumed during the assimilation of CO2. In addition to this primary function in photosynthesis, Fds are also involved in a number of other essential metabolic reactions, including biosynthesis of chlorophyll, phytochrome and fatty acids, several steps in the assimilation of sulfur and nitrogen as well as redox signalling and maintenance of redox balance via the thioredoxin system and Halliwell-Asada cycle. This makes Fds crucial determinants of the electron transfer between the thylakoid membrane, and a variety of soluble enzymes dependent on these electrons. In this article, we will first describe the current knowledge on the structure and function of the various Fd isoforms present in chloroplasts of higher plants, and then discuss the processes involved in oxidation of Fd, introducing the corresponding enzymes and discussing what is known about their relative interaction with Fd.
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