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Sample records for membrane protein light-harvesting

  1. Revealing linear aggregates of light harvesting antenna proteins in photosynthetic membranes.

    PubMed

    He, Yufan; Zeng, Xiaohua; Mukherjee, Saptarshi; Rajapaksha, Suneth; Kaplan, Samuel; Lu, H Peter

    2010-01-05

    How light energy is harvested in a natural photosynthetic membrane through energy transfer is closely related to the stoichiometry and arrangement of light harvesting antenna proteins in the membrane. The specific photosynthetic architecture facilitates a rapid and efficient energy transfer among the light harvesting proteins (LH2 and LH1) and to the reaction center. Here we report the identification of linear aggregates of light harvesting proteins, LH2, in the photosynthetic membranes under ambient conditions by using atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging and spectroscopic analysis. Our results suggest that the light harvesting protein, LH2, can exist as linear aggregates of 4 +/- 2 proteins in the photosynthetic membranes and that the protein distributions are highly heterogeneous. In the photosynthetic membranes examined in our measurements, the ratio of the aggregated to the nonaggregated LH2 proteins is about 3:1 to 5:1 depending on the intensity of the illumination used during sample incubation and on the bacterial species. AFM images further identify that the LH2 proteins in the linear aggregates are monotonically tilted at an angle 4 +/- 2 degrees from the plane of the photosynthetic membranes. The aggregates result in red-shifted absorption and emission spectra that are measured using various mutant membranes, including an LH2 knockout, LH1 knockout, and LH2 at different population densities. Measuring the fluorescence lifetimes of purified LH2 and LH2 in membranes, we have observed that the LH2 proteins in membranes exhibit biexponential lifetime decays whereas the purified LH2 proteins gave single exponential lifetime decays. We attribute that the two lifetime components originate from the existence of both aggregated and nonaggregated LH2 proteins in the photosynthetic membranes.

  2. Light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-protein: Three-dimensional structure of a reconstituted membrane lattice in negative stain

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jade

    1985-01-01

    The three-dimensional structure of a negatively stained hexagonal membrane lattice containing the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-protein complex and phospholipids has been determined to 30-Å resolution by image reconstruction from electron micrographs. This lattice has p321 symmetry, a lattice constant of 125 Å and a thickness of 75 Å. The monomer is shown to be an elongated molecule about 65 Å long in the dimension perpendicular to the plane of the membrane. It spans the hydrophobic domain of the membrane in an asymmetric fashion, projecting [unk]20 Å from one surface and less from the other. On the basis of this image and available biochemical data, the structure of the complex in the native thylakoid membrane is proposed. Images PMID:16593535

  3. Fluctuating Two-State Light Harvesting in a Photosynthetic Membrane

    SciTech Connect

    Pan, Duohai; Hu, Dehong; Liu, Ruchuan; Zeng, Xiaohua; Kaplan, Samuel; Lu, H. Peter

    2007-06-28

    How light is converted into chemical energy in a natural photosynthetic system is of great interest in energy sciences. Using single-molecule and single-vesicle fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging, we have observed fluctuating inter-molecular protein energy transfers in the photosynthetic membranes of R. sphaeroides. Our results suggest that there are dynamic coupled and non-coupled states in the light-harvesting protein assembly.

  4. Determination of the aggregate size in detergent solution of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-protein complex from chloroplast membranes

    PubMed Central

    Butler, P. J. G.; Kühlbrandt, W.

    1988-01-01

    The molecular mass of an oligomeric integral membrane protein, the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-protein complex from the photosynthetic membranes of chloroplasts, has been determined in detergent solution by analytical ultracentrifugation and measurement of the density increment at constant chemical potential of all diffusible solutes. The technique used eliminates any problems resulting from detergent binding to the protein, is independent of the particular detergent used (in this case the nonionic n-octyl β-D-glucopyranoside), and gives the apparent weight-average molecular mass at different protein concentrations, allowing extrapolation to zero concentration. It means that the solutions of the complex must be brought to dialysis equilibrium with the solvent detergent solution and also requires a reliable method for measuring the protein concentration, for which amino acid analysis was used. The detergent-solubilized complex was a trimer that dissociated into monomers and dimers at low protein concentration. The accurate concentration determinations also allowed the molar chlorophyll-to-protein ratio to be measured as 15, corresponding to 8 chlorophyll a and 7 chlorophyll b molecules. PMID:16593931

  5. Synthesis and Functional Reconstitution of Light-Harvesting Complex II into Polymeric Membrane Architectures.

    PubMed

    Zapf, Thomas; Tan, Cherng-Wen Darren; Reinelt, Tobias; Huber, Christoph; Shaohua, Ding; Geifman-Shochat, Susana; Paulsen, Harald; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin

    2015-12-01

    One of most important processes in nature is the harvesting and dissipation of solar energy with the help of light-harvesting complex II (LHCII). This protein, along with its associated pigments, is the main solar-energy collector in higher plants. We aimed to generate stable, highly controllable, and sustainable polymer-based membrane systems containing LHCII-pigment complexes ready for light harvesting. LHCII was produced by cell-free protein synthesis based on wheat-germ extract, and the successful integration of LHCII and its pigments into different membrane architectures was monitored. The unidirectionality of LHCII insertion was investigated by protease digestion assays. Fluorescence measurements indicated chlorophyll integration in the presence of LHCII in spherical as well as planar bilayer architectures. Surface plasmon enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy (SPFS) was used to reveal energy transfer from chlorophyll b to chlorophyll a, which indicates native folding of the LHCII proteins.

  6. How do light harvesting proteins support long lived quantum coherences

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2017-01-31

    the structural basis for these two forms, our aim is to generate hybrid proteins via synthetic biology approaches. We have shown that we can fully...SUBJECT TERMS quantum biology , light harvesting, photosynthesis, AOARD 16.  SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17.  LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT SAR 18.  NUMBER OF...these two forms, our aim is to generate hybrid proteins via synthetic biology approaches. We have shown that we can fully unfold and separate the

  7. Amphipols and photosynthetic light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes.

    PubMed

    Opačić, Milena; Durand, Grégory; Bosco, Michael; Polidori, Ange; Popot, Jean-Luc

    2014-10-01

    The trimeric light-harvesting complexes II (LHCII) of plants and green algae are pigment-protein complexes involved in light harvesting and photoprotection. Different conformational states have been proposed to be responsible for their different functions. At present, detergent-solubilized LHCII is used as a model for the "light-harvesting conformation", whereas the "quenched conformation" is mimicked by LHCII aggregates. However, none of these conditions seem to perfectly reproduce the properties of LHCII in vivo. In addition, several monomeric LHC complexes are not fully stable in detergent. There is thus a need to find conditions that allow analyzing LHCs in vitro in stable and, hopefully, more native-like conformations. Here, we report a study of LHCII, the major antenna complex of plants, in complex with amphipols. We have trapped trimeric LHCII and monomeric Lhcb1 with either polyanionic or non-ionic amphipols and studied the effect of these polymers on the properties of the complexes. We show that, as compared to detergent solutions, amphipols have a stabilizing effect on LHCII. We also show that the average fluorescence lifetime of LHCII trapped in an anionic amphipol is ~30% shorter than in α-dodecylmaltoside, due to the presence of a conformation with 230-ps lifetime that is not present in detergent solutions.

  8. Efficient Light Harvesting by Photosystem II Requires an Optimized Protein Packing Density in Grana Thylakoids

    PubMed Central

    Haferkamp, Silvia; Haase, Winfried; Pascal, Andrew A.; van Amerongen, Herbert; Kirchhoff, Helmut

    2010-01-01

    A recently developed technique for dilution of the naturally high protein packing density in isolated grana membranes was applied to study the dependence of the light harvesting efficiency of photosystem (PS) II on macromolecular crowding. Slight dilution of the protein packing from 80% area fraction to the value found in intact grana thylakoids (70%) leads to an improved functionality of PSII (increased antenna size, enhanced connectivity between reaction centers). Further dilution induces a functional disconnection of light-harvesting complex (LHC) II from PSII. It is concluded that efficient light harvesting by PSII requires an optimal protein packing density in grana membranes that is close to 70%. We hypothesize that the decreased efficiency in overcrowded isolated grana thylakoids is caused by excited state quenching in LHCII, which has previously been correlated with neoxanthin distortion. Resonance Raman spectroscopy confirms this increase in neoxanthin distortion in overcrowded grana as compared with intact thylakoids. Furthermore, analysis of the changes in the antenna size in highly diluted membranes indicates a lipid-induced dissociation of up to two trimeric LHCII from PSII, leaving one trimer connected. This observation supports a hierarchy of LHCII-binding sites on PSII. PMID:20360011

  9. Configuration and dynamics of xanthophylls in light-harvesting antennae of higher plants. Spectroscopic analysis of isolated light-harvesting complex of photosystem II and thylakoid membranes.

    PubMed

    Ruban, A V; Pascal, A A; Robert, B; Horton, P

    2001-07-06

    Resonance Raman excitation spectroscopy combined with ultra low temperature absorption spectral analysis of the major xanthophylls of higher plants in isolated antenna and intact thylakoid membranes was used to identify carotenoid absorption regions and study their molecular configuration. The major electronic transitions of the light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCIIb) xanthophylls have been identified for both the monomeric and trimeric states of the complex. One long wavelength state of lutein with a 0-0 transition at 510 nm was detected in LHCIIb trimers. The short wavelength 0-0 transitions of lutein and neoxanthin were located at 495 and 486 nm, respectively. In monomeric LHCIIb, both luteins absorb around 495 nm, but slight differences in their protein environments give rise to a broadening of this band. The resonance Raman spectra of violaxanthin and zeaxanthin in intact thylakoid membranes was determined. The broad 0-0 absorption transition for zeaxanthin was found to be located in the 503-511 nm region. Violaxanthin exhibited heterogeneity, having two populations with one absorbing at 497 nm (0-0), 460 nm (0-1), and 429 nm (0-2), and the other major pool absorbing at 488 nm (0-0), 452 nm (0-1), and 423 nm (0-2). The origin of this heterogeneity is discussed. The configuration of zeaxanthin and violaxanthin in thylakoid membranes was different from that of free pigments, and both xanthophylls (notably, zeaxanthin) were found to be well coordinated within the antenna proteins in vivo, arguing against the possibility of their free diffusion in the membrane and supporting our recent biochemical evidence of their association with intact oligomeric light-harvesting complexes (Ruban, A. V., Lee, P. J., Wentworth, M., Young, A. J., and Horton, P. (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 10458-10465).

  10. Light harvesting, energy transfer and electron cycling of a native photosynthetic membrane adsorbed onto a gold surface.

    PubMed

    Magis, Gerhard J; den Hollander, Mart-Jan; Onderwaater, Willem G; Olsen, John D; Hunter, C Neil; Aartsma, Thijs J; Frese, Raoul N

    2010-03-01

    Photosynthetic membranes comprise a network of light harvesting and reaction center pigment-protein complexes responsible for the primary photoconversion reactions: light absorption, energy transfer and electron cycling. The structural organization of membranes of the purple bacterial species Rb. sphaeroides has been elucidated in most detail by means of polarized light spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. Here we report a functional characterization of native and untreated membranes of the same species adsorbed onto a gold surface. Employing fluorescence confocal spectroscopy and light-induced electrochemistry we show that adsorbed membranes maintain their energy and electron transferring functionality. Gold-adsorbed membranes are shown to generate a steady high photocurrent of 10 microA/cm(2) for several minutes and to maintain activity for up to three days while continuously illuminated. The surface-adsorbed membranes exhibit a remarkable functionality under aerobic conditions, even when exposed to light intensities well above that of direct solar irradiation. The component at the interface of light harvesting and electron cycling, the LH1 complex, displays exceptional stability, likely contributing to the robustness of the membranes. Peripheral light harvesting LH2 complexes show a light intensity dependent decoupling from photoconversion. LH2 can act as a reversible switch at low-light, an increased emitter at medium light and photobleaches at high light.

  11. Ion transport across model lipid membranes containing light-harvesting complex II: an effect of light.

    PubMed

    Iwaszko, Ewa; Wardak, Anna; Krupa, Zbigniew; Gruszecki, Wiesław I

    2004-03-19

    The effect of light on proton transport across lipid membranes of small unilamellar liposomes containing incorporated major light-harvesting pigment-protein complex of Photosystem II (LHCII) has been studied with the application of pH-sensitive dyes entrapped inside vesicles. Proton permeability coefficient for LHCII-modified membranes was found to be about twice as high as in the case of the control pure lipid vesicles. Illumination of the samples with light absorbed by the LHCII-bound photosynthetic pigments considerably affects the kinetics of proton transport: it increases the rate and decreases the steady-state level of proton gradient across the membranes. The effect was interpreted in terms of heat-induced conformational changes of LHCII molecular structures that affect proton buffering capacity of this protein. Both the control and the LHCII-modified lipid membranes have been found to be practically impermeable to Ca(++) ions, as demonstrated by fluorescence of liposome-entrapped calcium-sensitive probe calcium crimson. The slight differences in the proton transport across the LHCII-containing membranes under the presence of Ca(++) suggest calcium binding to this antenna protein.

  12. Light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein inserted into isolated thylakoids binds pigments and is assembled into trimeric light-harvesting complex.

    PubMed Central

    Kuttkat, A; Grimm, R; Paulsen, H

    1995-01-01

    The light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein (LHCP) is largely protected against protease (except for about 1 kD on the N terminus) in the thylakoid membrane; this protease resistance is often used to assay successful insertion of LHCP into isolated thylakoids in vitro. In this paper we show that this protease resistance is exhibited by trimeric light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCII) but not by monomeric LHCII in which about 5 kD on the N terminus of LHCP are cleaved off by protease. When a mutant version of LHCP that is unable to trimerize in an in vitro reconstitution assay is inserted into isolated thylakoids, it gives rise to only the shorter protease digestion product indicative of monomeric LHCII. We conclude that more of the N-terminal domain of LHCP is shielded in trimeric than in monomeric LHCII and that this difference in protease sensitivity can be used to distinguish between LHCP assembled in LHCII monomers or trimers. The data presented prove that upon insertion of LHCP into isolated thylakoids at least part of the protein spontaneously binds pigments to form LHCII, which then is assembled in trimers. The dependence of the protease sensitivity of thylakoid-inserted LHCP on the oligomerization state of the newly formed LHCII justifies caution when using a protease assay to verify successful insertion of LHCP into the membrane. PMID:8539291

  13. Protein kinase that phosphorylates light-harvesting complex is autophosphorylated and is associated with photosystem II

    SciTech Connect

    Coughlan, S.J.; Hind, G.

    1987-10-06

    Thylakoid membranes were phosphorylated with (..gamma..-/sup 32/P)ATP and extracted with octyl glucoside and cholate. Among the radiolabeled phosphoproteins in the extract was a previously characterized protein kinase of 64-kDa apparent mass. The ability of this enzyme to undergo autophosphorylation in situ was used to monitor its distribution in the membrane. Fractionation studies showed that the kinase is confined to granal regions of the thylakoid, where it appears to be associated with the light-harvesting chlorophyll-protein complex of photosystem II. The kinetics of kinase autophosphorylation were investigated both in situ and in extracted, purified enzyme. In the membrane, autophosphorylation saturated within 20-30 min and was reversed with a half-time of 7-8 min upon removal of ATP or oxidative inactivation of the kinase; the accompanying dephosphorylation of light-harvesting complex was slower and kinetically complex. Fluoride (10 mM) inhibited these dephosphorylations. Autophosphorylation of the isolated kinase was independent of enzyme concentration, indicative of an intramolecular mechanism. A maximum of one serine residue per mole of kinase was esterified. Autophosphorylation was more rapid in the presence of histone IIIs, an exogenous substrate. Dephosphorylation of the isolated enzyme was not observed.

  14. A novel type of light-harvesting antenna protein of red algal origin in algae with secondary plastids.

    PubMed

    Sturm, Sabine; Engelken, Johannes; Gruber, Ansgar; Vugrinec, Sascha; Kroth, Peter G; Adamska, Iwona; Lavaud, Johann

    2013-07-30

    Light, the driving force of photosynthesis, can be harmful when present in excess; therefore, any light harvesting system requires photoprotection. Members of the extended light-harvesting complex (LHC) protein superfamily are involved in light harvesting as well as in photoprotection and are found in the red and green plant lineages, with a complex distribution pattern of subfamilies in the different algal lineages. Here, we demonstrate that the recently discovered "red lineage chlorophyll a/b-binding-like proteins" (RedCAPs) form a monophyletic family within this protein superfamily. The occurrence of RedCAPs was found to be restricted to the red algal lineage, including red algae (with primary plastids) as well as cryptophytes, haptophytes and heterokontophytes (with secondary plastids of red algal origin). Expression of a full-length RedCAP:GFP fusion construct in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum confirmed the predicted plastid localisation of RedCAPs. Furthermore, we observed that similarly to the fucoxanthin chlorophyll a/c-binding light-harvesting antenna proteins also RedCAP transcripts in diatoms were regulated in a diurnal way at standard light conditions and strongly repressed at high light intensities. The absence of RedCAPs from the green lineage implies that RedCAPs evolved in the red lineage after separation from the the green lineage. During the evolution of secondary plastids, RedCAP genes therefore must have been transferred from the nucleus of the endocytobiotic alga to the nucleus of the host cell, a process that involved complementation with pre-sequences allowing import of the gene product into the secondary plastid bound by four membranes. Based on light-dependent transcription and on localisation data, we propose that RedCAPs might participate in the light (intensity and quality)-dependent structural or functional reorganisation of the light-harvesting antennae of the photosystems upon dark to light shifts as regularly experienced by

  15. Glycolipid analyses of light-harvesting chlorosomes from envelope protein mutants of Chlorobaculum tepidum.

    PubMed

    Tsukatani, Yusuke; Mizoguchi, Tadashi; Thweatt, Jennifer; Tank, Marcus; Bryant, Donald A; Tamiaki, Hitoshi

    2016-06-01

    Chlorosomes are large and efficient light-harvesting organelles in green photosynthetic bacteria, and they characteristically contain large numbers of bacteriochlorophyll c, d, or e molecules. Self-aggregated bacteriochlorophyll pigments are surrounded by a monolayer envelope membrane comprised of glycolipids and Csm proteins. Here, we analyzed glycolipid compositions of chlorosomes from the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobaculum tepidum mutants lacking one, two, or three Csm proteins by HPLC equipped with an evaporative light-scattering detector. The ratio of monogalactosyldiacylglyceride (MGDG) to rhamnosylgalactosyldiacylglyceride (RGDG) was smaller in chlorosomes from mutants lacking two or three proteins in CsmC/D/H motif family than in chlorosomes from the wild-type, whereas chlorosomes lacking CsmIJ showed relatively less RGDG than MGDG. The results suggest that the CsmC, CsmD, CsmH, and other chlorosome proteins are involved in organizing MGDG and RGDG and thereby affect the size and shape of the chlorosome.

  16. A novel type of light-harvesting antenna protein of red algal origin in algae with secondary plastids

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Light, the driving force of photosynthesis, can be harmful when present in excess; therefore, any light harvesting system requires photoprotection. Members of the extended light-harvesting complex (LHC) protein superfamily are involved in light harvesting as well as in photoprotection and are found in the red and green plant lineages, with a complex distribution pattern of subfamilies in the different algal lineages. Results Here, we demonstrate that the recently discovered “red lineage chlorophyll a/b-binding-like proteins” (RedCAPs) form a monophyletic family within this protein superfamily. The occurrence of RedCAPs was found to be restricted to the red algal lineage, including red algae (with primary plastids) as well as cryptophytes, haptophytes and heterokontophytes (with secondary plastids of red algal origin). Expression of a full-length RedCAP:GFP fusion construct in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum confirmed the predicted plastid localisation of RedCAPs. Furthermore, we observed that similarly to the fucoxanthin chlorophyll a/c-binding light-harvesting antenna proteins also RedCAP transcripts in diatoms were regulated in a diurnal way at standard light conditions and strongly repressed at high light intensities. Conclusions The absence of RedCAPs from the green lineage implies that RedCAPs evolved in the red lineage after separation from the the green lineage. During the evolution of secondary plastids, RedCAP genes therefore must have been transferred from the nucleus of the endocytobiotic alga to the nucleus of the host cell, a process that involved complementation with pre-sequences allowing import of the gene product into the secondary plastid bound by four membranes. Based on light-dependent transcription and on localisation data, we propose that RedCAPs might participate in the light (intensity and quality)-dependent structural or functional reorganisation of the light-harvesting antennae of the photosystems upon dark to light

  17. Molecular adaptation of photoprotection: triplet states in light-harvesting proteins.

    PubMed

    Gall, Andrew; Berera, Rudi; Alexandre, Maxime T A; Pascal, Andrew A; Bordes, Luc; Mendes-Pinto, Maria M; Andrianambinintsoa, Sandra; Stoitchkova, Katerina V; Marin, Alessandro; Valkunas, Leonas; Horton, Peter; Kennis, John T M; van Grondelle, Rienk; Ruban, Alexander; Robert, Bruno

    2011-08-17

    The photosynthetic light-harvesting systems of purple bacteria and plants both utilize specific carotenoids as quenchers of the harmful (bacterio)chlorophyll triplet states via triplet-triplet energy transfer. Here, we explore how the binding of carotenoids to the different types of light-harvesting proteins found in plants and purple bacteria provides adaptation in this vital photoprotective function. We show that the creation of the carotenoid triplet states in the light-harvesting complexes may occur without detectable conformational changes, in contrast to that found for carotenoids in solution. However, in plant light-harvesting complexes, the triplet wavefunction is shared between the carotenoids and their adjacent chlorophylls. This is not observed for the antenna proteins of purple bacteria, where the triplet is virtually fully located on the carotenoid molecule. These results explain the faster triplet-triplet transfer times in plant light-harvesting complexes. We show that this molecular mechanism, which spreads the location of the triplet wavefunction through the pigments of plant light-harvesting complexes, results in the absence of any detectable chlorophyll triplet in these complexes upon excitation, and we propose that it emerged as a photoprotective adaptation during the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. Copyright © 2011 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Molecular Adaptation of Photoprotection: Triplet States in Light-Harvesting Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gall, Andrew; Berera, Rudi; Alexandre, Maxime T.A.; Pascal, Andrew A.; Bordes, Luc; Mendes-Pinto, Maria M.; Andrianambinintsoa, Sandra; Stoitchkova, Katerina V.; Marin, Alessandro; Valkunas, Leonas; Horton, Peter; Kennis, John T.M.; van Grondelle, Rienk; Ruban, Alexander; Robert, Bruno

    2011-01-01

    The photosynthetic light-harvesting systems of purple bacteria and plants both utilize specific carotenoids as quenchers of the harmful (bacterio)chlorophyll triplet states via triplet-triplet energy transfer. Here, we explore how the binding of carotenoids to the different types of light-harvesting proteins found in plants and purple bacteria provides adaptation in this vital photoprotective function. We show that the creation of the carotenoid triplet states in the light-harvesting complexes may occur without detectable conformational changes, in contrast to that found for carotenoids in solution. However, in plant light-harvesting complexes, the triplet wavefunction is shared between the carotenoids and their adjacent chlorophylls. This is not observed for the antenna proteins of purple bacteria, where the triplet is virtually fully located on the carotenoid molecule. These results explain the faster triplet-triplet transfer times in plant light-harvesting complexes. We show that this molecular mechanism, which spreads the location of the triplet wavefunction through the pigments of plant light-harvesting complexes, results in the absence of any detectable chlorophyll triplet in these complexes upon excitation, and we propose that it emerged as a photoprotective adaptation during the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis. PMID:21843485

  19. Photoprotective energy dissipation involves the reorganization of photosystem II light-harvesting complexes in the grana membranes of spinach chloroplasts.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Matthew P; Goral, Tomasz K; Duffy, Christopher D P; Brain, Anthony P R; Mullineaux, Conrad W; Ruban, Alexander V

    2011-04-01

    Plants must regulate their use of absorbed light energy on a minute-by-minute basis to maximize the efficiency of photosynthesis and to protect photosystem II (PSII) reaction centers from photooxidative damage. The regulation of light harvesting involves the photoprotective dissipation of excess absorbed light energy in the light-harvesting antenna complexes (LHCs) as heat. Here, we report an investigation into the structural basis of light-harvesting regulation in intact spinach (Spinacia oleracea) chloroplasts using freeze-fracture electron microscopy, combined with laser confocal microscopy employing the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching technique. The results demonstrate that formation of the photoprotective state requires a structural reorganization of the photosynthetic membrane involving dissociation of LHCII from PSII and its aggregation. The structural changes are manifested by a reduced mobility of LHC antenna chlorophyll proteins. It is demonstrated that these changes occur rapidly and reversibly within 5 min of illumination and dark relaxation, are dependent on ΔpH, and are enhanced by the deepoxidation of violaxanthin to zeaxanthin.

  20. Multiple types of association of photosystem II and its light-harvesting antenna in partially solubilized photosystem II membranes.

    PubMed

    Boekema, E J; van Roon, H; Calkoen, F; Bassi, R; Dekker, J P

    1999-02-23

    Photosystem II is a multisubunit pigment-protein complex embedded in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts. It utilizes light for photochemical energy conversion, and is heavily involved in the regulation of the energy flow. We investigated the structural organization of photosystem II and its associated light-harvesting antenna by electron microscopy, multivariate statistical analysis, and classification procedures on partially solubilized photosystem II membranes from spinach. Observation by electron microscopy shortly after a mild disruption of freshly prepared membranes with the detergent n-dodecyl-alpha,D-maltoside revealed the presence of several large supramolecular complexes. In addition to the previously reported supercomplexes [Boekema, E. J., van Roon, H., and Dekker, J. P. (1998) FEBS Lett. 424, 95-99], we observed complexes with the major trimeric chlorophyll a/b protein (LHCII) in a third, L-type of binding position (C2S2M0-2L1-2), and two different types of megacomplexes, both identified as dimeric associations of supercomplexes with LHCII in two types of binding sites (C4S4M2-4). We conclude that the association of photosystem II and its associated light-harvesting antenna is intrinsically heterogeneous, and that the minor CP26 and CP24 proteins play a crucial role in the supramolecular organization of the complete photosystem. We suggest that different types of organization form the structural basis for photosystem II to specifically react to changing light and stress conditions, by providing different routes of excitation energy transfer.

  1. The family of light-harvesting-related proteins (LHCs, ELIPs, HLIPs): was the harvesting of light their primary function?

    PubMed

    Montané, M H; Kloppstech, K

    2000-11-27

    Light-harvesting complex proteins (LHCs) and early light-induced proteins (ELIPs) are essential pigment-binding components of the thylakoid membrane and are encoded by one of the largest and most complex higher plant gene families. The functional diversification of these proteins corresponded to the transition from extrinsic (phycobilisome-based) to intrinsic (LHC-based) light-harvesting antenna systems during the evolution of chloroplasts from cyanobacteria, yet the functional basis of this diversification has been elusive. Here, we propose that the original function of LHCs and ELIPs was not to collect light and to transfer its energy content to the reaction centers but to disperse the absorbed energy of light in the form of heat or fluorescence. These energy-dispersing proteins are believed to have originated in cyanobacteria as one-helix, highly light-inducible proteins (HLIPs) that later acquired four helices through two successive gene duplication steps. We suggest that the ELIPs arose first in this succession, with a primary function in energy dispersion for protection of photosynthetic pigments from photo-oxidation. We consider the LHC I and II families as more recent and very successful evolutionary additions to this family that ultimately attained a new function, thereby replacing the ancestral extrinsic light-harvesting system. Our model accounts for the non-photochemical quenching role recently shown for higher plant psbS proteins.

  2. A Small Chloroplast-Encoded Protein as a Novel Architectural Component of the Light-Harvesting Antenna

    PubMed Central

    Ruf, Stephanie; Biehler, Klaus; Bock, Ralph

    2000-01-01

    A small conserved open reading frame in the plastid genome, ycf9, encodes a putative membrane protein of 62 amino acids. To determine the function of this reading frame we have constructed a knockout allele for targeted disruption of ycf9. This allele was introduced into the tobacco plastid genome by biolistic transformation to replace the wild-type ycf9 allele. Homoplasmic ycf9 knockout plants displayed no phenotype under normal growth conditions. However, under low light conditions, their growth rate was significantly reduced as compared with the wild-type, due to a lowered efficiency of the light reaction of photosynthesis. We show that this phenotype is caused by the deficiency in a pigment–protein complex of the light-harvesting antenna of photosystem II and hence by a reduced efficiency of photon capture when light availability is limiting. Our results indicate that, in contrast to the current view, light-harvesting complexes do not only consist of the classical pigment-binding proteins, but may contain small structural subunits in addition. These subunits appear to be crucial architectural factors for the assembly and/or maintenance of stable light-harvesting complexes. PMID:10769029

  3. Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pullerits, T.; Polivka, T.; Sundström, V.

    Photosynthetic organisms utilize (bacterio) chlorophylls and carotenoids as main light-harvesting pigments. In this chapter, we review bacteriochlorophyll light-harvesting in photosynthetic purple bacteria; we discuss intra- and intercomplex energy transfer processes as well as energy trapping by reaction centers. From the viewpoint of light-harvesting, in most organisms carotenoids are accessory pigments absorbing in the blue-green region of the solar spectrum, where chlorophylls and bacteriochlorophylls have weak absorption. Here, we discuss carotenoid light-harvesting in a pigment-protein complex having carotenoids as main lightharvesting pigment, the peridinin chlorophyll protein (PCP).

  4. Functional proteomics of light-harvesting complex proteins under varying light-conditions in diatoms.

    PubMed

    Büchel, Claudia; Wilhelm, Christian; Wagner, Volker; Mittag, Maria

    2017-10-01

    Comparative proteome analysis of subcellular compartments like thylakoid membranes and their associated supercomplexes can deliver important in-vivo information on the molecular basis of physiological functions which go far beyond to that what can be learnt from transcriptional-based gene expression studies. For instance, the finding that light intensity influences mainly the relative stoichiometry of subunits could be obtained only by high resolution proteome analysis. The high sensitivity of LC-ESI-MS/MS based proteome analysis allows the determination of proteins in very small subfractions along with their non-labeled semi quantitative analysis. This provides insights in the protein-protein interactions of supercomplexes that are the operative units in intact cells. Here, we have focused on functional proteome approaches for the identification of microalgal light-harvesting complex proteins in chloroplasts and the eyespot in general and in detail for those of diatoms that are exposed to varying light conditions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  5. Allelic variations of a light harvesting chlorophyll A/B protein gene (Lhcb1) associated with agronomic traits in Barley

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein (LHCP) is one of the most abundant chloroplast proteins in plants. Its main function is to collect and transfer light energy to photosynthetic reaction centers. However, the roles of different LHCPs in light-harvesting antenna systems remain obscure. ...

  6. Circadian expression of the light-harvesting complex protein genes in plants.

    PubMed

    Piechulla, B

    1999-03-01

    Photosynthesis is one of the important processes that enable life on earth. To optimize photosynthesis reactions during a solar day, most of them are timed to be active during the light phase. This includes the components of the thylakoid membranes in chloroplasts. Prominent representatives are the proteins of the light-harvesting complex (LHC). The synthesis of both the Lhc mRNA and the LHC protein occurs during the day and is regulated by the circadian clock, exhibiting the following pattern: increasing levels after sunrise, reaching a maximum around noon, and decreasing levels in the afternoon. To elucidate the involved control elements and regulatory circuits, the following strategies were applied: (1) analysis of promoters of Lhc genes, (2) analysis of DNA binding proteins, and (3) screening and investigation of mutants. The most promising elements found so far that may be involved in mediating the circadian rhythmicity of Lhc mRNA oscillations are a myb-like transcription factor CCA1 (Wang et al. 1997) and the corresponding DNA binding sequence (Piechulla et al. 1998).

  7. Hyperdiversity of Genes Encoding Integral Light-Harvesting Proteins in the Dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp

    PubMed Central

    Boldt, Lynda; Yellowlees, David; Leggat, William

    2012-01-01

    The superfamily of light-harvesting complex (LHC) proteins is comprised of proteins with diverse functions in light-harvesting and photoprotection. LHC proteins bind chlorophyll (Chl) and carotenoids and include a family of LHCs that bind Chl a and c. Dinophytes (dinoflagellates) are predominantly Chl c binding algal taxa, bind peridinin or fucoxanthin as the primary carotenoid, and can possess a number of LHC subfamilies. Here we report 11 LHC sequences for the chlorophyll a-chlorophyll c2-peridinin protein complex (acpPC) subfamily isolated from Symbiodinium sp. C3, an ecologically important peridinin binding dinoflagellate taxa. Phylogenetic analysis of these proteins suggests the acpPC subfamily forms at least three clades within the Chl a/c binding LHC family; Clade 1 clusters with rhodophyte, cryptophyte and peridinin binding dinoflagellate sequences, Clade 2 with peridinin binding dinoflagellate sequences only and Clades 3 with heterokontophytes, fucoxanthin and peridinin binding dinoflagellate sequences. PMID:23112815

  8. A structural role of the carotenoid in the light-harvesting II protein of Rhodobacter capsulatus.

    PubMed Central

    Zurdo, J; Fernandez-Cabrera, C; Ramirez, J M

    1993-01-01

    The membrane-linked light-harvesting II protein (LHII) of Rhodobacter capsulatus was partly depleted of carotenoids by selective extraction with light petroleum. Carotenoid removal was accompanied by bleaching of the Qy(S1<--S0) absorption band of bacteriochlorophyll (Bchl) a near 800 nm, by a bathochromic shift and a broadening of the other Bchl Qy band at 850 nm, and by the formation of a weak Qy band of dissociated Bchl near 770 nm. The changes in the 800 and 850 nm bands seemed to reflect alterations in only those Bchl molecules that had lost their associated carotenoids, firstly, because the extent of the changes was closely correlated to the degree of carotenoid extraction, and, secondly, because the residual fraction of carotenoid-containing LHII, which could be almost quantitatively recovered from the membrane after detergent solubilization and ion-exchange chromatography, showed an unmodified LHII absorption spectrum. The Bchl responsible for the shifted 850 nm band remained bound to protein, since its visible (Qx) transition seemed to retain the induced optical activity of the native bound pigment. Besides, the shifted Bchl could act as an efficient acceptor of singlet excitation energy from the pigments of the intact LHII fraction. The close similarity between the spectroscopic Bchl changes that accompany carotenoid extraction and the differential spectral features of carotenoidless LHII of Rhodobacter mutants, previously reported, strongly suggests that the direct cause of the spectral modifications is the absence of carotenoid and not any independent effect of the experimental manipulation of the membrane. Several interpretations of the structural changes that underlie the observed spectral changes are possible. The simplest one is to assume that carotenoid removal elicits an alteration in the angle between the Qy transition moments of two strongly interacting Bchl molecules. PMID:8452543

  9. A structural role of the carotenoid in the light-harvesting II protein of Rhodobacter capsulatus.

    PubMed

    Zurdo, J; Fernandez-Cabrera, C; Ramirez, J M

    1993-03-01

    The membrane-linked light-harvesting II protein (LHII) of Rhodobacter capsulatus was partly depleted of carotenoids by selective extraction with light petroleum. Carotenoid removal was accompanied by bleaching of the Qy(S1<--S0) absorption band of bacteriochlorophyll (Bchl) a near 800 nm, by a bathochromic shift and a broadening of the other Bchl Qy band at 850 nm, and by the formation of a weak Qy band of dissociated Bchl near 770 nm. The changes in the 800 and 850 nm bands seemed to reflect alterations in only those Bchl molecules that had lost their associated carotenoids, firstly, because the extent of the changes was closely correlated to the degree of carotenoid extraction, and, secondly, because the residual fraction of carotenoid-containing LHII, which could be almost quantitatively recovered from the membrane after detergent solubilization and ion-exchange chromatography, showed an unmodified LHII absorption spectrum. The Bchl responsible for the shifted 850 nm band remained bound to protein, since its visible (Qx) transition seemed to retain the induced optical activity of the native bound pigment. Besides, the shifted Bchl could act as an efficient acceptor of singlet excitation energy from the pigments of the intact LHII fraction. The close similarity between the spectroscopic Bchl changes that accompany carotenoid extraction and the differential spectral features of carotenoidless LHII of Rhodobacter mutants, previously reported, strongly suggests that the direct cause of the spectral modifications is the absence of carotenoid and not any independent effect of the experimental manipulation of the membrane. Several interpretations of the structural changes that underlie the observed spectral changes are possible. The simplest one is to assume that carotenoid removal elicits an alteration in the angle between the Qy transition moments of two strongly interacting Bchl molecules.

  10. Quantum-dot-induced self-assembly of cricoid protein for light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Miao, Lu; Han, Jishu; Zhang, Hao; Zhao, Linlu; Si, Chengye; Zhang, Xiyu; Hou, Chunxi; Luo, Quan; Xu, Jiayun; Liu, Junqiu

    2014-04-22

    Stable protein one (SP1) has been demonstrated as an appealing building block to design highly ordered architectures, despite the hybrid assembly with other nano-objects still being a challenge. Herein, we developed a strategy to construct high-ordered protein nanostructures by electrostatic self-assembly of cricoid protein nanorings and globular quantum dots (QDs). Using multielectrostatic interactions between 12mer protein nanoring SP1 and oppositely charged CdTe QDs, highly ordered nanowires with sandwich structure were achieved by hybridized self-assembly. QDs with different sizes (QD1, 3-4 nm; QD2, 5-6 nm; QD3, ∼10 nm) would induce the self-assembly protein rings into various nanowires, subsequent bundles, and irregular networks in aqueous solution. Atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and dynamic light scattering characterizations confirmed that the size of QDs and the structural topology of the nanoring play critical functions in the formation of the superstructures. Furthermore, an ordered arrangement of QDs provides an ideal scaffold for designing the light-harvesting antenna. Most importantly, when different sized QDs (e.g., QD1 and QD3) self-assembled with SP1, an extremely efficient Förster resonance energy transfer was observed on these protein nanowires. The self-assembled protein nanostructures were demonstrated as a promising scaffold for the development of an artificial light-harvesting system.

  11. A Light Harvesting Complex-Like Protein in Maintenance of Photosynthetic Components in Chlamydomonas.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Lei; Cheng, Dongmei; Huang, Xiahe; Chen, Mei; Dall'Osto, Luca; Xing, Jiale; Gao, Liyan; Li, Lingyu; Wang, Yale; Bassi, Roberto; Peng, Lianwei; Wang, Yingchun; Rochaix, Jean-David; Huang, Fang

    2017-08-01

    Using a genetic approach, we have identified and characterized a novel protein, named Msf1 (Maintenance factor for photosystem I), that is required for the maintenance of specific components of the photosynthetic apparatus in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Msf1 belongs to the superfamily of light-harvesting complex proteins with three transmembrane domains and consensus chlorophyll-binding sites. Loss of Msf1 leads to reduced accumulation of photosystem I and chlorophyll-binding proteins/complexes. Msf1is a component of a thylakoid complex containing key enzymes of the tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway, thus revealing a possible link between Msf1 and chlorophyll biosynthesis. Protein interaction assays and greening experiments demonstrate that Msf1 interacts with Copper target homolog1 (CHL27B) and accumulates concomitantly with chlorophyll in Chlamydomonas, implying that chlorophyll stabilizes Msf1. Contrary to other light-harvesting complex-like genes, the expression of Msf1 is not stimulated by high-light stress, but its protein level increases significantly under heat shock, iron and copper limitation, as well as in stationary cells. Based on these results, we propose that Msf1 is required for the maintenance of photosystem I and specific protein-chlorophyll complexes especially under certain stress conditions. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  12. Partial purification of a spinach thylakoid protein kinase that can phosphorylate light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, R.D.; Hind, G.; Bennett, J.

    1985-01-01

    Protein phosphorylation in plant tissues is particularly marked in chloroplasts, protein kinase activity being associated with the outer envelope, the soluble stromal fraction, and the thylakoid membrane. Furthermore, thylakoid-bound activity probably includes several distinct kinases, as suggested by studies of divalent cation specificity and thermal lability carried out with intact thylakoids and by subfractionation of solubilized membranes. Illumination of thylakoids, particularly with red light, promotes the rapid and extensive phosphorylation of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b complex (LHCII) on a threonine residue near the amino terminus of the protein. This phosphorylation is thought to be involved in regulating the distribution of absorbed quanta between photosystems II and I and is modulated by the redox state of the thylakoid plastoquinone pool. Neither of the thylakoid kinases reported to date was capable of phosphorylating purified LHCII in vitro or of incorporating phosphate into threonyl residues of exogenous substrates, that some LHCII phosphorylation was catalyzed by a preliminary fraction led workers to suggest that at least one other kinase remained to be isolated. Here, the authors report the solubilization and partial purification of a protein kinase from spinach thylakoids that is capable of phosphorylating LHCII in vitro, and they show that the specific site of phosphorylation is very nearly the same as, if not identical with, the site phosphorylated in organello.

  13. Development of Scaffolds for Light Harvesting and Photocatalysis from the Coat Protein of Tobacco Mosaic Virus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dedeo, Michel Toussaint

    The utility of a previously developed TMV-based light harvesting system has been dramatically expanded through the introduction of reactive handles for the site-specific modification of the interior and exterior surfaces. Further experiments to reengineer the coat protein have produced structures with unique, unexpected, and useful assembly properties that complement the newly available surface modifications. Energy transfer from chromophores in the RNA channel of self-assembled TMV structures to the exterior was made possible by conjugation of acceptor dyes and porphyrins to the N-terminus. By repositioning the N-terminus to the pore through circular permutation, this process was repeated to create structures that mimic the light harvesting 1 complex of photosynthetic bacteria. To study and improve upon natural photosynthesis, closely packed chromophore arrays and gold nanoparticles were tethered to the pore of stabilized TMV disks through introduction of a uniquely reactive lysine. Finally, a dimeric TMV coat protein was produced to control the distribution and arrangement of synthetic groups with synergistic activity.

  14. Pressure effects on spectra of photosynthetic light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freiberg, Arvi; Ellervee, Aleksandr; Kukk, Peeter; Laisaar, Arlentin; Tars, Märt; Timpmann, Kõu

    1993-10-01

    The influence of high (up to 9 kbar) hydrostatic pressure on the absorption and fluorescence emission spectra of photosynthetic light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes isolated from purple bacteria Rhodospirillum rubrum has been studied at room temperature and at 77 K. Under pressure at room temperature all spectral bands exhibit a red-shift at a rate of between 30 and 120 cm -1/kbar for different bands. From these pressure shifts the compressibility of the protein matrix can be estimated. The compressibility is remarkably different for the protein surrounding bacteriochlorophyll a molecules (κ≥25±5 Mbar -1) than for the one surrounding spirilloxanthin molecules (κ=10±2 Mbar -1). This indicates that the elastic properties of a protein are locally specific.

  15. PHOTOSYSTEM II SUBUNIT R is required for efficient binding of LIGHT-HARVESTING COMPLEX STRESS-RELATED PROTEIN3 to photosystem II-light-harvesting supercomplexes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Xue, Huidan; Tokutsu, Ryutaro; Bergner, Sonja Verena; Scholz, Martin; Minagawa, Jun; Hippler, Michael

    2015-04-01

    In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the LIGHT-HARVESTING COMPLEX STRESS-RELATED PROTEIN3 (LHCSR3) protein is crucial for efficient energy-dependent thermal dissipation of excess absorbed light energy and functionally associates with photosystem II-light-harvesting complex II (PSII-LHCII) supercomplexes. Currently, it is unknown how LHCSR3 binds to the PSII-LHCII supercomplex. In this study, we investigated the role of PHOTOSYSTEM II SUBUNIT R (PSBR) an intrinsic membrane-spanning PSII subunit, in the binding of LHCSR3 to PSII-LHCII supercomplexes. Down-regulation of PSBR expression diminished the efficiency of oxygen evolution and the extent of nonphotochemical quenching and had an impact on the stability of the oxygen-evolving complex as well as on PSII-LHCII-LHCSR3 supercomplex formation. Its down-regulation destabilized the PSII-LHCII supercomplex and strongly reduced the binding of LHCSR3 to PSII-LHCII supercomplexes, as revealed by quantitative proteomics. PHOTOSYSTEM II SUBUNIT P deletion, on the contrary, destabilized PHOTOSYSTEM II SUBUNIT Q binding but did not affect PSBR and LHCSR3 association with PSII-LHCII. In summary, these data provide clear evidence that PSBR is required for the stable binding of LHCSR3 to PSII-LHCII supercomplexes and is essential for efficient energy-dependent quenching and the integrity of the PSII-LHCII-LHCSR3 supercomplex under continuous high light.

  16. Multi-step excitation energy transfer engineered in genetic fusions of natural and synthetic light-harvesting proteins.

    PubMed

    Mancini, Joshua A; Kodali, Goutham; Jiang, Jianbing; Reddy, Kanumuri Ramesh; Lindsey, Jonathan S; Bryant, Donald A; Dutton, P Leslie; Moser, Christopher C

    2017-02-01

    Synthetic proteins designed and constructed from first principles with minimal reference to the sequence of any natural protein have proven robust and extraordinarily adaptable for engineering a range of functions. Here for the first time we describe the expression and genetic fusion of a natural photosynthetic light-harvesting subunit with a synthetic protein designed for light energy capture and multi-step transfer. We demonstrate excitation energy transfer from the bilin of the CpcA subunit (phycocyanin α subunit) of the cyanobacterial photosynthetic light-harvesting phycobilisome to synthetic four-helix-bundle proteins accommodating sites that specifically bind a variety of selected photoactive tetrapyrroles positioned to enhance energy transfer by relay. The examination of combinations of different bilin, chlorin and bacteriochlorin cofactors has led to identification of the preconditions for directing energy from the bilin light-harvesting antenna into synthetic protein-cofactor constructs that can be customized for light-activated chemistry in the cell.

  17. Lifetime of fluorescence from light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b proteins: excitation intensity dependence

    SciTech Connect

    Nordlund, T.M.; Knox, W.H.

    1981-10-01

    The fluorescence from a purified, aggregate form of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein has a lifetime of 1.2 +/- 0.5 ns at low excitation intensity, but the lifetime decreases significantly when the intensity of the 20-ps, 5300nm excitation pulse is increased above about 10/sup 16/ photons/cm/sup 2/. A solubilized, monomeric form of the protein, on the other hand, has a fluorescence lifetime of 3.1 +/- 0.3 ns independent of excitation intensity from 10/sup 14/-10/sup 18/ photons/cm/sup 2//pulse. We interpret the lifetime shortening in the aggregates and the lack of shortening in monomers in terms of exciton annihilation, facilitated in the aggregate by the larger population of interacting chlorophylls.

  18. Light-Harvesting Complex Stress-Related Proteins Catalyze Excess Energy Dissipation in Both Photosystems of Physcomitrella patens

    PubMed Central

    Cazzaniga, Stefano; Nevo, Reinat; Levin-Zaidman, Smadar; Reich, Ziv

    2015-01-01

    Two LHC-like proteins, Photosystem II Subunit S (PSBS) and Light-Harvesting Complex Stress-Related (LHCSR), are essential for triggering excess energy dissipation in chloroplasts of vascular plants and green algae, respectively. The mechanism of quenching was studied in Physcomitrella patens, an early divergent streptophyta (including green algae and land plants) in which both proteins are active. PSBS was localized in grana together with photosystem II (PSII), but LHCSR was located mainly in stroma-exposed membranes together with photosystem I (PSI), and its distribution did not change upon high-light treatment. The quenched conformation can be preserved by rapidly freezing the high-light-treated tissues in liquid nitrogen. When using green fluorescent protein as an internal standard, 77K fluorescence emission spectra on isolated chloroplasts allowed for independent assessment of PSI and PSII fluorescence yield. Results showed that both photosystems underwent quenching upon high-light treatment in the wild type in contrast to mutants depleted of LHCSR, which lacked PSI quenching. Due to the contribution of LHCII, P. patens had a PSI antenna size twice as large with respect to higher plants. Thus, LHCII, which is highly abundant in stroma membranes, appears to be the target of quenching by LHCSR. PMID:26508763

  19. Light-Harvesting Complex Stress-Related Proteins Catalyze Excess Energy Dissipation in Both Photosystems of Physcomitrella patens.

    PubMed

    Pinnola, Alberta; Cazzaniga, Stefano; Alboresi, Alessandro; Nevo, Reinat; Levin-Zaidman, Smadar; Reich, Ziv; Bassi, Roberto

    2015-11-01

    Two LHC-like proteins, Photosystem II Subunit S (PSBS) and Light-Harvesting Complex Stress-Related (LHCSR), are essential for triggering excess energy dissipation in chloroplasts of vascular plants and green algae, respectively. The mechanism of quenching was studied in Physcomitrella patens, an early divergent streptophyta (including green algae and land plants) in which both proteins are active. PSBS was localized in grana together with photosystem II (PSII), but LHCSR was located mainly in stroma-exposed membranes together with photosystem I (PSI), and its distribution did not change upon high-light treatment. The quenched conformation can be preserved by rapidly freezing the high-light-treated tissues in liquid nitrogen. When using green fluorescent protein as an internal standard, 77K fluorescence emission spectra on isolated chloroplasts allowed for independent assessment of PSI and PSII fluorescence yield. Results showed that both photosystems underwent quenching upon high-light treatment in the wild type in contrast to mutants depleted of LHCSR, which lacked PSI quenching. Due to the contribution of LHCII, P. patens had a PSI antenna size twice as large with respect to higher plants. Thus, LHCII, which is highly abundant in stroma membranes, appears to be the target of quenching by LHCSR. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  20. Nucleus-encoded light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b proteins are imported normally into chlorophyll b-free chloroplasts of Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Nick, Sabine; Meurer, Jörg; Soll, Jürgen; Ankele, Elisabeth

    2013-05-01

    Chloroplast-located proteins which are encoded by the nuclear genome have to be imported from the cytosol into the organelle in a posttranslational manner. Among these nuclear-encoded chloroplast proteins are the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins (LHCPs). After translation in the cytosol, precursor proteins of LHCPs are imported via the TOC/TIC translocase, processed to their mature size to insert into thylakoid membranes where they recruit chlorophylls a and b to form pigment-protein complexes. The translocation of proteins is a highly regulated process which employs several regulators. To analyze whether CAO (chlorophyll a oxigenase) which converts chlorophyll a to chlorophyll b at the inner chloroplast membrane, is one of these regulators, we performed import reactions utilizing a homozygous loss-of-function mutant (cao-1). We imported in vitro translated and (35)S-labeled precursor proteins of light-harvesting proteins of photosystem II LHCB1, LHCB4, and LHCB5 into chloroplasts isolated from cao-1 and show that import of precursor proteins and their processing to mature forms are not impaired in the mutant. Therefore, regulation of the import machinery cannot be responsible for the decreased steady-state levels of light-harvesting complex (LHC) proteins. Regulation does not take place at the transcriptional level either, because Lhcb mRNAs are not down-regulated. Additionally, reduced steady-state levels of LHCPs also do not occur due to posttranslational turnover of non-functional LHCPs in chloroplasts. Taken together, our data show that plants in the absence of CAO and therefore devoid of chlorophyll b are not influenced in their import behavior of LHC proteins.

  1. Spectroscopic Studies of Cryptophyte Light Harvesting Proteins: Vibrations and Coherent Oscillations.

    PubMed

    Arpin, Paul C; Turner, Daniel B; McClure, Scott D; Jumper, Chanelle C; Mirkovic, Tihana; Challa, J Reddy; Lee, Joohyun; Teng, Chang Ying; Green, Beverley R; Wilk, Krystyna E; Curmi, Paul M G; Hoef-Emden, Kerstin; McCamant, David W; Scholes, Gregory D

    2015-08-06

    The first step of photosynthesis is the absorption of light by antenna complexes. Recent studies of light-harvesting complexes using two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy have revealed interesting coherent oscillations. Some contributions to those coherences are assigned to electronic coherence and therefore have implications for theories of energy transfer. To assign these femtosecond data and to gain insight into the interplay among electronic and vibrational resonances, we need detailed information on vibrations and coherences in the excited electronic state compared to the ground electronic state. Here, we used broad-band transient absorption and femtosecond stimulated Raman spectroscopies to record ground- and excited-state coherences in four related photosynthetic proteins: PC577 from Hemiselmis pacifica CCMP706, PC612 from Hemiselmis virescens CCAC 1635 B, PC630 from Chroomonas CCAC 1627 B (marine), and PC645 from Chroomonas mesostigmatica CCMP269. Two of those proteins (PC630 and PC645) have strong electronic coupling while the other two proteins (PC577 and PC612) have weak electronic coupling between the chromophores. We report vibrational spectra for the ground and excited electronic states of these complexes as well as an analysis of coherent oscillations observed in the broad-band transient absorption data.

  2. Taxonomic distribution and origins of the extended LHC (light-harvesting complex) antenna protein superfamily

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The extended light-harvesting complex (LHC) protein superfamily is a centerpiece of eukaryotic photosynthesis, comprising the LHC family and several families involved in photoprotection, like the LHC-like and the photosystem II subunit S (PSBS). The evolution of this complex superfamily has long remained elusive, partially due to previously missing families. Results In this study we present a meticulous search for LHC-like sequences in public genome and expressed sequence tag databases covering twelve representative photosynthetic eukaryotes from the three primary lineages of plants (Plantae): glaucophytes, red algae and green plants (Viridiplantae). By introducing a coherent classification of the different protein families based on both, hidden Markov model analyses and structural predictions, numerous new LHC-like sequences were identified and several new families were described, including the red lineage chlorophyll a/b-binding-like protein (RedCAP) family from red algae and diatoms. The test of alternative topologies of sequences of the highly conserved chlorophyll-binding core structure of LHC and PSBS proteins significantly supports the independent origins of LHC and PSBS families via two unrelated internal gene duplication events. This result was confirmed by the application of cluster likelihood mapping. Conclusions The independent evolution of LHC and PSBS families is supported by strong phylogenetic evidence. In addition, a possible origin of LHC and PSBS families from different homologous members of the stress-enhanced protein subfamily, a diverse and anciently paralogous group of two-helix proteins, seems likely. The new hypothesis for the evolution of the extended LHC protein superfamily proposed here is in agreement with the character evolution analysis that incorporates the distribution of families and subfamilies across taxonomic lineages. Intriguingly, stress-enhanced proteins, which are universally found in the genomes of green plants

  3. The Light-Harvesting Chlorophyll a/b Binding Proteins Lhcb1 and Lhcb2 Play Complementary Roles during State Transitions in Arabidopsis[C][W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Pietrzykowska, Malgorzata; Suorsa, Marjaana; Semchonok, Dmitry A.; Tikkanen, Mikko; Boekema, Egbert J.; Aro, Eva-Mari

    2014-01-01

    Photosynthetic light harvesting in plants is regulated by phosphorylation-driven state transitions: functional redistributions of the major trimeric light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) to balance the relative excitation of photosystem I and photosystem II. State transitions are driven by reversible LHCII phosphorylation by the STN7 kinase and PPH1/TAP38 phosphatase. LHCII trimers are composed of Lhcb1, Lhcb2, and Lhcb3 proteins in various trimeric configurations. Here, we show that despite their nearly identical amino acid composition, the functional roles of Lhcb1 and Lhcb2 are different but complementary. Arabidopsis thaliana plants lacking only Lhcb2 contain thylakoid protein complexes similar to wild-type plants, where Lhcb2 has been replaced by Lhcb1. However, these do not perform state transitions, so phosphorylation of Lhcb2 seems to be a critical step. In contrast, plants lacking Lhcb1 had a more profound antenna remodeling due to a decrease in the amount of LHCII trimers influencing thylakoid membrane structure and, more indirectly, state transitions. Although state transitions are also found in green algae, the detailed architecture of the extant seed plant light-harvesting antenna can now be dated back to a time after the divergence of the bryophyte and spermatophyte lineages, but before the split of the angiosperm and gymnosperm lineages more than 300 million years ago. PMID:25194026

  4. Third order nonlinear optical properties of stacked bacteriochlorophylls in bacterial photosynthetic light-harvesting proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, L.X.; Laible, P.D.; Spano, F.C.; Manas, E.S.

    1997-09-01

    Enhancement of the nonresonant second order molecular hyperpolarizabilities {gamma} were observed in stacked macrocyclic molecular systems, previously in a {micro}-oxo silicon phthalocyanine (SiPcO) monomer, dimer and trimer series, and now in bacteriochlorophyll a (BChla) arrays of light harvesting (LH) proteins. Compared to monomeric BChla in a tetrahydrofuran (THF) solution, the <{gamma}> for each macrocycle was enhanced in naturally occurring stacked macrocyclic molecular systems in the bacterial photosynthetic LH proteins where BChla`s are arranged in tilted face-to-face arrays. In addition, the {gamma} enhancement is more significant in B875 of LH1 than in B850 in LH2. Theoretical modeling of the nonresonant {gamma} enhancement using simplified molecular orbitals for model SiPcO indicated that the energy level of the two photon state is crucial to the {gamma} enhancement when a two photon process is involved, whereas the charge transfer between the monomers is largely responsible when one photon near resonant process is involved. The calculated results can be extended to {gamma} enhancement in B875 and B850 arrays, suggesting that BChla in B875 are more strongly coupled than in B850. In addition, a 50--160 fold increase in <{gamma}> for the S{sub 1} excited state of relative to S{sub 0} of bacteriochlorophyll in vivo was observed which provides an alternative method for probing excited state dynamics and a potential application for molecular switching.

  5. Light Harvesting Proteins for Solar Fuel Generation in Bioengineered Photoelectrochemical Cells

    PubMed Central

    Ihssen, Julian; Braun, Artur; Faccio, Greta; Gajda-Schrantz, Krisztina; Thöny-Meyer, Linda

    2014-01-01

    The sun is the primary energy source of our planet and potentially can supply all societies with more than just their basic energy needs. Demand of electric energy can be satisfied with photovoltaics, however the global demand for fuels is even higher. The direct way to produce the solar fuel hydrogen is by water splitting in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells, an artificial mimic of photosynthesis. There is currently strong resurging interest for solar fuels produced by PEC cells, but some fundamental technological problems need to be solved to make PEC water splitting an economic, competitive alternative. One of the problems is to provide a low cost, high performing water oxidizing and oxygen evolving photoanode in an environmentally benign setting. Hematite, α-Fe2O3, satisfies many requirements for a good PEC photoanode, but its efficiency is insufficient in its pristine form. A promising strategy for enhancing photocurrent density takes advantage of photosynthetic proteins. In this paper we give an overview of how electrode surfaces in general and hematite photoanodes in particular can be functionalized with light harvesting proteins. Specifically, we demonstrate how low-cost biomaterials such as cyanobacterial phycocyanin and enzymatically produced melanin increase the overall performance of virtually no-cost metal oxide photoanodes in a PEC system. The implementation of biomaterials changes the overall nature of the photoanode assembly in a way that aggressive alkaline electrolytes such as concentrated KOH are not required anymore. Rather, a more environmentally benign and pH neutral electrolyte can be used. PMID:24678669

  6. Light harvesting proteins for solar fuel generation in bioengineered photoelectrochemical cells.

    PubMed

    Ihssen, Julian; Braun, Artur; Faccio, Greta; Gajda-Schrantz, Krisztina; Thöny-Meyer, Linda

    2014-01-01

    The sun is the primary energy source of our planet and potentially can supply all societies with more than just their basic energy needs. Demand of electric energy can be satisfied with photovoltaics, however the global demand for fuels is even higher. The direct way to produce the solar fuel hydrogen is by water splitting in photoelectrochemical (PEC) cells, an artificial mimic of photosynthesis. There is currently strong resurging interest for solar fuels produced by PEC cells, but some fundamental technological problems need to be solved to make PEC water splitting an economic, competitive alternative. One of the problems is to provide a low cost, high performing water oxidizing and oxygen evolving photoanode in an environmentally benign setting. Hematite, α-Fe2O3, satisfies many requirements for a good PEC photoanode, but its efficiency is insufficient in its pristine form. A promising strategy for enhancing photocurrent density takes advantage of photosynthetic proteins. In this paper we give an overview of how electrode surfaces in general and hematite photoanodes in particular can be functionalized with light harvesting proteins. Specifically, we demonstrate how low-cost biomaterials such as cyanobacterial phycocyanin and enzymatically produced melanin increase the overall performance of virtually no-cost metal oxide photoanodes in a PEC system. The implementation of biomaterials changes the overall nature of the photoanode assembly in a way that aggressive alkaline electrolytes such as concentrated KOH are not required anymore. Rather, a more environmentally benign and pH neutral electrolyte can be used.

  7. Manipulating Excited-State Dynamics of Individual Light-Harvesting Chromophores through Restricted Motions in a Hydrated Nanoscale Protein Cavity.

    PubMed

    Noriega, Rodrigo; Finley, Daniel T; Haberstroh, John; Geissler, Phillip L; Francis, Matthew B; Ginsberg, Naomi S

    2015-06-11

    Manipulating the photophysical properties of light-absorbing units is a crucial element in the design of biomimetic light-harvesting systems. Using a highly tunable synthetic platform combined with transient absorption and time-resolved fluorescence measurements and molecular dynamics simulations, we interrogate isolated chromophores covalently linked to different positions in the interior of the hydrated nanoscale cavity of a supramolecular protein assembly. We find that, following photoexcitation, the time scales over which these chromophores are solvated, undergo conformational rearrangements, and return to the ground state are highly sensitive to their position within this cavity and are significantly slower than in a bulk aqueous solution. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal the hindered translations and rotations of water molecules within the protein cavity with spatial specificity. The results presented herein show that fully hydrated nanoscale protein cavities are a promising way to mimic the tight protein pockets found in natural light-harvesting complexes. We also show that the interplay between protein, solvent, and chromophores can be used to substantially tune the relaxation processes within artificial light-harvesting assemblies in order to significantly improve the yield of interchromophore energy transfer and extend the range of excitation transport. Our observations have implications for other important, similarly sized bioinspired materials, such as nanoreactors and biocompatible targeted delivery agents.

  8. Molecular architecture of plant thylakoids under physiological and light stress conditions: a study of lipid-light-harvesting complex II model membranes.

    PubMed

    Janik, Ewa; Bednarska, Joanna; Zubik, Monika; Puzio, Michal; Luchowski, Rafal; Grudzinski, Wojciech; Mazur, Radoslaw; Garstka, Maciej; Maksymiec, Waldemar; Kulik, Andrzej; Dietler, Giovanni; Gruszecki, Wieslaw I

    2013-06-01

    In this study, we analyzed multibilayer lipid-protein membranes composed of the photosynthetic light-harvesting complex II (LHCII; isolated from spinach [Spinacia oleracea]) and the plant lipids monogalcatosyldiacylglycerol and digalactosyldiacylglycerol. Two types of pigment-protein complexes were analyzed: those isolated from dark-adapted leaves (LHCII) and those from leaves preilluminated with high-intensity light (LHCII-HL). The LHCII-HL complexes were found to be partially phosphorylated and contained zeaxanthin. The results of the x-ray diffraction, infrared imaging microscopy, confocal laser scanning microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy revealed that lipid-LHCII membranes assemble into planar multibilayers, in contrast with the lipid-LHCII-HL membranes, which form less ordered structures. In both systems, the protein formed supramolecular structures. In the case of LHCII-HL, these structures spanned the multibilayer membranes and were perpendicular to the membrane plane, whereas in LHCII, the structures were lamellar and within the plane of the membranes. Lamellar aggregates of LHCII-HL have been shown, by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy, to be particularly active in excitation energy quenching. Both types of structures were stabilized by intermolecular hydrogen bonds. We conclude that the formation of trans-layer, rivet-like structures of LHCII is an important determinant underlying the spontaneous formation and stabilization of the thylakoid grana structures, since the lamellar aggregates are well suited to dissipate excess energy upon overexcitation.

  9. Primary light-harvesting system: phycobilisomes and associated membranes. Progress report, December 1979-January 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Gantt, E.

    1983-01-01

    The structure of phycobilisomes, which serve as primary light-harvesting complexes for photosynthesis, were investigated in red and blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). Structurally the phycobilisomes have the same fundamental arrangement in the various species, with allophycocyanin being in the core from which peripheral rods composed of phycocyanin or phycocyanin-phycoerythyrin radiate. Such studies were extended to show that energetically functional phycobilisomes could be formed in vitro from separated fractions of allophycocyanin and phycoerythrin-phycocyanin within the same species (Nostoc) and between separate species (Fremyella and Nostoc). A large (95 kD) blue-colored polypeptide is being regarded as an anchor component between phycobilisomes and thylakoids. The polypeptide, isolated from phycobilisomes, had two long wavelength-emitting types of chromophores, one similar to allophycocyanin and another to chlorophyll. Such a large (95 kD) polypeptide occurred in phycobilisomes of red and blue-green algae examined, with the exception of Anacystis where it was somewhat smaller (75 kD). The effect of light quality on phycobilisome structure varied among the blue-green species studied. The relationship of the photosystems and phycobilisomes was investigated in Anacystis wild type cells, and in mutants deficient in phycocyanin. Although the phycocyanin and chlorophyll content per cell changed with light quality the phycobilisome per Reaction Center 2 ratio remained at ca. 0.9 +- 0.3 suggesting that only the size of the antennae varied.

  10. The folding state of the lumenal loop determines the thermal stability of light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein.

    PubMed

    Mick, Vera; Geister, Sonja; Paulsen, Harald

    2004-11-23

    The major light-harvesting protein of photosystem II (LHCIIb) is the most abundant chlorophyll-binding protein in the thylakoid membrane. It contains three membrane-spanning alpha helices; the first and third one closely interact with each other to form a super helix, and all three helices bind most of the pigment cofactors. The protein loop domains connecting the alpha helices also play an important role in stabilizing the LHCIIb structure. Single amino acid exchanges in either loop were found to be sufficient to significantly destabilize the complex assembled in vitro [Heinemann, B., and Paulsen, H. (1999) Biochemistry 38, 14088-14093. Mick, V., Eggert, K., Heinemann, B., Geister, S., and Paulsen, H (2004) Biochemistry 43, 5467-5473]. This work presents an analysis of such point mutations in the lumenal loop with regard to the extent and nature of their effect on LHCIIb stability to obtain detailed information on the contribution of this loop to stabilizing the complex. Most of the mutant proteins yielded pigment-protein complexes if their reconstitution and/or isolation was performed under mild conditions; however, the yields were significantly different. Several mutations in the vicinity of W97 in the N-proximal section of the loop gave low reconstitution yields even under very mild conditions. This confirms our earlier notion that W97 may be of particular relevance in stabilizing LHCIIb. The same amino acid exchanges accelerated thermal complex dissociation in the absence of lithium dodecyl sulfate (LDS) and raised the accessibility of the lumenal loop to protease; both effects were well correlated with the reduction in reconstitution yields. We conclude that a detachment of the lumenal loop is a possible first step in the dissociation of LHCIIb. Dramatically reduced complex yields in the presence but not in the absence of LDS were observed for some but not all mutants, particularly those near the C-proximal end of the loop. We conclude that complex

  11. ARCHITECTURE OF A CHARGE-TRANSFER STATE REGULATING LIGHT HARVESTING IN A PLANT ANTENNA PROTEIN

    SciTech Connect

    Fleming, Graham; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Avenson, Thomas J.; Ballottari, Matteo; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R.

    2008-04-02

    Energy-dependent quenching of excess absorbed light energy (qE) is a vital mechanism for regulating photosynthetic light harvesting in higher plants. All of the physiological characteristics of qE have been positively correlated with charge-transfer between coupled chlorophyll and zeaxanthin molecules in the light-harvesting antenna of photosystem II (PSII). In this work, we present evidence for charge-transfer quenching in all three of the individual minor antenna complexes of PSII (CP29, CP26, and CP24), and we conclude that charge-transfer quenching in CP29 involves a de-localized state of an excitonically coupled chlorophyll dimer. We propose that reversible conformational changes in CP29 can `tune? the electronic coupling between the chlorophylls in this dimer, thereby modulating the energy of the chlorophylls-zeaxanthin charge-transfer state and switching on and off the charge-transfer quenching during qE.

  12. Spectroscopic study of the light-harvesting protein C-phycocyanin associated with colorless linker peptides

    SciTech Connect

    Pizarro, Shelly Ann

    2000-05-01

    The phycobilisome (PBS) light-harvesting antenna is composed of chromophore-containing biliproteins and 'colorless' linker peptides and is structurally designed to support unidirectional transfer of excitation energy from the periphery of the PBS to its core. The linker peptides have a unique role in this transfer process by modulating the spectral properties of the associated biliprotein. There is only one three-dimensional structure of a biliprotein/linker complex available to date (APC/LC7.8) and the mechanism of interaction between these two proteins remains unknown. This study brings together a detailed spectroscopic characterization of C-Phycocyanin (PC)-linker complexes (isolated from Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002) with proteomic analysis of the linker amino acid sequences to produce a model for biliprotein/linker interaction. The amino acid sequences of the rod linkers [LR8.9, LR32.3 and LRC28.5] were examined to identify evolutionarily conserved regions important to either the structure or function of this protein family. Although there is not one common homologous site among all the linkers, there are strong trends across each separate subset (LC, LR and LRC) and the N-terminal segments of both LR32.3 and LRC28.5 display multiple regions of similarity with other linkers. Predictions of the secondary structure of LR32.3 and LRC28.5, and comparison to the crystal structure of LC7.8, further narrowed the candidates for interaction sites with the PC chromophores. Measurements of the absorption, fluorescence, CD and excitation anisotropy of PC trimer, PC/LR32.3, and PC/LRC28.5, document the spectroscopic effect of each linker peptide on the PC chromophores at a series of temperatures (298 to 77 K). Because L

  13. Micelle-Induced Self-Assembling Protein Nanowires: Versatile Supramolecular Scaffolds for Designing the Light-Harvesting System.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hongcheng; Zhang, Xiyu; Miao, Lu; Zhao, Linlu; Luo, Quan; Xu, Jiayun; Liu, Junqiu

    2016-01-26

    Organic nanoparticle induced self-assembly of proteins with periodic nanostructures is a promising and burgeoning strategy to develop functional biomimetic nanomaterials. Cricoid proteins afford monodispersed and well-defined hollow centers, and can be used to multivalently interact with geometrically symmetric nanoparticles to form one-dimensional protein nanoarrays. Herein, we report that core-cross-linked micelles can direct cricoid stable protein one (SP1) to self-assembling nanowires through multiple electrostatic interactions. One micelle can act as an organic nanoparticle to interact with two central concaves of SP1 in an opposite orientation to form a sandwich structure, further controlling the assembly direction to supramolecular protein nanowires. The reported versatile supramolecular scaffolds can be optionally manipulated to develop multifunctional integrated or synergistic biomimetic nanomaterials. Artificial light-harvesting nanowires are further developed to mimic the energy transfer process of photosynthetic bacteria for their structural similarity, by means of labeling donor and acceptor chromophores to SP1 rings and spherical micelles, respectively. The absorbing energy can be transferred within the adjacent donors around the ring and shuttling the collected energy to the nearby acceptor chromophore. The artificial light-harvesting nanowires are designed by mimicking the structural characteristic of natural LH-2 complex, which are meaningful in exploring the photosynthesis process in vitro.

  14. Tracking energy transfer between light harvesting complex 2 and 1 in photosynthetic membranes grown under high and low illumination.

    PubMed

    Lüer, Larry; Moulisová, Vladimíra; Henry, Sarah; Polli, Dario; Brotosudarmo, Tatas H P; Hoseinkhani, Sajjad; Brida, Daniele; Lanzani, Guglielmo; Cerullo, Giulio; Cogdell, Richard J

    2012-01-31

    Energy transfer (ET) between B850 and B875 molecules in light harvesting complexes LH2 and LH1/RC (reaction center) complexes has been investigated in membranes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris grown under high- and low-light conditions. In these bacteria, illumination intensity during growth strongly affects the type of LH2 complexes synthesized, their optical spectra, and their amount of energetic disorder. We used a specially built femtosecond spectrometer, combining tunable narrowband pump with broadband white-light probe pulses, together with an analytical method based on derivative spectroscopy for disentangling the congested transient absorption spectra of LH1 and LH2 complexes. This procedure allows real-time tracking of the forward (LH2 → LH1) and backward (LH2←LH1) ET processes and unambiguous determination of the corresponding rate constants. In low-light grown samples, we measured lower ET rates in both directions with respect to high-light ones, which is explained by reduced spectral overlap between B850 and B875 due to partial redistribution of oscillator strength into a higher energetic exciton transition. We find that the low-light adaptation in R. palustris leads to a reduced elementary backward ET rate, in accordance with the low probability of two simultaneous excitations reaching the same LH1/RC complex under weak illumination. Our study suggests that backward ET is not just an inevitable consequence of vectorial ET with small energetic offsets, but is in fact actively managed by photosynthetic bacteria.

  15. Primary light-harvesting system: phycobilisomes and associated membranes. Progress report, January 1, 1981-December 31, 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Gantt, E.

    1981-01-01

    Phycobilisomes, serving as primary light harvesting complexes in cyanobacteria and red algae, were investigated. Structurally the phycobilisomes of both groups have the same fundamental phycobiliprotein arrangement. Allophycocyanin is in the center near the thylakoid. Stacked rods composed of phycocyanin, or phycocyanin-phycoerythrin radiate peripherally from the allophycocyanin core. Phycobilisomes of Nostoc sp. and Fremyella diplosiphon, after separation into separate allophycocyanin and phycoerythrin-phycocyanin fractions have been associated in vitro. Hybrid phycobilisomes, derived from mixtures of phycobiliprotein from these species were also obtained. The interaction is specific since reassociation was not obtained with phycobiliprotein complexes of some other algae. Phycobilisomes, whether native, or associated in vitro, were similar in their sedimentation, absorption, fluorescence excitation, fluorescence emission, and by electron microscopy. Furthermore, many of the colorless polypeptides were also highly similar between Nostoc and Fremyella. The similarity formed may reflect an evolutionary relationship between the two species. The polypeptide composition of Porphyridium cruentum phycobilisomes is the most complex of any thus far examined. The phycobiliprotein containing polypeptides comprised 84% of the total stainable protein, while the remaining were colorless. Most of the colorless polypeptides occurred in a pelletable fraction, which was enriched in allophycocyanin and phycocyanin, it is probable that some are involved in the linking of these phycobiliproteins.

  16. An atypical member of the light-harvesting complex stress-related protein family modulates diatom responses to light

    PubMed Central

    Bailleul, Benjamin; Rogato, Alessandra; de Martino, Alessandra; Coesel, Sacha; Cardol, Pierre; Bowler, Chris; Falciatore, Angela; Finazzi, Giovanni

    2010-01-01

    Diatoms are prominent phytoplanktonic organisms that contribute around 40% of carbon assimilation in the oceans. They grow and perform optimally in variable environments, being able to cope with unpredictable changes in the amount and quality of light. The molecular mechanisms regulating diatom light responses are, however, still obscure. Using knockdown Phaeodactylum tricornutum transgenic lines, we reveal the key function of a member of the light-harvesting complex stress-related (LHCSR) protein family, denoted LHCX1, in modulation of excess light energy dissipation. In contrast to green algae, this gene is already maximally expressed in nonstressful light conditions and encodes a protein required for efficient light responses and growth. LHCX1 also influences natural variability in photoresponse, as evidenced in ecotypes isolated from different latitudes that display different LHCX1 protein levels. We conclude, therefore, that this gene plays a pivotal role in managing light responses in diatoms. PMID:20921421

  17. An atypical member of the light-harvesting complex stress-related protein family modulates diatom responses to light.

    PubMed

    Bailleul, Benjamin; Rogato, Alessandra; de Martino, Alessandra; Coesel, Sacha; Cardol, Pierre; Bowler, Chris; Falciatore, Angela; Finazzi, Giovanni

    2010-10-19

    Diatoms are prominent phytoplanktonic organisms that contribute around 40% of carbon assimilation in the oceans. They grow and perform optimally in variable environments, being able to cope with unpredictable changes in the amount and quality of light. The molecular mechanisms regulating diatom light responses are, however, still obscure. Using knockdown Phaeodactylum tricornutum transgenic lines, we reveal the key function of a member of the light-harvesting complex stress-related (LHCSR) protein family, denoted LHCX1, in modulation of excess light energy dissipation. In contrast to green algae, this gene is already maximally expressed in nonstressful light conditions and encodes a protein required for efficient light responses and growth. LHCX1 also influences natural variability in photoresponse, as evidenced in ecotypes isolated from different latitudes that display different LHCX1 protein levels. We conclude, therefore, that this gene plays a pivotal role in managing light responses in diatoms.

  18. Tracking energy transfer between light harvesting complex 2 and 1 in photosynthetic membranes grown under high and low illumination

    PubMed Central

    Lüer, Larry; Moulisová, Vladimíra; Henry, Sarah; Polli, Dario; Brotosudarmo, Tatas H. P.; Hoseinkhani, Sajjad; Brida, Daniele; Lanzani, Guglielmo; Cerullo, Giulio; Cogdell, Richard J.

    2012-01-01

    Energy transfer (ET) between B850 and B875 molecules in light harvesting complexes LH2 and LH1/RC (reaction center) complexes has been investigated in membranes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris grown under high- and low-light conditions. In these bacteria, illumination intensity during growth strongly affects the type of LH2 complexes synthesized, their optical spectra, and their amount of energetic disorder. We used a specially built femtosecond spectrometer, combining tunable narrowband pump with broadband white-light probe pulses, together with an analytical method based on derivative spectroscopy for disentangling the congested transient absorption spectra of LH1 and LH2 complexes. This procedure allows real-time tracking of the forward (LH2 → LH1) and backward (LH2←LH1) ET processes and unambiguous determination of the corresponding rate constants. In low-light grown samples, we measured lower ET rates in both directions with respect to high-light ones, which is explained by reduced spectral overlap between B850 and B875 due to partial redistribution of oscillator strength into a higher energetic exciton transition. We find that the low-light adaptation in R. palustris leads to a reduced elementary backward ET rate, in accordance with the low probability of two simultaneous excitations reaching the same LH1/RC complex under weak illumination. Our study suggests that backward ET is not just an inevitable consequence of vectorial ET with small energetic offsets, but is in fact actively managed by photosynthetic bacteria. PMID:22307601

  19. Minimal Model of Quantum Kinetic Clusters for the Energy-Transfer Network of a Light-Harvesting Protein Complex.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jianlan; Tang, Zhoufei; Gong, Zhihao; Cao, Jianshu; Mukamel, Shaul

    2015-04-02

    The energy absorbed in a light-harvesting protein complex is often transferred collectively through aggregated chromophore clusters. For population evolution of chromophores, the time-integrated effective rate matrix allows us to construct quantum kinetic clusters quantitatively and determine the reduced cluster-cluster transfer rates systematically, thus defining a minimal model of energy-transfer kinetics. For Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) and light-havrvesting complex II (LCHII) monomers, quantum Markovian kinetics of clusters can accurately reproduce the overall energy-transfer process in the long-time scale. The dominant energy-transfer pathways are identified in the picture of aggregated clusters. The chromophores distributed extensively in various clusters can assist a fast and long-range energy transfer.

  20. Mutations that affect structure and assembly of light-harvesting proteins in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain 6701

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, L.K.; Rayner, M.C.; Eiserling, F.A.

    1987-01-01

    The unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain 6701 was mutagenized with UV irradiation and screened for pigment changes that indicated genetic lesions involving the light-harvesting proteins of the phycobilisome. A previous examination of the pigment mutant UV16 showed an assembly defect in the phycocyanin component of the phycobilisome. Mutagenesis of UV16 produced an additional double mutant, UV16-40, with decreased phycoerythrin content. Phycocyanin and phycoerythrin were isolated from UV16-40 and compared with normal biliproteins. The results suggested that the UV16 mutation affected the alpha subunit of phycocyanin, while the phycoerythrin beta subunit from UV16-40 had lost one of its three chromophores. Characterization of the unassembled phycobilisome components in these mutants suggests that these strains will be useful for probing in vivo the regulated expression and assembly of phycobilisomes.

  1. Molecular topology of the photosynthetic light-harvesting pigment complex, peridinin-chlorophyll a-protein, from marine dinoflagellates.

    PubMed

    Song, P S; Koka, P; Prézelin, B B; Haxo, F T

    1976-10-05

    The photosynthetic light-harvesting complex, peridinin-chlorophyll a-protein, was isolated from several marine dinoflagellates including Glenodinium sp. by Sephadex and ion-exchange chromatography. The carotenoid (peridinin)-chlorophyll a ratio in the complex is estimated to be 4:1. The fluorescence excitation spectrum of the complex indicates that energy absorbed by the carotenoid is transferred to the chlorophyll a molecule with 100% efficiency. Fluorescence lifetime measurements indicate that the energy transfer is much faster than fluorescence emission from chlorophyll a. The four peridinin molecules within the complex appear to form two allowed exciton bands which split the main absorption band of the carotenoid into two circular dichronic bands (with negative ellipticity band at 538 nm and positive band at 463 nm in the case of peridinin-chlorophyl a-protein complex from Glenodinium sp.). The fluorescence polarization of chlorophyll a in the complex at 200 K is about 0.1 in both circular dichroic excitation bands of the carotenoid chromophore. From these circular dichroic and fluorescence polarization data, a possible molecular arrangement of the four peridinin and chlorophyll molecules has been deduced for the complex. The structure of the complex deduced is also consistent with the magnitude of the exciton spliting (ca. greater than 3000 cm-1) at the intermolecular distance in the dimer pair of peridinin (ca. 12 A). This structural feature accounts for the efficient light-harvesting process of dinoflagellates as the exciton interaction lengthens the lifetime of peridinin (radiative) and the complex topology increases the energy transfer probability. The complex is, therefore, a useful molecular model for elucidating the mechanism and efficiency of solar energy conversion in vivo as well as in vitro.

  2. The chlorosome: a prototype for efficient light harvesting in photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Oostergetel, Gert T; van Amerongen, Herbert; Boekema, Egbert J

    2010-06-01

    Three phyla of bacteria include phototrophs that contain unique antenna systems, chlorosomes, as the principal light-harvesting apparatus. Chlorosomes are the largest known supramolecular antenna systems and contain hundreds of thousands of BChl c/d/e molecules enclosed by a single membrane leaflet and a baseplate. The BChl pigments are organized via self-assembly and do not require proteins to provide a scaffold for efficient light harvesting. Their excitation energy flows via a small protein, CsmA embedded in the baseplate to the photosynthetic reaction centres. Chlorosomes allow for photosynthesis at very low light intensities by ultra-rapid transfer of excitations to reaction centres and enable organisms with chlorosomes to live at extraordinarily low light intensities under which no other phototrophic organisms can grow. This article reviews several aspects of chlorosomes: the supramolecular and molecular organizations and the light-harvesting and spectroscopic properties. In addition, it provides some novel information about the organization of the baseplate.

  3. Cyanobacterial flv4-2 Operon-Encoded Proteins Optimize Light Harvesting and Charge Separation in Photosystem II.

    PubMed

    Chukhutsina, Volha; Bersanini, Luca; Aro, Eva-Mari; van Amerongen, Herbert

    2015-05-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) complexes drive the water-splitting reaction necessary to transform sunlight into chemical energy. However, too much light can damage and disrupt PSII. In cyanobacteria, the flv4-2 operon encodes three proteins (Flv2, Flv4, and Sll0218), which safeguard PSII activity under air-level CO2 and in high light conditions. However, the exact mechanism of action of these proteins has not been clarified yet. We demonstrate that the PSII electron transfer properties are influenced by the flv4-2 operon-encoded proteins. Accelerated secondary charge separation kinetics was observed upon expression/overexpression of the flv4-2 operon. This is likely induced by docking of the Flv2/Flv4 heterodimer in the vicinity of the QB pocket of PSII, which, in turn, increases the QB redox potential and consequently stabilizes forward electron transfer. The alternative electron transfer route constituted by Flv2/Flv4 sequesters electrons from QB(-) guaranteeing the dissipation of excess excitation energy in PSII under stressful conditions. In addition, we demonstrate that in the absence of the flv4-2 operon-encoded proteins, about 20% of the phycobilisome antenna becomes detached from the reaction centers, thus decreasing light harvesting. Phycobilisome detachment is a consequence of a decreased relative content of PSII dimers, a feature observed in the absence of the Sll0218 protein.

  4. The structural role of the carotenoid in the bacterial light-harvesting protein 2 (LH2) of Rhodonbacter capsulatus. A Fourier transform Raman spectroscopy and circular dichroism study.

    PubMed

    Zurdo, J; Centeno, M A; Odriozola, J A; Fernández-Cabrera, C; Ramírez, J M

    1995-11-01

    In previous work (Zurdo J, Fernández-Cabrera C and Ramírez JM (1993) Biochem J 290: 531-537), it had been shown that selective extraction of the carotenoid from the light-harvesting protein 2 (LH2) of Rhodobacter capsulatus induced the dissociation of 800-nm absorbing bacteriochlorophyll (Bchl), a 10-nm red shift of 854-nm Bchl, and a decrease of the stability of the protein in detergent solution. In the present study, the Fourier transform Raman and near-infrared circular dichroism spectra of native and carotenoid-depleted LH2 membrane preparations were compared. It was found that while the coupled carbonyls of 854-nm Bchl remained specifically H-bonded to the peptides after carotenoid extraction, the optical activity of the near-infrared electronic transition was significantly altered. Given the excitonic origin of such optical activity, our data suggest that carotenoid extraction elicits a rearrengement of the chromophore cluster and of the associated polypeptide subunits. This implies a significant role of the carotenoid in maintaining the native quaternary structure of the protein, which would be consistent with the observed dissociation of 800-nm Bchl and the loss of solubilized LH2 stability that result from carotenoid removal. There is no evidence for a similar role of the carotenoid in the LH1 protein.

  5. The molecular second hyperpolarizability of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b pigment-protein complex of photosystem II.

    PubMed

    Tokarz, Danielle; Cisek, Richard; Fekl, Ulrich; Barzda, Virginijus

    2013-09-26

    Photosynthetic structures when imaged with nonlinear optical microscopy give rise to high third harmonic generation (THG) signal intensity due to the presence of chlorophylls and xanthophylls which have large second hyperpolarizabilitiy (γ) values. The γ value of trimers of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b pigment-protein complex of photosystem II (LHCII) isolated from pea (Pisum sativum) plants was investigated by the THG ratio technique at 1028 nm wavelength and found to have the value (-1600 ± 400) × 10(-41) m(2) V(-2). The large negative γ value of trimeric LHCII is due to the presence of chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b which have large negative γ values, while positive γ values of xanthophylls reduce the magnitude of the THG signal. Variation was observed between the measured γ value of LHCII and the approximated γ value of LHCII obtained by adding individual γ values of chlorophylls and xanthophylls. This difference can be attributed to the differing inter-pigment interactions of oriented chlorophylls and xanthophylls in the pigment-protein complex compared to randomly oriented non-interacting pigments in solution, as well as a differing dielectric environment of the pigments within LHCII versus the surrounding organic solvent.

  6. Zeaxanthin Binds to Light-Harvesting Complex Stress-Related Protein to Enhance Nonphotochemical Quenching in Physcomitrella patens[W

    PubMed Central

    Pinnola, Alberta; Dall’Osto, Luca; Gerotto, Caterina; Morosinotto, Tomas; Bassi, Roberto; Alboresi, Alessandro

    2013-01-01

    Nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) dissipates excess energy to protect the photosynthetic apparatus from excess light. The moss Physcomitrella patens exhibits strong NPQ by both algal-type light-harvesting complex stress-related (LHCSR)–dependent and plant-type S subunit of Photosystem II (PSBS)-dependent mechanisms. In this work, we studied the dependence of NPQ reactions on zeaxanthin, which is synthesized under light stress by violaxanthin deepoxidase (VDE) from preexisting violaxanthin. We produced vde knockout (KO) plants and showed they underwent a dramatic reduction in thermal dissipation ability and enhanced photoinhibition in excess light conditions. Multiple mutants (vde lhcsr KO and vde psbs KO) showed that zeaxanthin had a major influence on LHCSR-dependent NPQ, in contrast with previous reports in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The PSBS-dependent component of quenching was less dependent on zeaxanthin, despite the near-complete violaxanthin to zeaxanthin exchange in LHC proteins. Consistent with this, we provide biochemical evidence that native LHCSR protein binds zeaxanthin upon excess light stress. These findings suggest that zeaxanthin played an important role in the adaptation of modern plants to the enhanced levels of oxygen and excess light intensity of land environments. PMID:24014548

  7. Grana-Localized Proteins, RIQ1 and RIQ2, Affect the Organization of Light-Harvesting Complex II and Grana Stacking in Arabidopsis[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Yokoyama, Ryo; Yamamoto, Hiroshi; Kondo, Maki; Takeda, Satomi; Ifuku, Kentaro; Fukao, Yoichiro; Kamei, Yasuhiro; Nishimura, Mikio; Shikanai, Toshiharu

    2016-01-01

    Grana are stacked thylakoid membrane structures in land plants that contain PSII and light-harvesting complex II proteins (LHCIIs). We isolated two Arabidopsis thaliana mutants, reduced induction of non-photochemical quenching1 (riq1) and riq2, in which stacking of grana was enhanced. The curvature thylakoid 1a (curt1a) mutant was previously shown to lack grana structure. In riq1 curt1a, the grana were enlarged with more stacking, and in riq2 curt1a, the thylakoids were abnormally stacked and aggregated. Despite having different phenotypes in thylakoid structure, riq1, riq2, and curt1a showed a similar defect in the level of nonphotochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence (NPQ). In riq curt1a double mutants, NPQ induction was more severely affected than in either single mutant. In riq mutants, state transitions were inhibited and the PSII antennae were smaller than in wild-type plants. The riq defects did not affect NPQ induction in the chlorophyll b-less mutant. RIQ1 and RIQ2 are paralogous and encode uncharacterized grana thylakoid proteins, but despite the high level of identity of the sequence, the functions of RIQ1 and RIQ2 were not redundant. RIQ1 is required for RIQ2 accumulation, and the wild-type level of RIQ2 did not complement the NPQ and thylakoid phenotypes in riq1. We propose that RIQ proteins link the grana structure and organization of LHCIIs. PMID:27600538

  8. Spectroscopic characterization of the spinach Lhcb4 protein (CP29), a minor light-harvesting complex of photosystem II.

    PubMed

    Pascal, A; Gradinaru, C; Wacker, U; Peterman, E; Calkoen, F; Irrgang, K D; Horton, P; Renger, G; van Grondelle, R; Robert, B; van Amerongen, H

    1999-06-01

    A spectroscopic characterization is presented of the minor photosystem II chlorophyll a/b-binding protein CP29 (or the Lhcb4 protein) from spinach, prepared by a modified form of a published protocol [Henrysson, T., Schroder, W. P., Spangfort, M. & Akerlund, H.-E. (1989) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 977, 301-308]. The isolation procedure represents a quicker, cheaper means of isolating this minor antenna protein to an equally high level of purity to that published previously. The pigment-binding protein shows similarities to other related light-harvesting complexes (LHCs), including the bulk complex LHCIIb but more particularly another minor antenna protein CP26 (Lhcb5). It is also, in the main, similar to other preparations of CP29, although some significant differences are discussed. In common with CP26, the protein binds about six chlorophyll a and two chlorophyll b molecules. Two chlorophyll b absorption bands are present at 638 and 650 nm and they are somewhat more pronounced than in a recent report [Giuffra, E., Zucchelli, G., Sandonà, D., Croce, R., Cugini, D., Garlaschi, F.M., Bassi, R. & Jennings, R.C. (1997) Biochem. 36, 12984-12993]. The bands give rise to positive and negative linear dichroism, respectively; both show negative CD bands (cf. bands with similar properties at 637 and 650 nm in CP26). Chlorophyll a absorption is dominated by a large contribution at 674 nm which also shows similarities to the major band in LHCIIb and CP26, while (as for CP26) a reduction in absorption around 670 nm is observed relative to the bulk complex. Principal differences from LHCIIb and CP26, and from other CP29 preparations, occur in the carotenoid region.

  9. Regulation of Light-Harvesting Chlorophyll Protein Biosynthesis in Greening Seedlings 1

    PubMed Central

    Mathis, James N.; Burkey, Kent O.

    1987-01-01

    The biosynthesis of the chlorophyll a/b binding protein associated with photosystem II (LHC-II) was characterized during light-induced greening of etiolated barley (Hordeum vulgare [L.] cv Boone), maize (Zea mays [L.] Pioneer 3148), pea (Pisum sativum [L.] cv Progress 9), and soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr. cv Ransom 2). Northern blot analysis revealed that pea LHC-II mRNA was present in dark-grown seedlings and accumulated rapidly within 1 hour following illumination with white light. In contrast, the accumulation of LHC-II mRNA was delayed in barley and soybean until 2 to 4 hours after illumination began. Single radial immunodiffusion analysis revealed that LHC-II polypeptides began to accumulate in all species between 4 and 8 hours although the protein was present in detectable levels at earlier times in certain species. In a pattern similar to the LHC-II protein accumulation, chlorophyll accumulated at increased rates between 4 and 8 hours of greening in all species following an initial delay. The absence of coordination between LHC-II mRNA and LHC-II protein accumulation that was clearly observed in pea suggested that transcription is not the factor that limits LHC-II complex formation during chloroplast development. The accumulation of chlorophyll and LHC-II protein appeared to coincide suggesting that chlorophyll biosynthesis may be a factor that limits LHC-II complex formation. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:16665840

  10. Cooperative Subunit Refolding of a Light-Harvesting Protein through a Self-Chaperone Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Laos, Alistair J; Dean, Jacob C; Toa, Zi S D; Wilk, Krystyna E; Scholes, Gregory D; Curmi, Paul M G; Thordarson, Pall

    2017-01-27

    The fold of a protein is encoded by its amino acid sequence, but how complex multimeric proteins fold and assemble into functional quaternary structures remains unclear. Here we show that two structurally different phycobiliproteins refold and reassemble in a cooperative manner from their unfolded polypeptide subunits, without biological chaperones. Refolding was confirmed by ultrafast broadband transient absorption and two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy to probe internal chromophores as a marker of quaternary structure. Our results demonstrate a cooperative, self-chaperone refolding mechanism, whereby the β-subunits independently refold, thereby templating the folding of the α-subunits, which then chaperone the assembly of the native complex, quantitatively returning all coherences. Our results indicate that subunit self-chaperoning is a robust mechanism for heteromeric protein folding and assembly that could also be applied in self-assembled synthetic hierarchical systems.

  11. Light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.

    2002-01-01

    A light harvesting array useful for the manufacture of devices such as solar cells comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: X.sup.1.paren open-st.X.sup.m+1).sub.m (I) wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2, and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  12. Cytokinins modulate the expression of genes encoding the protein of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b complex.

    PubMed

    de la Serve, B T; Axelos, M; Péaud-Lenoël, C

    1985-05-01

    Tobacco cell suspension cultures responded to cytokinins (for instance kinetin) by full chloroplast differentiation. The hormone had the effect of stimulating the appearance of a few prominent plastid proteins. Synthesis of the light-harvesting chlorophyl a/b-binding protein (LHCP) in response to kinetin was noteworthy (Axelos M. et al.: Plant Sci Lett 33:201-212, 1984).Poly(A)(+)RNAs were prepared from cells grown in the presence of or without added kinetin. Poly(A)(+)RNA recovery and translation activity were not quantitatively altered by the hormone treatment. In vitro translation of polyadenylated mRNA into precursor polypeptides of LHCP (pLHCP) was quantified by immunoprecipitation and SDS-PAGE fractionation of pLHCP immunoprecipitates: pLHCP-mRNA translating activity was found to be stimulated in parallel to mature LHCP accumulation by kinetin-induced cells.Dot-blot and northern-blot hybridizations of poly(A)(+)RNA were carried out, using as a probe a pea LHCP-cDNA clone (Broglie R. et al.: Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 78: 7304-7308, 1981). A ten-fold increase of the level of pLHCP-encoding sequences was observed in poly(A)(+)RNA prepared from 9-d kinetin-stimulated cells, compared to control cells. Oligo(dT)-cellulose-excluded RNA fractions exhibited very low hybridization levels, in the same ratios as those obtained with poly(A)(+)RNA.Thus, the expression of LHCP-gene activity, in response to kinetin addition to tobacco cell suspension cultures, is regulated by the level of pLHCP-encoding mRNA rather than by translational or post-translational controls. re]19850218 rv]19850605 ac]19850613.

  13. The Low Molecular Weight Protein PsaI Stabilizes the Light-Harvesting Complex II Docking Site of Photosystem I.

    PubMed

    Plöchinger, Magdalena; Torabi, Salar; Rantala, Marjaana; Tikkanen, Mikko; Suorsa, Marjaana; Jensen, Poul-Erik; Aro, Eva Mari; Meurer, Jörg

    2016-09-01

    PsaI represents one of three low molecular weight peptides of PSI. Targeted inactivation of the plastid PsaI gene in Nicotiana tabacum has no measurable effect on photosynthetic electron transport around PSI or on accumulation of proteins involved in photosynthesis. Instead, the lack of PsaI destabilizes the association of PsaL and PsaH to PSI, both forming the light-harvesting complex (LHC)II docking site of PSI. These alterations at the LHCII binding site surprisingly did not prevent state transition but led to an increased incidence of PSI-LHCII complexes, coinciding with an elevated phosphorylation level of the LHCII under normal growth light conditions. Remarkably, LHCII was rapidly phosphorylated in ΔpsaI in darkness even after illumination with far-red light. We found that this dark phosphorylation also occurs in previously described mutants impaired in PSI function or state transition. A prompt shift of the plastoquinone (PQ) pool into a more reduced redox state in the dark caused an enhanced LHCII phosphorylation in ΔpsaI Since the redox status of the PQ pool is functionally connected to a series of physiological, biochemical, and gene expression reactions, we propose that the shift of mutant plants into state 2 in darkness represents a compensatory and/or protective metabolic mechanism. This involves an increased reduction and/or reduced oxidation of the PQ pool, presumably to sustain a balanced excitation of both photosystems upon the onset of light. © 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

  14. Heterologous Expression of Moss Light-harvesting Complex Stress-related 1 (LHCSR1), the Chlorophyll a-Xanthophyll Pigment-protein Complex Catalyzing Non-photochemical Quenching, in Nicotiana sp.*

    PubMed Central

    Pinnola, Alberta; Ghin, Leonardo; Gecchele, Elisa; Merlin, Matilde; Alboresi, Alessandro; Avesani, Linda; Pezzotti, Mario; Capaldi, Stefano; Cazzaniga, Stefano; Bassi, Roberto

    2015-01-01

    Oxygenic photosynthetic organisms evolved mechanisms for thermal dissipation of energy absorbed in excess to prevent formation of reactive oxygen species. The major and fastest component, called non-photochemical quenching, occurs within the photosystem II antenna system by the action of two essential light-harvesting complex (LHC)-like proteins, photosystem II subunit S (PSBS) in plants and light-harvesting complex stress-related (LHCSR) in green algae and diatoms. In the evolutionary intermediate Physcomitrella patens, a moss, both gene products are active. These proteins, which are present in low amounts, are difficult to purify, preventing structural and functional analysis. Here, we report on the overexpression of the LHCSR1 protein from P. patens in the heterologous systems Nicotiana benthamiana and Nicotiana tabacum using transient and stable nuclear transformation. We show that the protein accumulated in both heterologous systems is in its mature form, localizes in the chloroplast thylakoid membranes, and is correctly folded with chlorophyll a and xanthophylls but without chlorophyll b, an essential chromophore for plants and algal LHC proteins. Finally, we show that recombinant LHCSR1 is active in quenching in vivo, implying that the recombinant protein obtained is a good material for future structural and functional studies. PMID:26260788

  15. Heterologous expression of moss light-harvesting complex stress-related 1 (LHCSR1), the chlorophyll a-xanthophyll pigment-protein complex catalyzing non-photochemical quenching, in Nicotiana sp.

    PubMed

    Pinnola, Alberta; Ghin, Leonardo; Gecchele, Elisa; Merlin, Matilde; Alboresi, Alessandro; Avesani, Linda; Pezzotti, Mario; Capaldi, Stefano; Cazzaniga, Stefano; Bassi, Roberto

    2015-10-02

    Oxygenic photosynthetic organisms evolved mechanisms for thermal dissipation of energy absorbed in excess to prevent formation of reactive oxygen species. The major and fastest component, called non-photochemical quenching, occurs within the photosystem II antenna system by the action of two essential light-harvesting complex (LHC)-like proteins, photosystem II subunit S (PSBS) in plants and light-harvesting complex stress-related (LHCSR) in green algae and diatoms. In the evolutionary intermediate Physcomitrella patens, a moss, both gene products are active. These proteins, which are present in low amounts, are difficult to purify, preventing structural and functional analysis. Here, we report on the overexpression of the LHCSR1 protein from P. patens in the heterologous systems Nicotiana benthamiana and Nicotiana tabacum using transient and stable nuclear transformation. We show that the protein accumulated in both heterologous systems is in its mature form, localizes in the chloroplast thylakoid membranes, and is correctly folded with chlorophyll a and xanthophylls but without chlorophyll b, an essential chromophore for plants and algal LHC proteins. Finally, we show that recombinant LHCSR1 is active in quenching in vivo, implying that the recombinant protein obtained is a good material for future structural and functional studies. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  16. Light Harvesting and White-Light Generation in a Composite of Carbon Dots and Dye-Encapsulated BSA-Protein-Capped Gold Nanoclusters.

    PubMed

    Barman, Monoj Kumar; Paramanik, Bipattaran; Bain, Dipankar; Patra, Amitava

    2016-08-08

    Several strategies have been adopted to design an artificial light-harvesting system in which light energy is captured by peripheral chromophores and it is subsequently transferred to the core via energy transfer. A composite of carbon dots and dye-encapsulated BSA-protein-capped gold nanoclusters (AuNCs) has been developed for efficient light harvesting and white light generation. Carbon dots (C-dots) act as donor and AuNCs capped with BSA protein act as acceptor. Analysis reveals that energy transfer increases from 63 % to 83 % in presence of coumarin dye (C153), which enhances the cascade energy transfer from carbon dots to AuNCs. Bright white light emission with a quantum yield of 19 % under the 375 nm excitation wavelength is achieved by changing the ratio of components. Interesting findings reveal that the efficient energy transfer in carbon-dot-metal-cluster nanocomposites may open up new possibilities in designing artificial light harvesting systems for future applications.

  17. Fluorescence lifetime analyses reveal how the high light-responsive protein LHCSR3 transforms PSII light-harvesting complexes into an energy-dissipative state.

    PubMed

    Kim, Eunchul; Akimoto, Seiji; Tokutsu, Ryutaro; Yokono, Makio; Minagawa, Jun

    2017-09-27

    In green algae, light-harvesting complex stress-related 3 (LHCSR3) is responsible for the pH-dependent dissipation of absorbed light energy, a function vital for survival under high-light conditions. LHCSR3 binds the photosystem II and light-harvesting complex II (PSII-LHCII) supercomplex and transforms it into an energy-dissipative form under acidic conditions, but the molecular mechanism remains unclear. Here we show that in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, LHCSR3 modulates the excitation energy flow and dissipates the excitation energy within the light-harvesting complexes of the PSII supercomplex. Using fluorescence decay-associated spectra analysis, we found that, when the PSII supercomplex is associated with LHCSR3 under high-light conditions, excitation energy transfer from light-harvesting complexes to the chlorophyll-binding protein CP43 is selectively inhibited compared with that to CP47, preventing excess excitation energy from overloading the reaction center. By analyzing femtosecond upconversion fluorescence kinetics, we further found that pH- and LHCSR3-dependent quenching of the PSII-LHCII-LHCSR3 supercomplex is accompanied by a fluorescence emission centered at 684 nm, with a decay time constant of 18.6 ps, which is equivalent to the rise time constant of the lutein radical cation generated within a chlorophyll-lutein heterodimer. These results suggest a mechanism in which LHCSR3 transforms the PSII supercomplex into an energy-dissipative state and provide critical insight into the molecular events and characteristics in LHCSR3-dependent energy quenching. Copyright © 2017, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  18. Reversible changes in macroorganization of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b pigment-protein complex detected by circular dichroism

    SciTech Connect

    Garab, G.; Leegood, R.C.; Walker, D.A.; Sutherland, J.C.; Hind, G.

    1988-04-05

    Light-induced changes in circular dichroism (CD) were studied in thylakoids isolated from spinach. The following features of CD responses occurring in the time range of 10 s to 1-3 min were noted: (i) The kinetics and relative amplitudes of the responses are similar over broad spectral ranges surrounding the major CD bands, i.e., between 670 and 760 nm and between 480 and 550 nm. This applies not only to randomly oriented samples but also to magnetically aligned membranes having markedly different CD spectra in the dark. (ii) Photosystem I is much more effective than photosystem II and can drive a 40-80% decrease in CD signal relative to the dark control level. (iii) Photosystem I driven changes are fully inhibited by nigericin or NH/sub 4/Cl but are largely insensitive to gramicidin. CD changes driven by photosystem II, on the other hand, are sensitive to all of these reagents. (iv) The CD responses can be shown to originate in circular differential scattering rather than in circular differential absorbance. They can also be distinguished from light-induced, nonpolarized scattering changes. The data are qualitatively evaluated with respect to the theory of circular differential scattering of large helically organized macroaggregates, the size of which is commensurate with the wavelength of the measuring beam. The observed decrease of the large CD signal is ascribed to a partial loss of macrohelicity in the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein complex, in response to a proton gradient and/or surface electrical field generated most effectively by photosystem I.

  19. Light harvesting dendrimers.

    PubMed

    Nantalaksakul, Arpornrat; Reddy, D Raghunath; Bardeen, Christopher J; Thayumanavan, S

    2006-01-01

    Tree-like dendrimers with decreasing number of chromophores from periphery to core is an attractive candidate for light-harvesting applications. Numerous dendritic designs with different kinds of light-collecting chromophores at periphery and an energy-sink at the core have been demonstrated with high energy transfer efficiency. These building blocks are now being developed for several applications such as light-emitting diodes, frequency converters and other photonic devices. This review outlines the efforts that are based on both conjugated and non-conjugated dendrimers.

  20. The P-700-chlorophyl alpha-protein complex and two major light-harvesting complexes of Acrocarpia paniculata and other brown seaweeds.

    PubMed

    Barrett, J; Anderson, J M

    1980-05-09

    Acrocarpia paniculata thylakoids were fragmented with Triton X-100 and the pigment-protein complexes so released were isolated by sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Three main chlorophyll-carotenoid-protein complexes with distinct pigment compositions were isolated. (1) A P-700-chlorophyll a-protein complex, with a ratio of 1 P-700: 38 chlorophyll a: 4 beta-carotene molecules, had similar absorption and fluorescence characteristics to the chlorophyll-protein complex 1 isolated with Triton X-100 from higher plants, green algae and Ecklonia radiata. (2) an orange-brown complex had a chlorophyll a : c2 : fucoxanthin molar ratio of 2 : 1 : 2. this complex had no chlorophyll c1 and contained most of the fucoxanthin present in the chloroplasts. This pigment complex is postulated to be the main light-harvesting complex of brown seaweeds. (3) A green complex had a chlorophyll a : c1 : c2 : violaxanthin molar ratio of 8 : 1 : 1. This also is a light-harvesting complex. the absorption and fluorescence spectral characteristics and other physical properties were consistent with the pigments of these three major complexes being bound to protein. Differential extraction of brown algal thylakoids with Triton X-100 showed that a chlorophyll c2-fucoxanthin-protein complex was a minor pigment complex of these thylakoids.

  1. The trade-off between the light-harvesting and photoprotective functions of fucoxanthin-chlorophyll proteins dominates light acclimation in Emiliania huxleyi (clone CCMP 1516).

    PubMed

    McKew, Boyd A; Davey, Phillip; Finch, Stewart J; Hopkins, Jason; Lefebvre, Stephane C; Metodiev, Metodi V; Oxborough, Kevin; Raines, Christine A; Lawson, Tracy; Geider, Richard J

    2013-10-01

    Mechanistic understanding of the costs and benefits of photoacclimation requires knowledge of how photophysiology is affected by changes in the molecular structure of the chloroplast. We tested the hypothesis that changes in the light dependencies of photosynthesis, nonphotochemical quenching and PSII photoinactivation arises from changes in the abundances of chloroplast proteins in Emiliania huxleyi strain CCMP 1516 grown at 30 (Low Light; LL) and 1000 (High Light; HL) μmol photons m(-2) s(-1) photon flux densities. Carbon-specific light-saturated gross photosynthesis rates were not significantly different between cells acclimated to LL and HL. Acclimation to LL benefited cells by increasing biomass-specific light absorption and gross photosynthesis rates under low light, whereas acclimation to HL benefited cells by reducing the rate of photoinactivation of PSII under high light. Differences in the relative abundances of proteins assigned to light-harvesting (Lhcf), photoprotection (LI818-like), and the photosystem II (PSII) core complex accompanied differences in photophysiology: specifically, Lhcf:PSII was greater under LL, whereas LI818:PSII was greater in HL. Thus, photoacclimation in E. huxleyi involved a trade-off amongst the characteristics of light absorption and photoprotection, which could be attributed to changes in the abundance and composition of proteins in the light-harvesting antenna of PSII.

  2. Consecutive binding of chlorophylls a and b during the assembly in vitro of light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b protein (LHCIIb).

    PubMed

    Horn, Ruth; Grundmann, Götz; Paulsen, Harald

    2007-02-23

    The apoprotein of the major light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b complex (LHCIIb) is post-translationally imported into the chloroplast, where membrane insertion, protein folding, and pigment binding take place. The sequence and molecular mechanism of the latter steps is largely unknown. The complex spontaneously self-organises in vitro to form structurally authentic LHCIIb upon reconstituting the unfolded recombinant protein with the pigments chlorophyll a, b, and carotenoids in detergent micelles. Former measurements of LHCIIb assembly had revealed two apparent kinetic phases, a faster one (tau1) in the range of 10 s to 1 min, and a slower one (tau2) in the range of several min. To unravel the sequence of events we analysed the binding of chlorophylls into the complex by using time-resolved fluorescence measurements of resonance energy transfer from chlorophylls to an acceptor dye attached to the apoprotein. Chlorophyll a, offered in the absence of chlorophyll b, bound with the faster kinetics (tau1) exclusively whereas chlorophyll b, in the absence of chlorophyll a, bound predominantly with the slower kinetics (tau2). In double-jump experiments, LHCIIb assembly could be dissected into a faster chlorophyll a and a subsequent, predominantly slower chlorophyll b-binding step. The assignment of the faster and the slower kinetic phase to predominantly chlorophyll a and exclusively chlorophyll b binding, respectively, was verified by analysing the assembly kinetics with a circular dichroism signal in the visible domain presumably reflecting the establishment of pigment-pigment interactions. We propose that slow chlorophyll binding is confined to the exclusively chlorophyll b binding sites whereas faster binding occurs to the chlorophyll a binding sites. The latter sites can bind both chlorophylls a and b but in a reversible fashion as long as the complex is not stabilised by proper occupation of the chlorophyll b sites. The resulting two-step model of LHCIIb assembly is

  3. PS2013 Satellite Workshop on Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Niederman, Robert A.; Blankenship, Robert E.; Frank, Harry A.

    2015-02-07

    These funds were used for partial support of the PS2013 Satellite Workshop on Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Systems, that was held on 8-11 August, 2013, at Washington University, St. Louis, MO. This conference, held in conjunction with the 16th International Congress on Photosynthesis/St. Louis, continued a long tradition of light-harvesting satellite conferences that have been held prior to the previous six international photosynthesis congresses. In this Workshop, the basis was explored for the current interest in replacing fossil fuels with energy sources derived form direct solar radiation, coupled with light-driven electron transport in natural photosynthetic systems and how they offer a valuable blueprint for conversion of sunlight to useful energy forms. This was accomplished through sessions on the initial light-harvesting events in the biological conversion of solar energy to chemically stored energy forms, and how these natural photosynthetic processes serve as a guide to the development of robust bio-hybrid and artificial systems for solar energy conversion into both electricity or chemical fuels. Organized similar to a Gordon Research Conference, a lively, informal and collegial setting was established, highlighting the exchange of exciting new data and unpublished results from ongoing studies. A significant amount of time was set aside for open discussion and interactive poster sessions, with a special session devoted to oral presentations by talented students and postdoctoral fellows judged to have the best posters. This area of research has seen exceptionally rapid progress in recent years, with the availability of a number of antenna protein structures at atomic resolution, elucidation of the molecular surface architecture of native photosynthetic membranes by atomic force microscopy and the maturing of ultrafast spectroscopic and molecular biological techniques for the investigation and manipulation of photosynthetic systems. The conferees

  4. How Quantum Coherence Assists Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Strümpfer, J; Şener, M; Schulten, K

    2012-01-01

    This perspective examines how hundreds of pigment molecules in purple bacteria cooperate through quantum coherence to achieve remarkable light harvesting efficiency. Quantum coherent sharing of excitation, which modifies excited state energy levels and combines transition dipole moments, enables rapid transfer of excitation over large distances. Purple bacteria exploit the resulting excitation transfer to engage many antenna proteins in light harvesting, thereby increasing the rate of photon absorption and energy conversion. We highlight here how quantum coherence comes about and plays a key role in the photosynthetic apparatus of purple bacteria. PMID:22844553

  5. Polyclonal antibodies to light-harvesting CHL-protein of PSII (LHC II) in marine green algae Bryopsis corticulans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiaonan; Zhou, Baicheng; Tseng, C. K.

    1992-06-01

    Polyc·lonal antibodies raised against LHC II isolated from SDS-solubilized Bryopsis corticulans thylakiod membranes by SDS-PAGE, were characterised by double immunodiffusion, Rocket immunoelectrophoresis and antigen-antibody crossed immunoelectro-phoresis assays showed the antibodies had strong cross-reaction with all B. corticulans LHC II components (even with those which were incubated in boiling water) and showed immunological cross-reactivity with LHC II polypeptides of spinach and the marine green alga Codium fragile. The results suggested that LHC II of different species had similar antigenic determinants and also conservation of amino acid sequences of the polypeptides during evolution, and that the antibodies could cross react with apoproteins of D2 proteins (which contain P680) from B. corticulans, spinach and C. fragile, but not with apoproteins of P700 Chl-proteins. Our results indicated some similarities in primary structure between LHC II of different species, and between LHC II and D2 proteins of marine green algae and spinach. Our finding that D2 and P700 Chl-proteins are not immunologically related suggested that P700 Chl-proteins and D2 proteins pass through independent evolutionary pathways.

  6. The proteolysis adaptor, NblA, initiates protein pigment degradation by interacting with the cyanobacterial light-harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Sendersky, Eleonora; Kozer, Noga; Levi, Mali; Garini, Yuval; Shav-Tal, Yaron; Schwarz, Rakefet

    2014-07-01

    Degradation of the cyanobacterial protein pigment complexes, the phycobilisomes, is a central acclimation response that controls light energy capture. The small protein, NblA, is essential for proteolysis of these large complexes, which may reach a molecular mass of up to 4 MDa. Interactions of NblA in vitro supported the suggestion that NblA is a proteolysis adaptor that labels the pigment proteins for degradation. The mode of operation of NblA in situ, however, remained unresolved. Particularly, it was unclear whether NblA interacts with phycobilisome proteins while part of the large complex, or alternatively interaction with NblA, necessitates dissociation of pigment subunits from the assembly. Fluorescence intensity profiles demonstrated the preferential presence of NblA::GFP (green fluorescent protein) at the photosynthetic membranes, indicating co-localization with phycobilisomes. Furthermore, fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy provided in situ evidence for interaction of NblA with phycobilisome protein pigments. Additionally, we demonstrated the role of NblA in vivo as a proteolysis tag based on the rapid degradation of the fusion protein NblA::GFP compared with free GFP. Taken together, these observations demonstrated in vivo the role of NblA as a proteolysis adaptor. Additionally, the interaction of NblA with phycobilisomes indicates that the dissociation of protein pigment subunits from the large complex is not a prerequisite for interaction with this adaptor and, furthermore, implicates NblA in the disassembly of the protein pigment complex. Thus, we suggest that, in the case of proteolysis of the phycobilisome, the adaptor serves a dual function: undermining the complex stability and designating the dissociated pigments for degradation.

  7. Proteomics of Light-Harvesting Proteins in Different Plant Species. Analysis and Comparison by Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry. Photosystem I1

    PubMed Central

    Zolla, Lello; Rinalducci, Sara; Timperio, Anna Maria; Huber, Christian G.

    2002-01-01

    The light-harvesting proteins (Lhca) of photosystem I (PSI) from four monocot and five dicot species were extracted from plant material, separated by reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and subsequently identified on the basis of their intact molecular masses upon on-line hyphenation with electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. Although their migration behavior in gel electrophoresis was very similar, the elution times among the four antenna types in reversed-phase-HPLC differed significantly, even more than those observed for the light-harvesting proteins of photosystem II. Identification of proteins is based on the good agreement between the measured intact molecular masses and the values calculated on the basis of their nucleotide-derived amino acid sequences, which makes the intact molecular masses applicable as intact mass tags. These values match excellently for Arabidopsis, most probably because of the availability of high-quality DNA sequence data. In all species examined, the four antennae eluted in the same order, namely Lhca1 > Lhca3 > Lhca4 > Lhca2. These characteristic patterns enabled an unequivocal assignment of the proteins in preparations from different species. Interestingly, in all species examined, Lhca1 and Lhca2 were present in two or three isoforms. A fifth antenna protein, corresponding to the Lhca6 gene, was found in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). However PSI showed a lower heterogeneity than photosystem II. In most plant species, Lhca2 and Lhca4 proteins are the most abundant PSI antenna proteins. The HPLC method used in this study was found to be highly reproducible, and the chromatograms may serve as a highly confident fingerprint for comparison within a single and among different species for future studies of the PSI antenna. PMID:12481076

  8. Light-harvesting complex II pigments and proteins in association with Cbr, a homolog of higher-plant early light-inducible proteins in the unicellular green alga Dunaliella.

    PubMed

    Banet, G; Pick, U; Zamir, A

    2000-05-01

    Like higher plants, unicellular green algae of the genus Dunaliella respond to light stress by enhanced de-epoxidation of violaxanthin and accumulation of Cbr, a protein homologous to early light-inducible proteins (Elips) in plants. Earlier studies indicated that Cbr was associated with the light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCII) and suggested it acted as a zeaxanthin-binding protein and fulfilled a photo-protective function (Levy et al. 1993, J. Biol. Chem. 268: 20892-20896). To characterize the protein-pigment subcomplexes containing Cbr in greater detail than attained so far, thylakoid membranes from Dunaliella salina grown in high light or normal light were solubilized with dodecyl maltoside and fractionated by isoelectric-focusing. Analysis of the resolved LHCII subcomplexes indicated preferred associations among the four LHCIIb polypeptides and between them and Cbr: subcomplexes including Cbr contained one or two of the more acidic of the four LHCIIb polypeptides as well as large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin relative to chlorophyll a/b. After sucrose gradient centrifugation, Cbr free of LHCIIb polypeptides was detected together with released pigments; this Cbr possibly originated in subcomplexes dissociated in the course of the analysis. These results agree with the conclusion that Cbr is part of the network of LHCIIb protein-pigment complexes and suggest that the role played by Cbr involves the organization and/or stabilization of assemblies highly enriched in zeaxanthin and lutein. Such assemblies may function to protect PSII from photodamage due to overexcitation.

  9. Light-harvesting superstructures of green plant chloroplasts lacking photosystems.

    PubMed

    Belgio, Erica; Ungerer, Petra; Ruban, Alexander V

    2015-10-01

    The light-harvesting antenna of higher plant photosystem II (LHCII) is the major photosynthetic membrane component encoded by an entire family of homologous nuclear genes. On the contrary, the great majority of proteins of photosystems and electron transport components are encoded by the chloroplast genome. In this work, we succeeded in gradually inhibiting the expression of the chloroplast genes that led to the disappearance of the photosystem complexes, mimicking almost total photoinhibition. The treated plants, despite displaying only some early signs of senescence, sustained their metabolism and growth for several weeks. The only major remaining membrane component was LHCII antenna that formed superstructures - stacks of dozens of thylakoids or supergrana. Freeze-fracture electron microscopy revealed specific organization, directly displaying frequently bifurcated membranes with reduced or totally absent photosystem II (PSII) reaction centre complexes. Our findings show that it is possible to accumulate large amounts of light-harvesting membranes, organized into three-dimensional structures, in the absence of reaction centre complexes. This points to the reciprocal role of LHCII and PSII in self-assembly of the three-dimensional matrix of the photosynthetic membrane, dictating its size and flexible adaptation to the light environment.

  10. Identification of light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein genes of Zostera marina L. and their expression under different environmental conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Fanna; Zhou, Yang; Sun, Peipei; Cao, Min; Li, Hong; Mao, Yunxiang

    2016-02-01

    Photosynthesis includes the collection of light and the transfer of solar energy using light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding (LHC) proteins. In high plants, the LHC gene family includes LHCA and LHCB sub-families, which encode proteins constituting the light-harvesting complex of photosystems I and II. Zostera marina L. is a monocotyledonous angiosperm and inhabits submerged marine environments rather than land environments. We characterized the Lhca and Lhcb gene families of Z. marina from the expressed sequence tags (EST) database. In total, 13 unigenes were annotated as ZmLhc, 6 in Lhca family and 7 in ZmLhcb family. ZmLHCA and ZmLHCB contained the conservative LHC motifs and amino acid residues binding chlorophyll. The average similarity among mature ZmLHCA and ZmLHCB was 48.91% and 48.66%, respectively, which indicated a high degree of divergence within ZmLHChc gene family. The reconstructed phylogenetic tree showed that the tree topology and phylogenetic relationship were similar to those reported in other high plants, suggesting that the Lhc genes were highly conservative and the classification of ZmLhc genes was consistent with the evolutionary position of Z. marina. Real-time reverse transcription (RT) PCR analysis showed that different members of ZmLhca and ZmLhcb responded to a stress in different expression patterns. Salinity, temperature, light intensity and light quality may affect the expression of most ZmLhca and ZmLhcb genes. Inorganic carbon concentration and acidity had no obvious effect on ZmLhca and ZmLhcb gene expression, except for ZmLhca6.

  11. Optimization of light harvesting and photoprotection: molecular mechanisms and physiological consequences.

    PubMed

    Horton, Peter

    2012-12-19

    The distinctive lateral organization of the protein complexes in the thylakoid membrane investigated by Jan Anderson and co-workers is dependent on the balance of various attractive and repulsive forces. Modulation of these forces allows critical physiological regulation of photosynthesis that provides efficient light-harvesting in limiting light but dissipation of excess potentially damaging radiation in saturating light. The light-harvesting complexes (LHCII) are central to this regulation, which is achieved by phosphorylation of stromal residues, protonation on the lumen surface and de-epoxidation of bound violaxanthin. The functional flexibility of LHCII derives from a remarkable pigment composition and configuration that not only allow efficient absorption of light and efficient energy transfer either to photosystem II or photosystem I core complexes, but through subtle configurational changes can also exhibit highly efficient dissipative reactions involving chlorophyll-xanthophyll and/or chlorophyll-chlorophyll interactions. These changes in function are determined at a macroscopic level by alterations in protein-protein interactions in the thylakoid membrane. The capacity and dynamics of this regulation are tuned to different physiological scenarios by the exact protein and pigment content of the light-harvesting system. Here, the molecular mechanisms involved will be reviewed, and the optimization of the light-harvesting system in different environmental conditions described.

  12. Induction of efficient energy dissipation in the isolated light-harvesting complex of Photosystem II in the absence of protein aggregation.

    PubMed

    Ilioaia, Cristian; Johnson, Matthew P; Horton, Peter; Ruban, Alexander V

    2008-10-24

    Under excess illumination, the Photosystem II light-harvesting antenna of higher plants has the ability to switch into an efficient photoprotective mode, allowing safe dissipation of excitation energy into heat. In this study, we show induction of the energy dissipation state, monitored by chlorophyll fluorescence quenching, in the isolated major light-harvesting complex (LHCII) incorporated into a solid gel system. Removal of detergent caused strong fluorescence quenching, which was totally reversible. Singlet-singlet annihilation and gel electrophoresis experiments suggested that the quenched complexes were in the trimeric not aggregated state. Both the formation and recovery of this quenching state were inhibited by a cross-linker, implying involvement of conformational changes. Absorption and CD measurements performed on the samples in the quenched state revealed specific alterations in the spectral bands assigned to the red forms of chlorophyll a, neoxanthin, and lutein 1 molecules. The majority of these alterations were similar to those observed during LHCII aggregation. This suggests that not the aggregation process as such but rather an intrinsic conformational transition in the complex is responsible for establishment of quenching. 77 K fluorescence measurements showed red-shifted chlorophyll a fluorescence in the 690-705 nm region, previously observed in aggregated LHCII. The fact that all spectral changes associated with the dissipative mode observed in the gel were different from those of the partially denatured complex strongly argues against the involvement of protein denaturation in the observed quenching. The implications of these findings for proposed mechanisms of energy dissipation in the Photosystem II antenna are discussed.

  13. Photoinduced Electronic Energy Transfer: Theoretical and Experimental Issues for Light Harvesting Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-10-21

    harvesting systems. Summary of key results: 1. Coherence in photosynthetic light harvesting (experiment) The initial step in photosynthesis ...coherence” (submitted 2013). Abstract: Photosynthesis begins with light harvesting, where specialized pigment-protein complexes transform sunlight into...Scholes, “Quantitative Investigations of Quantum Coherence for a Light-Harvesting Protein at Conditions Simulating Photosynthesis ”, Phys. Chem

  14. Role of Ions in the Regulation of Light-Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Kaňa, Radek; Govindjee

    2016-01-01

    Regulation of photosynthetic light harvesting in the thylakoids is one of the major key factors affecting the efficiency of photosynthesis. Thylakoid membrane is negatively charged and influences both the structure and the function of the primarily photosynthetic reactions through its electrical double layer (EDL). Further, there is a heterogeneous organization of soluble ions (K+, Mg2+, Cl−) attached to the thylakoid membrane that, together with fixed charges (negatively charged amino acids, lipids), provides an electrical field. The EDL is affected by the valence of the ions and interferes with the regulation of “state transitions,” protein interactions, and excitation energy “spillover” from Photosystem II to Photosystem I. These effects are reflected in changes in the intensity of chlorophyll a fluorescence, which is also a measure of photoprotective non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of the excited state of chlorophyll a. A triggering of NPQ proceeds via lumen acidification that is coupled to the export of positive counter-ions (Mg2+, K+) to the stroma or/and negative ions (e.g., Cl−) into the lumen. The effect of protons and anions in the lumen and of the cations (Mg2+, K+) in the stroma are, thus, functionally tightly interconnected. In this review, we discuss the consequences of the model of EDL, proposed by Barber (1980b) Biochim Biophys Acta 594:253–308) in light of light-harvesting regulation. Further, we explain differences between electrostatic screening and neutralization, and we emphasize the opposite effect of monovalent (K+) and divalent (Mg2+) ions on light-harvesting and on “screening” of the negative charges on the thylakoid membrane; this effect needs to be incorporated in all future models of photosynthetic regulation by ion channels and transporters. PMID:28018387

  15. Pigment organisation in the membrane-intrinsic major light-harvesting complex of Amphidinium carterae: Structural characterisation of the peridinins and chlorophylls a and c2 by resonance Raman spectroscopy and from sequence analysis.

    PubMed

    Premvardhan, Lavanya; Robert, Bruno; Hiller, Roger G

    2015-10-01

    The structures and environments of the protein-bound peridinins (Pers) and chlorophylls (Chls) a/c2 in the membrane-intrinsic major light-harvesting complex of the dinoflagellate Amphidinium carterae (LHCAmph) are characterised using resonance Raman (RR) spectroscopy with 11 excitation wavelengths, at 77K. The excitation-dependent variation in the CC stretching mode (ν1) suggests the presence of three Pers with conjugation lengths over 8 double bonds (dBs), and one diadinoxanthin, between 413.7 and 528.7nm. Two Perred species are revealed on excitation at 550 and 560nm. These Perred species exhibit anomalously low ν1 values, together with notable resonant enhancement of lactone ring-breathing and -deformation modes. To discern protein-specific effects, the RR spectra are compared to that of Per in polar (acetonitrile), polarisable (toluene) and polar-protic (ethanol) solvents. Resonantly enhanced lactone, ring-breathing (942cm(-1)) and ring-deformation (~650cm(-1)), modes are identified both in solution, and in the protein, and discussed in the context of the mixing of the S1 and S2 states, and formation of the intramolecular charge-transfer (ICT) state. In the Chl-absorbing region, two sets of Chl c2's, and (at least) six Chl a's can be differentiated. With a pigment ratio of 5-6 (Chl a):2 (Chl c2):5-6 (Per):1 Ddx determined from the fit to the RT absorption and 77K RR spectra, sequence comparison of LHCAmp to LHCII, and the diatom LHC, fucoxanthin-chlorophyll-a/c-protein (FCP), a template for the conserved pigment binding sites is proposed, to fill the paucity of structural information in the absence of a crystal structure for LHCAmph.

  16. Characterization of a trimeric light-harvesting complex in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum built of FcpA and FcpE proteins

    PubMed Central

    Joshi-Deo, Jidnyasa; Schmidt, Matthias; Gruber, Ansgar; Weisheit, Wolfram; Mittag, Maria; Kroth, Peter G.; Büchel, Claudia

    2010-01-01

    Fucoxanthin chlorophyll proteins (Fcps), the light-harvesting antennas of heterokont algae, are encoded by a multigene family and are highly similar with respect to their molecular masses as well as to their pigmentation, making it difficult to purify single Fcps. In this study, a hexa-histidine tag was genetically added to the C-terminus of the FcpA protein of the pennate diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. A transgenic strain expressing the recombinant His-tagged FcpA protein in addition to the endogenous wild type Fcps was created. This strategy allowed, for the first time, the purification of a specific, stable trimeric Fcp complex. In addition, a pool of various trimeric Fcps was also purified from the wild-type cells using sucrose density gradient ultracentrifugation and gel filtration. In both the His-tagged and the wild-type Fcps, excitation energy coupling between fucoxanthin and chlorophyll a was intact and the existence of a chlorophyll a/fucoxanthin excitonic dimer was demonstrated using circular dichroism spectroscopy. Mass spectrometric analyses of the trimeric His-tagged complex indicated that it is composed of FcpA and FcpE polypeptides. It is confirmed here that a trimer is the basic organizational unit of Fcps in P. tricornutum. From circular dichroism spectra, it is proposed that the organization of the pigments on the polypeptide backbone of Fcps is a conserved feature in the case of chlorophyll a/c containing algae. PMID:20478968

  17. Identification of pH-sensing Sites in the Light Harvesting Complex Stress-related 3 Protein Essential for Triggering Non-photochemical Quenching in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii*

    PubMed Central

    Ballottari, Matteo; Truong, Thuy B.; De Re, Eleonora; Erickson, Erika; Stella, Giulio R.; Fleming, Graham R.; Bassi, Roberto; Niyogi, Krishna K.

    2016-01-01

    Light harvesting complex stress-related 3 (LHCSR3) is the protein essential for photoprotective excess energy dissipation (non-photochemical quenching, NPQ) in the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Activation of NPQ requires low pH in the thylakoid lumen, which is induced in excess light conditions and sensed by lumen-exposed acidic residues. In this work we have used site-specific mutagenesis in vivo and in vitro for identification of the residues in LHCSR3 that are responsible for sensing lumen pH. Lumen-exposed protonatable residues, aspartate and glutamate, were mutated to asparagine and glutamine, respectively. By expression in a mutant lacking all LHCSR isoforms, residues Asp117, Glu221, and Glu224 were shown to be essential for LHCSR3-dependent NPQ induction in C. reinhardtii. Analysis of recombinant proteins carrying the same mutations refolded in vitro with pigments showed that the capacity of responding to low pH by decreasing the fluorescence lifetime, present in the wild-type protein, was lost. Consistent with a role in pH sensing, the mutations led to a substantial reduction in binding the NPQ inhibitor dicyclohexylcarbodiimide. PMID:26817847

  18. Quantum physics of photosynthetic light-harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Damjanovic, Ana

    2001-12-01

    Absorption of light by light harvesting complexes and transfer of electronic excitation to the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) constitutes the primary step of photosynthesis, i.e., the light harvesting process. A model for an atomic level structure of a so-called photosynthetic unit of the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides has been established recently. The photosynthetic unit (PSU) of purple bacterium combines a nanometric assembly of three protein complexes: (i)the photosynthetic reaction center, (ii)a ring-shaped light harvesting complex LH-I, and (iii)multiple copies of a similar complex, LH-II. The model describes in detail the organization of pigments involved in primary light absorption and excitation transfer: a hierarchy of ring- shaped chlorophyll-carotenoid aggregates which surround four centrally located chlorophylls of the photosynthetic reaction center. This thesis presents a quantum- mechanical description of the light harvesting process in the PSU, based on the atomic level model. Excitation transfer rates for various excitation transfer steps have been determined through Fermi's golden rule. To describe electronic excitations of the strongly coupled chlorophyll aggregate in LH-II, an effective Hamiltonian has been established. This Hamiltonian has further been extended to describe also the LH-II --> LH-II --> LH-I --> RC cascade of excitation transfer. The results suggest that, in the absence of disorder, the electronic excitations in LH-II are coherently delocalizaed over the ring, and that such excitonic states speed up the light-harvesting process. Influence of thermal disorder on exciton coherence has been studied by means of a combined molecular dynamics/quantum chemistry approach. The results indicate a significant loss of coherence due to thermal effects. Excitation transfer between carotenoids and chlorophylls has been investigated in two light-harvesting complexes; LH-II of the purple bacterium Rhodospirillum

  19. Spectroscopic Investigations of the Photophysics of Cryptophyte Light-Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dinshaw, Rayomond

    The biological significance of photosynthesis is indisputable as it is necessary for nearly all life on earth. Photosynthesis provides chemical energy for plants, algae, and bacteria, while heterotrophic organisms rely on these species as their ultimate food source. The initial step in photosynthesis requires the absorption of sunlight to create electronic excitations. Light-harvesting proteins play the functional role of capturing solar radiation and transferring the resulting excitation to the reaction centers where it is used to carry out the chemical reactions of photosynthesis. Despite the wide variety of light-harvesting protein structures and arrangements, most light-harvesting proteins are able to utilize the captured solar energy for charge separation with near perfect quantum efficiency.1 This thesis will focus on understanding the energy transfer dynamics and photophysics of a specific subset of light-harvesting antennae known as phycobiliproteins. These proteins are extracted from cryptophyte algae and are investigated using steady-state and ultrafast spectroscopic techniques.

  20. Euglena light-harvesting chlorophyll A/B binding protein (LHCP) synthesized as an unusually large precursor

    SciTech Connect

    Rikin, A.; Meyer, A.; Schwartzbach, S.

    1987-04-01

    Light increased the rate of LHCP synthesis as measured by pulse-labeling with /sup 35/SO/sub 4/ and immunoprecipitation with antibody specific for Euglena LHCP. In addition to the mature LHCP, 26,000 daltons, the LHCP specific antibody immunoprecipitated large amounts of several proteins having molecular weights of approximately 100,000. On immunoblots of immunoprecipitated unlabeled protein, the antibody only detected the mature LHCP suggesting that the high molecular weight proteins are not LHCP aggregates produced during immunoprecipitation. After a 10 min pulse with /sup 35/SO/sub 4/, the 100,000 dalton proteins constituted over 80% of the immunoprecipitated material. In a subsequent chase, the radioactivity in the 100,000 dalton proteins decreased and the radioactivity in the mature LHCP increased suggesting a precursor-product relationship. After a 35 minute chase, the mature LHCP was the major radioactive protein immunoprecipitated. Peptide mapping and in vitro translation are being used to clarify the structural and functional relationships, if any, between the 100,000 and 26,000 dalton immunoprecipitation products.

  1. Influence of site-dependent pigment-protein interactions on excitation energy transfer in photosynthetic light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Rivera, Eva; Montemayor, Daniel; Masia, Marco; Coker, David F

    2013-05-09

    A site-dependent spectral density system-bath model of the Fenna-Matthews-Olsen (FMO) pigment-protein complex is developed using results from ground-state molecular mechanics simulations together with a partial charge difference model for how the long-range contributions to the chromophore excitation energies fluctuate with environmental configuration. A discussion of how best to consistently process the chromophore excitation energy fluctuation correlation functions calculated in these classical simulations to obtain reliable site-dependent spectral densities is presented. The calculations reveal that chromophores that are close to the protein-water interface can experience strongly dissipative environmental interactions characterized by reorganization energies that can be as much as 2-3 times those of chromophores that are buried deep in the hydrophobic protein scaffolding. Using a linearized density matrix quantum propagation method, we demonstrate that the inhomogeneous system-bath model obtained from our site-dependent spectral density calculations gives results consistent with experimental dissipation and dephasing rates. Moreover, we show that this model can simultaneously enhance the energy-transfer rate and extend the decoherence time. Finally, we explore the influence of initially exciting different chromophores and mutating local environments on energy transfer through the network. These studies suggest that different pathways, selected by varying initial photoexcitation, can exhibit significantly different relaxation times depending on whether the energy-transfer path involves chromophores at the protein-solvent interface or if all chromophores in the pathway are buried in the protein.

  2. Plants Actively Avoid State Transitions upon Changes in Light Intensity: Role of Light-Harvesting Complex II Protein Dephosphorylation in High Light.

    PubMed

    Mekala, Nageswara Rao; Suorsa, Marjaana; Rantala, Marjaana; Aro, Eva-Mari; Tikkanen, Mikko

    2015-06-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) core and light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) proteins in plant chloroplasts undergo reversible phosphorylation upon changes in light intensity (being under control of redox-regulated STN7 and STN8 kinases and TAP38/PPH1 and PSII core phosphatases). Shift of plants from growth light to high light results in an increase of PSII core phosphorylation, whereas LHCII phosphorylation concomitantly decreases. Exactly the opposite takes place when plants are shifted to lower light intensity. Despite distinct changes occurring in thylakoid protein phosphorylation upon light intensity changes, the excitation balance between PSII and photosystem I remains unchanged. This differs drastically from the canonical-state transition model induced by artificial states 1 and 2 lights that concomitantly either dephosphorylate or phosphorylate, respectively, both the PSII core and LHCII phosphoproteins. Analysis of the kinase and phosphatase mutants revealed that TAP38/PPH1 phosphatase is crucial in preventing state transition upon increase in light intensity. Indeed, tap38/pph1 mutant revealed strong concomitant phosphorylation of both the PSII core and LHCII proteins upon transfer to high light, thus resembling the wild type under state 2 light. Coordinated function of thylakoid protein kinases and phosphatases is shown to secure balanced excitation energy for both photosystems by preventing state transitions upon changes in light intensity. Moreover, proton gradient regulation5 (PGR5) is required for proper regulation of thylakoid protein kinases and phosphatases, and the pgr5 mutant mimics phenotypes of tap38/pph1. This shows that there is a close cooperation between the redox- and proton gradient-dependent regulatory mechanisms for proper function of the photosynthetic machinery. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  3. Plants Actively Avoid State Transitions upon Changes in Light Intensity: Role of Light-Harvesting Complex II Protein Dephosphorylation in High Light1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Suorsa, Marjaana; Rantala, Marjaana; Aro, Eva-Mari

    2015-01-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) core and light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) proteins in plant chloroplasts undergo reversible phosphorylation upon changes in light intensity (being under control of redox-regulated STN7 and STN8 kinases and TAP38/PPH1 and PSII core phosphatases). Shift of plants from growth light to high light results in an increase of PSII core phosphorylation, whereas LHCII phosphorylation concomitantly decreases. Exactly the opposite takes place when plants are shifted to lower light intensity. Despite distinct changes occurring in thylakoid protein phosphorylation upon light intensity changes, the excitation balance between PSII and photosystem I remains unchanged. This differs drastically from the canonical-state transition model induced by artificial states 1 and 2 lights that concomitantly either dephosphorylate or phosphorylate, respectively, both the PSII core and LHCII phosphoproteins. Analysis of the kinase and phosphatase mutants revealed that TAP38/PPH1 phosphatase is crucial in preventing state transition upon increase in light intensity. Indeed, tap38/pph1 mutant revealed strong concomitant phosphorylation of both the PSII core and LHCII proteins upon transfer to high light, thus resembling the wild type under state 2 light. Coordinated function of thylakoid protein kinases and phosphatases is shown to secure balanced excitation energy for both photosystems by preventing state transitions upon changes in light intensity. Moreover, PROTON GRADIENT REGULATION5 (PGR5) is required for proper regulation of thylakoid protein kinases and phosphatases, and the pgr5 mutant mimics phenotypes of tap38/pph1. This shows that there is a close cooperation between the redox- and proton gradient-dependent regulatory mechanisms for proper function of the photosynthetic machinery. PMID:25902812

  4. Study of Xanthorhodopsin, the Retinal-Protein Proton Pump of Salinibacter ruber with Light-Harvesting Carotenoid Antenna

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-03-19

    because at this wavelength the carotenoids usually exhibit strong Sz-Sn transition [28]. Simultaneously, one can monitor the appearance of the product ...other documentation. 14. ABSTRACT The project produced initial characterization ofxanthorhodopsin, a novel carotenoid /retinal protein complex from the...not found in any other retinal-based pumps. Fluorescence studies showed that 45% oflight quanta absorbed by the carotenoid salinixanthin is transferred

  5. Photosynthetic light harvesting: excitons and coherence.

    PubMed

    Fassioli, Francesca; Dinshaw, Rayomond; Arpin, Paul C; Scholes, Gregory D

    2014-03-06

    Photosynthesis begins with light harvesting, where specialized pigment-protein complexes transform sunlight into electronic excitations delivered to reaction centres to initiate charge separation. There is evidence that quantum coherence between electronic excited states plays a role in energy transfer. In this review, we discuss how quantum coherence manifests in photosynthetic light harvesting and its implications. We begin by examining the concept of an exciton, an excited electronic state delocalized over several spatially separated molecules, which is the most widely available signature of quantum coherence in light harvesting. We then discuss recent results concerning the possibility that quantum coherence between electronically excited states of donors and acceptors may give rise to a quantum coherent evolution of excitations, modifying the traditional incoherent picture of energy transfer. Key to this (partially) coherent energy transfer appears to be the structure of the environment, in particular the participation of non-equilibrium vibrational modes. We discuss the open questions and controversies regarding quantum coherent energy transfer and how these can be addressed using new experimental techniques.

  6. Photosynthetic light harvesting: excitons and coherence

    PubMed Central

    Fassioli, Francesca; Dinshaw, Rayomond; Arpin, Paul C.; Scholes, Gregory D.

    2014-01-01

    Photosynthesis begins with light harvesting, where specialized pigment–protein complexes transform sunlight into electronic excitations delivered to reaction centres to initiate charge separation. There is evidence that quantum coherence between electronic excited states plays a role in energy transfer. In this review, we discuss how quantum coherence manifests in photosynthetic light harvesting and its implications. We begin by examining the concept of an exciton, an excited electronic state delocalized over several spatially separated molecules, which is the most widely available signature of quantum coherence in light harvesting. We then discuss recent results concerning the possibility that quantum coherence between electronically excited states of donors and acceptors may give rise to a quantum coherent evolution of excitations, modifying the traditional incoherent picture of energy transfer. Key to this (partially) coherent energy transfer appears to be the structure of the environment, in particular the participation of non-equilibrium vibrational modes. We discuss the open questions and controversies regarding quantum coherent energy transfer and how these can be addressed using new experimental techniques. PMID:24352671

  7. Photon echo studies of photosynthetic light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Read, Elizabeth L; Lee, Hohjai; Fleming, Graham R

    2009-01-01

    The broad linewidths in absorption spectra of photosynthetic complexes obscure information related to their structure and function. Photon echo techniques represent a powerful class of time-resolved electronic spectroscopy that allow researchers to probe the interactions normally hidden under broad linewidths with sufficient time resolution to follow the fastest energy transfer events in light harvesting. Here, we outline the technical approach and applications of two types of photon echo experiments: the photon echo peak shift and two-dimensional (2D) Fourier transform photon echo spectroscopy. We review several extensions of these techniques to photosynthetic complexes. Photon echo peak shift spectroscopy can be used to determine the strength of coupling between a pigment and its surrounding environment including neighboring pigments and to quantify timescales of energy transfer. Two-dimensional spectroscopy yields a frequency-resolved map of absorption and emission processes, allowing coupling interactions and energy transfer pathways to be viewed directly. Furthermore, 2D spectroscopy reveals structural information such as the relative orientations of coupled transitions. Both classes of experiments can be used to probe the quantum mechanical nature of photosynthetic light-harvesting: peak shift experiments allow quantification of correlated energetic fluctuations between pigments, while 2D techniques measure quantum beating directly, both of which indicate the extent of quantum coherence over multiple pigment sites in the protein complex. The mechanistic and structural information obtained by these techniques reveals valuable insights into the design principles of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes, and a multitude of variations on the methods outlined here.

  8. Light-intensity-dependent expression of Lhc gene family encoding light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b proteins of photosystem II in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Teramoto, Haruhiko; Nakamori, Akira; Minagawa, Jun; Ono, Taka-aki

    2002-09-01

    Excessive light conditions repressed the levels of mRNAs accumulation of multiple Lhc genes encoding light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b (LHC) proteins of photosystem (PS)II in the unicellular green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The light intensity required for the repression tended to decrease with lowering temperature or CO(2) concentration. The responses of six LhcII genes encoding the major LHC (LHCII) proteins and two genes (Lhcb4 and Lhcb5) encoding the minor LHC proteins of PSII (CP29 and CP26) were similar. The results indicate that the expression of these Lhc genes is coordinately repressed when the energy input through the antenna systems exceeds the requirement for CO(2) assimilation. The Lhc mRNA level repressed under high-light conditions was partially recovered by adding the electron transport inhibitor 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea, suggesting that redox signaling via photosynthetic electron carriers is involved in the gene regulation. However, the mRNA level was still considerably lower under high-light than under low-light conditions even in the presence of 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea. Repression of the Lhc genes by high light was prominent even in the mutants deficient in the reaction center(s) of PSII or both PSI and PSII. The results indicate that two alternative processes are involved in the repression of Lhc genes under high-light conditions, one of which is independent of the photosynthetic reaction centers and electron transport events.

  9. Electron transport and light-harvesting switches in cyanobacteria

    PubMed Central

    Mullineaux, Conrad W.

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacteria possess multiple mechanisms for regulating the pathways of photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport. Electron transport may be regulated indirectly by controlling the transfer of excitation energy from the light-harvesting complexes, or it may be more directly regulated by controlling the stoichiometry, localization, and interactions of photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport complexes. Regulation of the extent of linear vs. cyclic electron transport is particularly important for controlling the redox balance of the cell. This review discusses what is known of the regulatory mechanisms and the timescales on which they occur, with particular regard to the structural reorganization needed and the constraints imposed by the limited mobility of membrane-integral proteins in the crowded thylakoid membrane. Switching mechanisms requiring substantial movement of integral thylakoid membrane proteins occur on slower timescales than those that require the movement only of cytoplasmic or extrinsic membrane proteins. This difference is probably due to the restricted diffusion of membrane-integral proteins. Multiple switching mechanisms may be needed to regulate electron transport on different timescales. PMID:24478787

  10. Electron transport and light-harvesting switches in cyanobacteria.

    PubMed

    Mullineaux, Conrad W

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacteria possess multiple mechanisms for regulating the pathways of photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport. Electron transport may be regulated indirectly by controlling the transfer of excitation energy from the light-harvesting complexes, or it may be more directly regulated by controlling the stoichiometry, localization, and interactions of photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport complexes. Regulation of the extent of linear vs. cyclic electron transport is particularly important for controlling the redox balance of the cell. This review discusses what is known of the regulatory mechanisms and the timescales on which they occur, with particular regard to the structural reorganization needed and the constraints imposed by the limited mobility of membrane-integral proteins in the crowded thylakoid membrane. Switching mechanisms requiring substantial movement of integral thylakoid membrane proteins occur on slower timescales than those that require the movement only of cytoplasmic or extrinsic membrane proteins. This difference is probably due to the restricted diffusion of membrane-integral proteins. Multiple switching mechanisms may be needed to regulate electron transport on different timescales.

  11. The role of energy losses in photosynthetic light harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, T. P. J.; van Grondelle, R.

    2017-07-01

    Photosynthesis operates at the bottom of the food chain to convert the energy of light into carbohydrates at a remarkable global rate of about 130 TW. Nonetheless, the overall photosynthetic process has a conversion efficiency of a few percent at best, significantly less than bottom-up photovoltaic cells. The primary photosynthetic steps, consisting of light harvesting and charge separation, are often presented as having near-unity quantum efficiency but this holds only true under ideal conditions. In this review, we discuss the importance of energy loss mechanisms to establish robustness in photosynthetic light harvesting. Thermal energy dissipation of light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) in different environments is investigated and the relationships and contrasts between concentration quenching of high pigment concentrations, photoprotection (non-photochemical quenching), quenching due to protein aggregation, and fluorescence blinking are discussed. The role of charge-transfer states in light harvesting and energy dissipation is highlighted and the importance of controlled protein structural disorder to switch the light-harvesting antennae between effective light harvesters and efficient energy quenchers is underscored. The main LHC of plants, LHCII, is used as a prime example.

  12. Synergistic Two-Photon Absorption Enhancement in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Kuo-Mei; Chen, Yu-Wei; Gao, Ting-Fong

    2012-06-01

    The grand scale fixation of solar energies into chemical substances by photosynthetic reactions of light-harvesting organisms provides Earth's other life forms a thriving environment. Scientific explorations in the past decades have unraveled the fundamental photophysical and photochemical processes in photosynthesis. Higher plants, green algae, and light-harvesting bacteria utilize organized pigment-protein complexes to harvest solar power efficiently and the resultant electronic excitations are funneled into a reaction center, where the first charge separation process takes place. Here we show experimental evidences that green algae (Chlorella vulgaris) in vivo display a synergistic two-photon absorption enhancement in their photosynthetic light harvesting. Their absorption coefficients at various wavelengths display dramatic dependence on the photon flux. This newly found phenomenon is attributed to a coherence-electronic-energy-transfer-mediated (CEETRAM) photon absorption process of light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes of green algae. Under the ambient light level, algae and higher plants can utilize this quantum mechanical mechanism to create two entangled electronic excitations adjacently in their light-harvesting networks. Concerted multiple electron transfer reactions in the reaction centers and oxygen evolving complexes can be implemented efficiently by the coherent motion of two entangled excitons from antennae to the charge separation reaction sites. To fabricate nanostructured, synthetic light-harvesting apparatus, the paramount role of the CEETRAM photon absorption mechanism should be seriously considered in the strategic guidelines.

  13. Absence of the major light harvesting antenna proteins alters the redox properties of photosystem II reaction centres in the chlorine F2 mutant of barley

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Although the chlorina F2 mutant of barley specifically exhibits reduced levels of the major light harvesting polypeptides (Lhcb) associated with photosystem II, thermoluminescence measurements of photosystem reaction centre photochemistry revealed that S2/S3QB- charge recombinations were shifted to ...

  14. Brevetoxin, the Dinoflagellate Neurotoxin, Localizes to Thylakoid Membranes and Interacts with the Light-Harvesting Complex II (LHCII) of Photosystem II.

    PubMed

    Cassell, Ryan T; Chen, Wei; Thomas, Serge; Liu, Li; Rein, Kathleen S

    2015-05-04

    The brevetoxins are neurotoxins that are produced by the "Florida red tide" dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. They bind to and activate the voltage-gated sodium channels in higher organisms, specifically the Nav 1.4 and Nav 1.5 channel subtypes. However, the native physiological function that the brevetoxins perform for K. brevis is unknown. By using fluorescent and photoactivatable derivatives, brevetoxin was shown to localize to the chloroplast of K. brevis where it binds to the light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) and thioredoxin. The LHCII is essential to non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), whereas thioredoxins are critical to the maintenance of redox homeostasis within the chloroplast and contribute to the scavenging of reactive oxygen. A culture of K. brevis producing low levels of toxin was shown to be deficient in NPQ and produced reactive oxygen species at twice the rate of the toxic culture, implicating a role in NPQ for the brevetoxins.

  15. Program PROTEUS for adding hydrogens to a protein structure and electrostatic field across carotenoids in light harvesting complexes and reaction centers from bacterial sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lipovaca, Samir

    The hydrogen construction method presented in the program PROTEUS treats hydrogens depending on their torsional degrees of freedom. The positions of hydrogens with restricted torsional degrees of freedom are completely determined by the heavy atoms positions in the structure. The hydroxyl and water hydrogens are the only hydrogens that PROTEUS accepts as movable hydrogens (having rotational degrees of freedom). Their positions are determined by the interactions with neighboring atoms. PROTEUS interaction energy corresponds to a view that the hydrogen bond is affected, besides electrostatic effects and steric constraints of neighboring groups, by an inherent energy barrier that opposes free rotation of the hydroxyl hydrogen. For the water hydrogens that barrier is zero. The hydroxyl and water hydrogens are minimized within a short distance using the Threshold Accepting (TA) energy minimization method. PROTEUS can provide reasonable positions of movable hydrogens and a good initial protein structure for further investigations. We applied the program PROTEUS to place hydrogens in several resolved three-dimensional crystal structures of light harvesting complexes (LHCs) and reaction centers (RCs) from bacterial sources. Using program DelPhi we calculated the local electrostatic field across carotenoid generated by the protein's charges. In each structure we identified amino acids responsible for the field. Much of the field is generated by the charged residues. There are different ways that a RC or LHC uses charged residues. A nearby dipole consisting of the charged residues which are ionized in the physiological pH range (like Arg-Asp), is often used. Clusters of charged residues or scattered isolated charged residues around the carotenoid molecule also contribute. The polarizable field is not necessarily along the carotenoid molecule principal axis. For soluble LHCs the contribution of polar residues to the field cannot be neglected. Our calculations indicate an

  16. High Yield Non-detergent Isolation of Photosystem I-Light-harvesting Chlorophyll II Membranes from Spinach Thylakoids: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ORGANIZATION OF THE PS I ANTENNAE IN HIGHER PLANTS.

    PubMed

    Bell, Adam J; Frankel, Laurie K; Bricker, Terry M

    2015-07-24

    Styrene-maleic acid copolymer was used to effect a non-detergent partial solubilization of thylakoids from spinach. A high density membrane fraction, which was not solubilized by the copolymer, was isolated and was highly enriched in the Photosystem (PS) I-light-harvesting chlorophyll (LHC) II supercomplex and depleted of PS II, the cytochrome b6/f complex, and ATP synthase. The LHC II associated with the supercomplex appeared to be energetically coupled to PS I based on 77 K fluorescence, P700 photooxidation, and PS I electron transport light saturation experiments. The chlorophyll (Chl) a/b ratio of the PS I-LHC II membranes was 3.2 ± 0.9, indicating that on average, three LHC II trimers may associate with each PS I. The implication of these findings within the context of higher plant PS I antenna organization is discussed.

  17. Phylogenetic viewpoints on regulation of light harvesting and electron transport in eukaryotic photosynthetic organisms.

    PubMed

    Grouneva, Irina; Gollan, Peter J; Kangasjärvi, Saijaliisa; Suorsa, Marjaana; Tikkanen, Mikko; Aro, Eva-Mari

    2013-02-01

    The comparative study of photosynthetic regulation in the thylakoid membrane of different phylogenetic groups can yield valuable insights into mechanisms, genetic requirements and redundancy of regulatory processes. This review offers a brief summary on the current understanding of light harvesting and photosynthetic electron transport regulation in different photosynthetic eukaryotes, with a special focus on the comparison between higher plants and unicellular algae of secondary endosymbiotic origin. The foundations of thylakoid structure, light harvesting, reversible protein phosphorylation and PSI-mediated cyclic electron transport are traced not only from green algae to vascular plants but also at the branching point between the "green" and the "red" lineage of photosynthetic organisms. This approach was particularly valuable in revealing processes that (1) are highly conserved between phylogenetic groups, (2) serve a common physiological role but nevertheless originate in divergent genetic backgrounds or (3) are missing in one phylogenetic branch despite their unequivocal importance in another, necessitating a search for alternative regulatory mechanisms and interactions.

  18. Up-converted fluorescence from photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes linearly dependent on excitation intensity.

    PubMed

    Leiger, Kristjan; Freiberg, Arvi

    2016-01-01

    Weak up-converted fluorescence related to bacteriochlorophyll a was recorded from various detergent-isolated and membrane-embedded light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes as well as from the functional membranes of photosynthetic purple bacteria under continuous-wave infrared laser excitation at 1064 nm, far outside the optically allowed singlet absorption bands of the chromophore. The fluorescence increases linearly with the excitation power, distinguishing it from the previously observed two-photon excited fluorescence upon femtosecond pulse excitation. Possible mechanisms of this excitation are discussed.

  19. A structure-based model of energy transfer reveals the principles of light harvesting in photosystem II supercomplexes.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Doran I G; Amarnath, Kapil; Fleming, Graham R

    2013-06-19

    Photosystem II (PSII) initiates photosynthesis in plants through the absorption of light and subsequent conversion of excitation energy to chemical energy via charge separation. The pigment binding proteins associated with PSII assemble in the grana membrane into PSII supercomplexes and surrounding light harvesting complex II trimers. To understand the high efficiency of light harvesting in PSII requires quantitative insight into energy transfer and charge separation in PSII supercomplexes. We have constructed the first structure-based model of energy transfer in PSII supercomplexes. This model shows that the kinetics of light harvesting cannot be simplified to a single rate limiting step. Instead, substantial contributions arise from both excitation diffusion through the antenna pigments and transfer from the antenna to the reaction center (RC), where charge separation occurs. Because of the lack of a rate-limiting step, fitting kinetic models to fluorescence lifetime data cannot be used to derive mechanistic insight on light harvesting in PSII. This model will clarify the interpretation of chlorophyll fluorescence data from PSII supercomplexes, grana membranes, and leaves.

  20. Design principles of photosynthetic light-harvesting.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Graham R; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S; Amarnath, Kapil; Zaks, Julia

    2012-01-01

    Photosynthetic organisms are capable of harvesting solar energy with near unity quantum efficiency. Even more impressively, this efficiency can be regulated in response to the demands of photosynthetic reactions and the fluctuating light-levels of natural environments. We discuss the distinctive design principles through which photosynthetic light-harvesting functions. These emergent properties of photosynthesis appear both within individual pigment-protein complexes and in how these complexes integrate to produce a functional, regulated apparatus that drives downstream photochemistry. One important property is how the strong interactions and resultant quantum coherence, produced by the dense packing of photosynthetic pigments, provide a tool to optimize for ultrafast, directed energy transfer. We also describe how excess energy is quenched to prevent photodamage under high-light conditions, which we investigate through theory and experiment. We conclude with comments on the potential of using these features to improve solar energy devices.

  1. Structural and functional diversification of the light-harvesting complexes in photosynthetic eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Neilson, Jonathan A D; Durnford, Dion G

    2010-11-01

    Eukaryotes acquired photosynthetic metabolism over a billion years ago, and during that time the light-harvesting antennae have undergone significant structural and functional divergence. The antenna systems are generally used to harvest and transfer excitation energy into the reaction centers to drive photosynthesis, but also have the dual role of energy dissipation. Phycobilisomes formed the first antenna system in oxygenic photoautotrophs, and this soluble protein complex continues to be the dominant antenna in extant cyanobacteria, glaucophytes, and red algae. However, phycobilisomes were lost multiple times during eukaryotic evolution in favor of a thylakoid membrane-integral light-harvesting complex (LHC) antenna system found in the majority of eukaryotic taxa. While photosynthesis spread across different eukaryotic kingdoms via endosymbiosis, the antenna systems underwent extensive modification as photosynthetic groups optimized their light-harvesting capacity and ability to acclimate to changing environmental conditions. This review discusses the different classes of LHCs within photosynthetic eukaryotes and examines LHC diversification in different groups in a structural and functional context.

  2. Optimization of Light-Harvesting Pigment Improves Photosynthetic Efficiency.

    PubMed

    Jin, Honglei; Li, Mengshu; Duan, Sujuan; Fu, Mei; Dong, Xiaoxiao; Liu, Bing; Feng, Dongru; Wang, Jinfa; Wang, Hong-Bin

    2016-11-01

    Maximizing light capture by light-harvesting pigment optimization represents an attractive but challenging strategy to improve photosynthetic efficiency. Here, we report that loss of a previously uncharacterized gene, HIGH PHOTOSYNTHETIC EFFICIENCY1 (HPE1), optimizes light-harvesting pigments, leading to improved photosynthetic efficiency and biomass production. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) hpe1 mutants show faster electron transport and increased contents of carbohydrates. HPE1 encodes a chloroplast protein containing an RNA recognition motif that directly associates with and regulates the splicing of target RNAs of plastid genes. HPE1 also interacts with other plastid RNA-splicing factors, including CAF1 and OTP51, which share common targets with HPE1. Deficiency of HPE1 alters the expression of nucleus-encoded chlorophyll-related genes, probably through plastid-to-nucleus signaling, causing decreased total content of chlorophyll (a+b) in a limited range but increased chlorophyll a/b ratio. Interestingly, this adjustment of light-harvesting pigment reduces antenna size, improves light capture, decreases energy loss, mitigates photodamage, and enhances photosynthetic quantum yield during photosynthesis. Our findings suggest a novel strategy to optimize light-harvesting pigments that improves photosynthetic efficiency and biomass production in higher plants.

  3. Differential control of xanthophylls and light-induced stress proteins, as opposed to light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b proteins, during photosynthetic acclimation of barley leaves to light irradiance

    PubMed

    Montane; Tardy; Kloppstech; Havaux

    1998-09-01

    Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) plants were grown at different photon flux densities ranging from 100 to 1800 &mgr;mol m-2 s-1 in air and/or in atmospheres with reduced levels of O2 and CO2. Low O2 and CO2 partial pressures allowed plants to grow under high photosystem II (PSII) excitation pressure, estimated in vivo by chlorophyll fluorescence measurements, at moderate photon flux densities. The xanthophyll-cycle pigments, the early light-inducible proteins, and their mRNA accumulated with increasing PSII excitation pressure irrespective of the way high excitation pressure was obtained (high-light irradiance or decreased CO2 and O2 availability). These findings indicate that the reduction state of electron transport chain components could be involved in light sensing for the regulation of nuclear-encoded chloroplast gene expression. In contrast, no correlation was found between the reduction state of PSII and various indicators of the PSII light-harvesting system, such as the chlorophyll a-to-b ratio, the abundance of the major pigment-protein complex of PSII (LHCII), the mRNA level of LHCII, the light-saturation curve of O2 evolution, and the induced chlorophyll-fluorescence rise. We conclude that the chlorophyll antenna size of PSII is not governed by the redox state of PSII in higher plants and, consequently, regulation of early light-inducible protein synthesis is different from that of LHCII.

  4. The peripheral light-harvesting complexes from purple sulfur bacteria have different 'ring' sizes.

    PubMed

    Kereïche, Sami; Bourinet, Laurent; Keegstra, Wilko; Arteni, Ana A; Verbavatz, Jean-Marc; Boekema, Egbert J; Robert, Bruno; Gall, Andrew

    2008-10-29

    The integral membrane light-harvesting (LH) proteins from purple photosynthetic bacteria form circular oligomers of an elementary unit that is composed of two very hydrophobic polypeptides, termed alpha and beta. These apoprotein dimers are known to associate into closed circular arrays of 8, 9 and 16 alpha/beta-mers. We report the existence of peripheral LH proteins purified from Allochromatium vinosum with two intermediate ring sizes and postulate that one is a 13 alpha/beta-mer. This shows that LH proteins are able to form membrane rings of continuously increasing diameter from 68 to 115A. The presence of these new ring sizes warrants further study, as it will help to further validate the structure-function models of LH proteins currently found in the literature.

  5. The terminal phycobilisome emitter, LCM: A light-harvesting pigment with a phytochrome chromophore

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Kun; Ding, Wen-Long; Höppner, Astrid; Zhao, Cheng; Zhang, Lun; Hontani, Yusaku; Kennis, John T. M.; Gärtner, Wolfgang; Scheer, Hugo; Zhou, Ming; Zhao, Kai-Hong

    2015-01-01

    Photosynthesis relies on energy transfer from light-harvesting complexes to reaction centers. Phycobilisomes, the light-harvesting antennas in cyanobacteria and red algae, attach to the membrane via the multidomain core-membrane linker, LCM. The chromophore domain of LCM forms a bottleneck for funneling the harvested energy either productively to reaction centers or, in case of light overload, to quenchers like orange carotenoid protein (OCP) that prevent photodamage. The crystal structure of the solubly modified chromophore domain from Nostoc sp. PCC7120 was resolved at 2.2 Å. Although its protein fold is similar to the protein folds of phycobiliproteins, the phycocyanobilin (PCB) chromophore adopts ZZZssa geometry, which is unknown among phycobiliproteins but characteristic for sensory photoreceptors (phytochromes and cyanobacteriochromes). However, chromophore photoisomerization is inhibited in LCM by tight packing. The ZZZssa geometry of the chromophore and π-π stacking with a neighboring Trp account for the functionally relevant extreme spectral red shift of LCM. Exciton coupling is excluded by the large distance between two PCBs in a homodimer and by preservation of the spectral features in monomers. The structure also indicates a distinct flexibility that could be involved in quenching. The conclusions from the crystal structure are supported by femtosecond transient absorption spectra in solution. PMID:26669441

  6. Comparison of the rate constants for energy transfer in the light-harvesting protein, C-phycocyanin, calculated from Foerster`s theory and experimentally measured by time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Debreczeny, Martin Paul

    1994-05-01

    We have measured and assigned rate constants for energy transfer between chromophores in the light-harvesting protein C-phycocyanin (PC), in the monomeric and trimeric aggregation states, isolated from Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002. In order to compare the measured rate constants with those predicted by Fdrster`s theory of inductive resonance in the weak coupling limit, we have experimentally resolved several properties of the three chromophore types ({beta}{sub 155} {alpha}{sub 84}, {beta}{sub 84}) found in PC monomers, including absorption and fluorescence spectra, extinction coefficients, fluorescence quantum yields, and fluorescence lifetimes. The cpcB/C155S mutant, whose PC is missing the {beta}{sub 155} chromophore, was, useful in effecting the resolution of the chromophore properties and in assigning the experimentally observed rate constants for energy transfer to specific pathways.

  7. Interference lithographic nanopatterning of plant and bacterial light-harvesting complexes on gold substrates

    PubMed Central

    Patole, Samson; Vasilev, Cvetelin; El-Zubir, Osama; Wang, Lin; Johnson, Matthew P.; Cadby, Ashley J.; Leggett, Graham J.; Hunter, C. Neil

    2015-01-01

    We describe a facile approach for nanopatterning of photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes over macroscopic areas, and use optical spectroscopy to demonstrate retention of native properties by both site-specifically and non-specifically attached photosynthetic membrane proteins. A Lloyd's mirror dual-beam interferometer was used to expose self-assembled monolayers of amine-terminated alkylthiolates on gold to laser irradiation. Following exposure, photo-oxidized adsorbates were replaced by oligo(ethylene glycol) terminated thiols, and the remaining intact amine-functionalized regions were used for attachment of the major light-harvesting chlorophyll–protein complex from plants, LHCII. These amine patterns could be derivatized with nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA), so that polyhistidine-tagged bacteriochlorophyll–protein complexes from phototrophic bacteria could be attached with a defined surface orientation. By varying parameters such as the angle between the interfering beams and the laser irradiation dose, it was possible to vary the period and widths of NTA and amine-functionalized lines on the surfaces; periods varied from 1200 to 240 nm and linewidths as small as 60 nm (λ/4) were achieved. This level of control over the surface chemistry was reflected in the surface topology of the protein nanostructures imaged by atomic force microscopy; fluorescence imaging and spectral measurements demonstrated that the surface-attached proteins had retained their native functionality. PMID:26464784

  8. Light-harvesting complexes of Botryococcus braunii.

    PubMed

    van den Berg, Tomas E; van Oort, Bart; Croce, Roberta

    2017-05-27

    The colonial green alga Botryococcus braunii (BB) is a potential source of biofuel due to its natural high hydrocarbon content. Unfortunately, its slow growth limits its biotechnological potential. Understanding its photosynthetic machinery could help to identify possible growth limitations. Here, we present the first study on BB light-harvesting complexes (LHCs). We purified two LHC fractions containing the complexes in monomeric and trimeric form. Both fractions contained at least two proteins with molecular weight (MW) around 25 kDa. The chlorophyll composition is similar to that of the LHCII of plants; in contrast, the main xanthophyll is loroxanthin, which substitutes lutein in most binding sites. Circular dichroism and 77 K absorption spectra lack typical differences between monomeric and trimeric complexes, suggesting that intermonomer interactions do not play a role in BB LHCs. This is in agreement with the low stability of the BB LHCII trimers as compared to the complexes of plants, which could be related to loroxanthin binding in the central (L1 and L2) binding sites. The properties of BB LHCII are similar to those of plant LHCII, indicating a similar pigment organization. Differences are a higher content of red chlorophyll a, similar to plant Lhcb3. These differences and the different Xan composition had no effect on excitation energy transfer or fluorescence lifetimes, which were similar to plant LHCII.

  9. Chromophore-chromophore and chromophore-protein interactions in monomeric light-harvesting complex II of green plants studied by spectral hole burning and fluorescence line narrowing.

    PubMed

    Pieper, Jörg; Rätsep, Margus; Irrgang, Klaus-Dieter; Freiberg, Arvi

    2009-08-06

    Persistent nonphotochemical hole burning and delta-FLN spectra obtained at 4.5 K are reported for monomeric chlorophyll (Chl) a/b light-harvesting complexes of photosystem II (LHC II) of green plants. The hole burned spectra of monomeric LHC II appear to be similar to those obtained before for trimeric LHC II (Pieper et al. J. Phys. Chem. B 1999, 103, 2412). They are composed of three main features: (i) a homogeneously broadened zero-phonon hole coincident with the burn wavelength, (ii) an intense, broad hole in the vicinity of approximately 680 nm as a result of efficient excitation energy transfer to a low-energy trap state, and (iii) a satellite hole at approximately 649 nm which is correlated with the low-energy 680 nm hole. Zero-phonon hole action spectroscopy reveals that the low-energy absorption band is located at 679.6 nm and possesses a width of approximately 110 cm(-1) which is predominantly due to inhomogeneous broadening at 4.5 K. The electron-phonon coupling of the above-mentioned low-energy state(s) is weak with a Huang-Rhys factor S in the order of 0.6 and a peak phonon frequency (omega(m)) of approximately 22 cm(-1) within a broad and strongly asymmetric one-phonon profile. The resulting Stokes shift 2S omega(m) of approximately 26.4 cm(-1) readily explains the position of the fluorescence origin band at 680.8 nm. Thus, we conclude that the 679.6 nm state(s) is (are) the fluorescent state(s) of monomeric LHC II at 4.5 K. The absorption intensity of the lowest Q(y) state is shown to roughly correspond to that of one out of the eight Chl a molecules bound in the monomeric subunit. In addition, the satellite hole structure produced by hole burning within the 679.6 nm state is weak with only one shallow satellite hole observed in the Chl b spectral range at 648.8 nm. These results suggest that the 679.6 nm state is widely localized on a Chl a molecule, which may belong to a Chl a/b heterodimer. These characteristics are different from those expected

  10. Distinct roles of the photosystem II protein PsbS and zeaxanthin in the regulation of light harvesting in plants revealed by fluorescence lifetime snapshots

    DOE PAGES

    Sylak-Glassman, Emily J.; Malnoë, Alizée; De Re, Eleonora; ...

    2014-10-01

    The photosystem II (PSII) protein PsbS and the enzyme violaxanthin deepoxidase (VDE) are known to influence the dynamics of energy-dependent quenching (qE), the component of nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) that allows plants to respond to fast fluctuations in light intensity. Although the absence of PsbS and VDE has been shown to change the amount of quenching, there have not been any measurements that can detect whether the presence of these proteins alters the type of quenching that occurs. The chlorophyll fluorescence lifetime probes the excited-state chlorophyll relaxation dynamics and can be used to determine the amount of quenching as well asmore » whether two different genotypes with the same amount of NPQ have similar dynamics of excited-state chlorophyll relaxation. We measured the fluorescence lifetimes on whole leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana throughout the induction and relaxation of NPQ for wild type and the qE mutants, npq4, which lacks PsbS; npq1, which lacks VDE and cannot convert violaxanthin to zeaxanthin; and npq1 npq4, which lacks both VDE and PsbS. These measurements show that although PsbS changes the amount of quenching and the rate at which quenching turns on, it does not affect the relaxation dynamics of excited chlorophyll during quenching. In addition, the data suggest that PsbS responds not only to ΔpH but also to the Δψ across the thylakoid membrane. In contrast, the presence of VDE, which is necessary for the accumulation of zeaxanthin, affects the excited-state chlorophyll relaxation dynamics.« less

  11. Distinct roles of the photosystem II protein PsbS and zeaxanthin in the regulation of light harvesting in plants revealed by fluorescence lifetime snapshots.

    PubMed

    Sylak-Glassman, Emily J; Malnoë, Alizée; De Re, Eleonora; Brooks, Matthew D; Fischer, Alexandra Lee; Niyogi, Krishna K; Fleming, Graham R

    2014-12-09

    The photosystem II (PSII) protein PsbS and the enzyme violaxanthin deepoxidase (VDE) are known to influence the dynamics of energy-dependent quenching (qE), the component of nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) that allows plants to respond to fast fluctuations in light intensity. Although the absence of PsbS and VDE has been shown to change the amount of quenching, there have not been any measurements that can detect whether the presence of these proteins alters the type of quenching that occurs. The chlorophyll fluorescence lifetime probes the excited-state chlorophyll relaxation dynamics and can be used to determine the amount of quenching as well as whether two different genotypes with the same amount of NPQ have similar dynamics of excited-state chlorophyll relaxation. We measured the fluorescence lifetimes on whole leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana throughout the induction and relaxation of NPQ for wild type and the qE mutants, npq4, which lacks PsbS; npq1, which lacks VDE and cannot convert violaxanthin to zeaxanthin; and npq1 npq4, which lacks both VDE and PsbS. These measurements show that although PsbS changes the amount of quenching and the rate at which quenching turns on, it does not affect the relaxation dynamics of excited chlorophyll during quenching. In addition, the data suggest that PsbS responds not only to ΔpH but also to the Δψ across the thylakoid membrane. In contrast, the presence of VDE, which is necessary for the accumulation of zeaxanthin, affects the excited-state chlorophyll relaxation dynamics.

  12. Distinct roles of the photosystem II protein PsbS and zeaxanthin in the regulation of light harvesting in plants revealed by fluorescence lifetime snapshots

    SciTech Connect

    Sylak-Glassman, Emily J.; Malnoë, Alizée; De Re, Eleonora; Brooks, Matthew D.; Fischer, Alexandra Lee; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Fleming, Graham R.

    2014-10-01

    The photosystem II (PSII) protein PsbS and the enzyme violaxanthin deepoxidase (VDE) are known to influence the dynamics of energy-dependent quenching (qE), the component of nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) that allows plants to respond to fast fluctuations in light intensity. Although the absence of PsbS and VDE has been shown to change the amount of quenching, there have not been any measurements that can detect whether the presence of these proteins alters the type of quenching that occurs. The chlorophyll fluorescence lifetime probes the excited-state chlorophyll relaxation dynamics and can be used to determine the amount of quenching as well as whether two different genotypes with the same amount of NPQ have similar dynamics of excited-state chlorophyll relaxation. We measured the fluorescence lifetimes on whole leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana throughout the induction and relaxation of NPQ for wild type and the qE mutants, npq4, which lacks PsbS; npq1, which lacks VDE and cannot convert violaxanthin to zeaxanthin; and npq1 npq4, which lacks both VDE and PsbS. These measurements show that although PsbS changes the amount of quenching and the rate at which quenching turns on, it does not affect the relaxation dynamics of excited chlorophyll during quenching. In addition, the data suggest that PsbS responds not only to ΔpH but also to the Δψ across the thylakoid membrane. In contrast, the presence of VDE, which is necessary for the accumulation of zeaxanthin, affects the excited-state chlorophyll relaxation dynamics.

  13. Macroorganization of Chlorophyll a/b light-harvesting complex in thylakoids and aggregates: information from circular differential scattering

    SciTech Connect

    Garab, G.; Faludi-Daniel, A.; Sutherland, J.C.; Hind, G.

    1988-04-05

    Circular dichroism (CD) and magnetic circular dichroism (MCD) spectra were recorded for spinach thylakoids and for isolated, aggregated chlorophyll a/b light-harvesting pigment-protein complex, in random and magnetically aligned states of orientation at room and low temperatures. The shape and magnitude of the CD signal of most bands strongly depended on the orientation of the thylakoid membranes or the aggregated pigment-protein complex. In both thylakoids and aggregated light-harvesting complexes, however, the MCD spectra of the two different orientations were almost identical. Random and magnetically aligned samples exhibited anomalous, large CD signals outside the bands of pigment absorbance. Lack of similarity between the corresponding MCD and CD spectra showed that the large CD signals are not produced as a distortion of CD of absorbance by light scattering. Instead, these anomalous spectral features are believed to originate in differential selective scattering of circularly polarized light. The results lead to the conclusion that the light-harvesting pigment-protein complex in thylakoid grana forms a helical macroarray with dimensions commensurate with the wavelengths of the anomalous circular dichroism signals. A hypothesis is put forward suggesting a role for these macrodomains in granal organization.

  14. Solar cells incorporating light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Meyer, Gerald J.

    2003-07-22

    A solar cell incorporates a light harvesting array that comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: ##EQU1## wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2 ; and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  15. Solar cells incorporating light harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Meyer, Gerald J.

    2002-01-01

    A solar cell incorporates a light harvesting array that comprises: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to the first electrode, each of the light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: X.sup.1.paren open-st.X.sup.m+1).sub.m (I) wherein m is at least 1, and may be from two, three or four to 20 or more; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group (and preferably a porphyrinic macrocycle, which may be one ligand of a double-decker sandwich compound) having an excited-state of energy equal to or lower than that of X.sup.2 ; and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores (and again are preferably porphyrinic macrocycles).

  16. Low-temperature protein dynamics of the B800 molecules in the LH2 light-harvesting complex: spectral hole burning study and comparison with single photosynthetic complex spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Grozdanov, Daniel; Herascu, Nicoleta; Reinot, Tõnu; Jankowiak, Ryszard; Zazubovich, Valter

    2010-03-18

    Previously published and new spectral hole burning (SHB) data on the B800 band of LH2 light-harvesting antenna complex of Rps. acidophila are analyzed in light of recent single photosynthetic complex spectroscopy (SPCS) results (for a review, see Berlin et al. Phys. Life Rev. 2007, 4, 64.). It is demonstrated that, in general, SHB-related phenomena observed for the B800 band are in qualitative agreement with the SPCS data and the protein models involving multiwell multitier protein energy landscapes. Regarding the quantitative agreement, we argue that the single-molecule behavior associated with the fastest spectral diffusion (smallest barrier) tier of the protein energy landscape is inconsistent with the SHB data. The latter discrepancy can be attributed to SPCS probing not only the dynamics of of the protein complex per se, but also that of the surrounding amorphous host and/or of the host-protein interface. It is argued that SHB (once improved models are developed) should also be able to provide the average magnitudes and probability distributions of light-induced spectral shifts and could be used to determine whether SPCS probes a set of protein complexes that are both intact and statistically relevant. SHB results are consistent with the B800 --> B850 energy-transfer models including consideration of the whole B850 density of states.

  17. Chlorophyll and carotenoid binding in a simple red algal light-harvesting complex crosses phylogenetic lines

    PubMed Central

    Grabowski, Beatrice; Cunningham, Francis X.; Gantt, Elisabeth

    2001-01-01

    The membrane proteins of peripheral light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) bind chlorophylls and carotenoids and transfer energy to the reaction centers for photosynthesis. LHCs of chlorophytes, chromophytes, dinophytes, and rhodophytes are similar in that they have three transmembrane regions and several highly conserved Chl-binding residues. All LHCs bind Chl a, but in specific taxa certain characteristic pigments accompany Chl a: Chl b and lutein in chlorophytes, Chl c and fucoxanthin in chromophytes, Chl c and peridinin in dinophytes, and zeaxanthin in rhodophytes. The specificity of pigment binding was examined by in vitro reconstitution of various pigments with a simple light-harvesting protein (LHCaR1), from a red alga (Porphyridium cruentum), that normally has eight Chl a and four zeaxanthin molecules. The pigments typical of a chlorophyte (Spinacea oleracea), a chromophyte (Thallasiosira fluviatilis), and a dinophyte (Prorocentrum micans) were found to functionally bind to this protein as evidenced by their participation in energy transfer to Chl a, the terminal pigment. This is a demonstration of a functional relatedness of rhodophyte and higher plant LHCs. The results suggest that eight Chl-binding sites per polypeptide are an ancestral trait, and that the flexibility to bind various Chl and carotenoid pigments may have been retained throughout the evolution of LHCs. PMID:11226340

  18. Zeaxanthin Radical Cation Formation in Minor Light-Harvesting Complexes of Higher Plant Antenna

    SciTech Connect

    Avenson, Thomas H.; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Zigmantas, Donatas; Niyogi, Krishna K.; Li, Zhirong; Ballottari, Matteo; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R.

    2008-01-31

    Previous work on intact thylakoid membranes showed that transient formation of a zeaxanthin radical cation was correlated with regulation of photosynthetic light-harvesting via energy-dependent quenching. A molecular mechanism for such quenching was proposed to involve charge transfer within a chlorophyll-zeaxanthin heterodimer. Using near infrared (880-1100 nm) transient absorption spectroscopy, we demonstrate that carotenoid (mainly zeaxanthin) radical cation generation occurs solely in isolated minor light-harvesting complexes that bind zeaxanthin, consistent with the engagement of charge transfer quenching therein. We estimated that less than 0.5percent of the isolated minor complexes undergo charge transfer quenching in vitro, whereas the fraction of minor complexes estimated to be engaged in charge transfer quenching in isolated thylakoids was more than 80 times higher. We conclude that minor complexes which bind zeaxanthin are sites of charge transfer quenching in vivo and that they can assume Non-quenching and Quenching conformations, the equilibrium LHC(N)<--> LHC(Q) of which is modulated by the transthylakoid pH gradient, the PsbS protein, and protein-protein interactions.

  19. Optimal Energy Transfer in Light-Harvesting Systems.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lipeng; Shenai, Prathamesh; Zheng, Fulu; Somoza, Alejandro; Zhao, Yang

    2015-08-20

    Photosynthesis is one of the most essential biological processes in which specialized pigment-protein complexes absorb solar photons, and with a remarkably high efficiency, guide the photo-induced excitation energy toward the reaction center to subsequently trigger its conversion to chemical energy. In this work, we review the principles of optimal energy transfer in various natural and artificial light harvesting systems. We begin by presenting the guiding principles for optimizing the energy transfer efficiency in systems connected to dissipative environments, with particular attention paid to the potential role of quantum coherence in light harvesting systems. We will comment briefly on photo-protective mechanisms in natural systems that ensure optimal functionality under varying ambient conditions. For completeness, we will also present an overview of the charge separation and electron transfer pathways in reaction centers. Finally, recent theoretical and experimental progress on excitation energy transfer, charge separation, and charge transport in artificial light harvesting systems is delineated, with organic solar cells taken as prime examples.

  20. Excited state dynamics in photosynthetic reaction center and light harvesting complex 1.

    PubMed

    Strümpfer, Johan; Schulten, Klaus

    2012-08-14

    Key to efficient harvesting of sunlight in photosynthesis is the first energy conversion process in which electronic excitation establishes a trans-membrane charge gradient. This conversion is accomplished by the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) that is, in case of the purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides studied here, surrounded by light harvesting complex 1 (LH1). The RC employs six pigment molecules to initiate the conversion: four bacteriochlorophylls and two bacteriopheophytins. The excited states of these pigments interact very strongly and are simultaneously influenced by the surrounding thermal protein environment. Likewise, LH1 employs 32 bacteriochlorophylls influenced in their excited state dynamics by strong interaction between the pigments and by interaction with the protein environment. Modeling the excited state dynamics in the RC as well as in LH1 requires theoretical methods, which account for both pigment-pigment interaction and pigment-environment interaction. In the present study we describe the excitation dynamics within a RC and excitation transfer between light harvesting complex 1 (LH1) and RC, employing the hierarchical equation of motion method. For this purpose a set of model parameters that reproduce RC as well as LH1 spectra and observed oscillatory excitation dynamics in the RC is suggested. We find that the environment has a significant effect on LH1-RC excitation transfer and that excitation transfers incoherently between LH1 and RC.

  1. Excited state dynamics in photosynthetic reaction center and light harvesting complex 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strümpfer, Johan; Schulten, Klaus

    2012-08-01

    Key to efficient harvesting of sunlight in photosynthesis is the first energy conversion process in which electronic excitation establishes a trans-membrane charge gradient. This conversion is accomplished by the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) that is, in case of the purple photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides studied here, surrounded by light harvesting complex 1 (LH1). The RC employs six pigment molecules to initiate the conversion: four bacteriochlorophylls and two bacteriopheophytins. The excited states of these pigments interact very strongly and are simultaneously influenced by the surrounding thermal protein environment. Likewise, LH1 employs 32 bacteriochlorophylls influenced in their excited state dynamics by strong interaction between the pigments and by interaction with the protein environment. Modeling the excited state dynamics in the RC as well as in LH1 requires theoretical methods, which account for both pigment-pigment interaction and pigment-environment interaction. In the present study we describe the excitation dynamics within a RC and excitation transfer between light harvesting complex 1 (LH1) and RC, employing the hierarchical equation of motion method. For this purpose a set of model parameters that reproduce RC as well as LH1 spectra and observed oscillatory excitation dynamics in the RC is suggested. We find that the environment has a significant effect on LH1-RC excitation transfer and that excitation transfers incoherently between LH1 and RC.

  2. Peptide-Modulated Self-Assembly of Chromophores toward Biomimetic Light-Harvesting Nanoarchitectonics.

    PubMed

    Zou, Qianli; Liu, Kai; Abbas, Manzar; Yan, Xuehai

    2016-02-10

    Elegant self-assembling complexes by the combination of proteins/peptides with functional chromophores are decisively responsible for highly efficient light-harvesting and energy transfer in natural photosynthetic systems. Mimicking natural light-harvesting complexes through synthetic peptides is attractive due to their advantanges of programmable primary structure, tunable self-assembly architecture and easy availability in comparison to naturally occuring proteins. Here, an overview of recent progresses in the area of biomimetic light-harvesting nanoarchitectonics based on peptide-modulated self-assembly of chromophores is provided. Adjusting the organization of chromophores, either by creating peptide-chromophore conjugates or by the non-covalent assembly of peptides and chromophores are highlighted. The light-harvesting properties, especially the energy transfer of the biomimetic complexes are critically discussed. The applications of such complexes in the mineralization of inorganic nanoparticles, generation of molecular hydrogen and oxygen, and photosynthesis of bioactive molecules are also included.

  3. Carotenoid cation formation and the regulation of photosynthetic light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Holt, Nancy E; Zigmantas, Donatas; Valkunas, Leonas; Li, Xiao-Ping; Niyogi, Krishna K; Fleming, Graham R

    2005-01-21

    Photosynthetic light harvesting in excess light is regulated by a process known as feedback deexcitation. Femtosecond transient absorption measurements on thylakoid membranes show selective formation of a carotenoid radical cation upon excitation of chlorophyll under conditions of maximum, steady-state feedback deexcitation. Studies on transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants confirmed that this carotenoid radical cation formation is correlated with feedback deexcitation and requires the presence of zeaxanthin, the specific carotenoid synthesized during high light exposure. These results indicate that energy transfer from chlorophyll molecules to a chlorophyllzeaxanthin heterodimer, which then undergoes charge separation, is the mechanism for excess energy dissipation during feedback deexcitation.

  4. Overexpression of Rhodobacter sphaeroides PufX-bearing maltose-binding protein and its effect on the stability of reconstituted light-harvesting core antenna complex.

    PubMed

    Sakai, Shunnsuke; Hiro, Akito; Kondo, Masaharu; Mizuno, Toshihisa; Tanaka, Toshiki; Dewa, Takehisa; Nango, Mamoru

    2012-03-01

    The PufX protein, encoded by the pufX gene of Rhodobacter sphaeroides, plays a key role in the organization and function of the core antenna (LH1)-reaction centre (RC) complex, which collects photons and triggers primary photochemical reactions. We synthesized a PufX/maltose-binding protein (MBP) fusion protein to study the effect of the PufX protein on the reconstitution of B820 subunit-type and LH1-type complexes. The fusion protein was synthesized using an Escherichia coli expression system and purified by affinity chromatography. Reconstitution experiments demonstrated that the MBP-PufX protein destabilizes the subunit-type complex (20°C), consistent with previous reports. Interestingly, however, the preformed LH1-type complex was stable in the presence of MBP-PufX. The MBP-PufX protein did not influence the preformed LH1-type complexes (4°C). The LH1-type complex containing MBP-PufX showed a unique temperature-dependent structural transformation that was irreversible. The predominant form of the complex at 4°C was the LH1-type. When shifted to 20°C, subunit-type complexes became predominant. Upon subsequent cooling back to 4°C, instead of re-forming the LH1-type complexes, the predominant form remained the subunit-type complexes. In contrast, reversible transformation of LH1 (4°C) and subunit-type complexes (20°C) occurs in the absence of PufX. These results are consistent with the suggestion that MBP-PufX interacts with the LH1α- polypeptide in the subunit (α/β)-type complex (at 20°C), preventing oligomerization of the subunit to form LH1-type complexes.

  5. TOPICAL REVIEW: Hybrid nanostructures for efficient light harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mackowski, Sebastian

    2010-05-01

    Hybrid nanostructures are systems composed of two or more nanostructures designed for improving the performance over individual components. In this work we introduce the concept of bridging natural photosynthetic protein-pigment complexes with nanostructures fabricated in an artificial way, such as semiconductor nanocrystals, metallic nanoparticles or carbon nanotubes, with the purpose of enhancing the efficiency of light harvesting either via plasmon excitation in metals or absorption tunability characteristics of semiconductors. In addition to presenting basic features of inorganic nanostructures, we discuss recent advances in the field of hybrid nanostructures composed of photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes.

  6. Identification of a gene encoding the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b proteins of photosystem I in green alga Dunaliella salina.

    PubMed

    Liang, Xue; Qiao, Dairong; Huang, Min; Yi, Xiuli; Bai, Linhan; Xu, Hui; Wei, Liang; Zeng, Jing; Cao, Yi

    2008-04-01

    There are four LhcII genes of Dunaliella salina have been submitted to the database of GenBank. However, little is known about Lhca genes of this green alga, although this knowledge might be available to study the composition and phylogenesis of Lhc gene family. Recently, one Lhca gene was been cloned from the green alga D. salina by PCR amplification using degenerate primers. This cDNA, designated as DsLhca1, contains an open reading frame encoded a protein of 222 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 27.8 kDa. DsLhca1 is predicted to contain three transmembrane domains and a N-terminal chloroplast transit peptide (cTP) with length of 33 amino acids. The genomic sequence of DsLhca1 is composed of five introns. The deduced polypeptide sequence of this gene showed a lower degree of identity (less than 30%) with LHCII proteins from D. salina. But its homology to Lhca proteins of other algae (Volvox carteri Lhca_AF110786) was higher with pairwise identities of up to 67.1%. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that DsLhcal protein cannot be assigned to any types of Lhca proteins in higher plants or in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

  7. Discrete cyclic porphyrin arrays as artificial light-harvesting antenna.

    PubMed

    Aratani, Naoki; Kim, Dongho; Osuka, Atsuhiro

    2009-12-21

    The importance of photosynthesis has driven researchers to seek ways to mimic its fundamental features in simplified systems. The absorption of a photon by light-harvesting (antenna) complexes made up of a large number of protein-embedded pigments initiates photosynthesis. Subsequently the many pigments within the antenna system shuttle that photon via an efficient excitation energy transfer (EET) until it encounters a reaction center. Since the 1995 discovery of the circularly arranged chromophoric assemblies in the crystal structure of light-harvesting antenna complex LH2 of purple bacteria Rps. Acidophila, many designs of light-harvesting antenna systems have focused on cyclic porphyrin wheels that allow for efficient EET. In this Account, we review recent research in our laboratories in the synthesis of covalently and noncovalently linked discrete cyclic porphyrin arrays as models of the photosynthetic light-harvesting antenna complexes. On the basis of the silver(I)-promoted oxidative coupling strategy, we have prepared a series of extremely long yet discrete meso-meso-linked porphyrin arrays and covalently linked large porphyrin rings. We examined the photophysical properties of these molecules using steady-state absorption, fluorescence, fluorescence lifetime, fluorescence anisotropy decay, and transient absorption measurements. Both the pump-power dependence on the femtosecond transient absorption and the transient absorption anisotropy decay profiles are directly related to the EET processes within the porphyrin rings. Within these structures, the exciton-exciton annihilation time and the polarization anisotropy rise time are well-described in terms of the Forster-type incoherent energy hopping model. In noncoordinating solvents such as CHCl(3), meso-pyridine-appended zinc(II) porphyrins and their meso-meso-linked dimers spontaneously assemble to form tetrameric porphyrin squares and porphyrin boxes, respectively. In the latter case, we have demonstrated

  8. Investigation of Detergent Effects on the Solution Structure of Spinach Light Harvesting Complex II

    SciTech Connect

    Cardoso, Mateus B; Smolensky, Dmitriy; Heller, William T; O'Neill, Hugh Michael

    2010-01-01

    The properties of spinach light harvesting complex II (LHC II), stabilized in the detergents Triton X-100 (TX100) and n-Octyl-{beta}-D-Glucoside (BOG), were investigated by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). The LHC II-BOG scattering curve overlaid well with the theoretical scattering curve generated from the crystal structure of LHC II indicating that the protein preparation was in its native functional state. On the other hand, the simulated LHC II curve deviated significantly from the LHC II-TX100 experimental data. Analysis by circular dichroism spectroscopy supported the SANS analysis and showed that LHC II-TX100 is inactivated. This investigation has implications for extracting and stabilizing photosynthetic membrane proteins for the development of biohybrid photoconversion devices.

  9. Investigation of detergent effects on the solution structure of spinach Light Harvesting Complex II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cardoso, Mateus B.; Smolensky, Dmitriy; Heller, William T.; O'Neill, Hugh

    2010-11-01

    The properties of spinach light harvesting complex II (LHC II), stabilized in the detergents Triton X-100 (TX100) and n-Octyl-β-D-Glucoside (BOG), were investigated by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). The LHC II-BOG scattering curve overlaid well with the theoretical scattering curve generated from the crystal structure of LHC II indicating that the protein preparation was in its native functional state. On the other hand, the simulated LHC II curve deviated significantly from the LHC II-TX100 experimental data. Analysis by circular dichroism spectroscopy supported the SANS analysis and showed that LHC II-TX100 is inactivated. This investigation has implications for extracting and stabilizing photosynthetic membrane proteins for the development of biohybrid photoconversion devices.

  10. Xanthophylls as modulators of membrane protein function.

    PubMed

    Ruban, Alexander V; Johnson, Matthew P

    2010-12-01

    This review discusses the structural aspect of the role of photosynthetic antenna xanthophylls. It argues that xanthophyll hydrophobicity/polarity could explain the reason for xanthophyll variety and help to understand their recently emerging function--control of membrane organization and the work of membrane proteins. The structure of a xanthophyll molecule is discussed in relation to other amphiphilic compounds like lipids, detergents, etc. Xanthophyll composition of membrane proteins, the role of their variety in protein function are discussed using as an example for the major light harvesting antenna complex of photosystem II, LHCII, from higher plants. A new empirical parameter, hydrophobicity parameter (H-parameter), has been introduced as an effective measure of the hydrophobicity of the xanthophyll complement of LHCII from different xanthophyll biosynthesis mutants of Arabidopsis. Photosystem II quantum efficiency was found to correlate well with the H-parameter of LHCII xanthophylls. PSII down-regulation by non-photochemical chlorophyll fluorescence quenching, NPQ, had optimum corresponding to the wild-type xanthophyll composition, where lutein occupies intrinsic sites, L1 and L2. Xanthophyll polarity/hydrophobicity alteration by the activity of the xanthophyll cycle explains the allosteric character of NPQ regulation, memory of illumination history and the hysteretic nature of the relationship between the triggering factor, ΔpH, and the energy dissipation process. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Quantum Chemical Studies of Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Curutchet, Carles; Mennucci, Benedetta

    2017-01-25

    The design of optimal light-harvesting (supra)molecular systems and materials is one of the most challenging frontiers of science. Theoretical methods and computational models play a fundamental role in this difficult task, as they allow the establishment of structural blueprints inspired by natural photosynthetic organisms that can be applied to the design of novel artificial light-harvesting devices. Among theoretical strategies, the application of quantum chemical tools represents an important reality that has already reached an evident degree of maturity, although it still has to show its real potentials. This Review presents an overview of the state of the art of this strategy, showing the actual fields of applicability but also indicating its current limitations, which need to be solved in future developments.

  12. Lessons from nature about solar light harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholes, Gregory D.; Fleming, Graham R.; Olaya-Castro, Alexandra; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2011-10-01

    Solar fuel production often starts with the energy from light being absorbed by an assembly of molecules; this electronic excitation is subsequently transferred to a suitable acceptor. For example, in photosynthesis, antenna complexes capture sunlight and direct the energy to reaction centres that then carry out the associated chemistry. In this Review, we describe the principles learned from studies of various natural antenna complexes and suggest how to elucidate strategies for designing light-harvesting systems. We envisage that such systems will be used for solar fuel production, to direct and regulate excitation energy flow using molecular organizations that facilitate feedback and control, or to transfer excitons over long distances. Also described are the notable properties of light-harvesting chromophores, spatial-energetic landscapes, the roles of excitonic states and quantum coherence, as well as how antennas are regulated and photoprotected.

  13. A lycopene β-cyclase/lycopene ε-cyclase/light-harvesting complex-fusion protein from the green alga Ostreococcus lucimarinus can be modified to produce α-carotene and β-carotene at different ratios.

    PubMed

    Blatt, Andreas; Bauch, Matthias E; Pörschke, Yvonne; Lohr, Martin

    2015-05-01

    Biosynthesis of asymmetric carotenoids such as α-carotene and lutein in plants and green algae involves the two enzymes lycopene β-cyclase (LCYB) and lycopene ε-cyclase (LCYE). The two cyclases are closely related and probably resulted from an ancient gene duplication. While in most plants investigated so far the two cyclases are encoded by separate genes, prasinophyte algae of the order Mamiellales contain a single gene encoding a fusion protein comprised of LCYB, LCYE and a C-terminal light-harvesting complex (LHC) domain. Here we show that the lycopene cyclase fusion protein from Ostreococcus lucimarinus catalyzed the simultaneous formation of α-carotene and β-carotene when heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. The stoichiometry of the two products in E. coli could be altered by gradual truncation of the C-terminus, suggesting that the LHC domain may be involved in modulating the relative activities of the two cyclase domains in the algae. Partial deletions of the linker region between the cyclase domains or replacement of one or both cyclase domains with the corresponding cyclases from the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii resulted in pronounced shifts of the α-carotene-to-β-carotene ratio, indicating that both the relative activities of the cyclase domains and the overall structure of the fusion protein have a strong impact on the product stoichiometry. The possibility to tune the product ratio of the lycopene cyclase fusion protein from Mamiellales renders it useful for the biotechnological production of the asymmetric carotenoids α-carotene or lutein in bacteria or fungi. © 2015 The Authors The Plant Journal © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Molecular Factors Controlling Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting by Carotenoids

    PubMed Central

    Polívka, Tomáš; Frank, Harry A.

    2010-01-01

    Carotenoids are naturally-occurring pigments that absorb light in the spectral region in which the sun irradiates maximally. These molecules transfer this energy to chlorophylls, initiating the primary photochemical events of photosynthesis. Carotenoids also regulate the flow of energy within the photosynthetic apparatus and protect it from photo-induced damage caused by excess light absorption. To carry out these functions in nature, carotenoids are bound in discrete pigment-protein complexes in close proximity to chlorophylls. A few 3D structures of these carotenoid complexes have been determined by X-ray crystallography. Thus, the stage is set for attempting to correlate the structural information with the spectroscopic properties of carotenoids to understand the molecular mechanism(s) of their function in photosynthetic systems. In this Account, we summarize current spectroscopic data describing the excited state energies and ultrafast dynamics of purified carotenoids in solution and bound in light-harvesting complexes from purple bacteria, marine algae, and green plants. Many of these complexes can be modified using mutagenesis or pigment exchange which facilitates making the correlations between structure and function. We describe the structural and electronic factors controlling the function of carotenoids as energy donors. We also discuss unresolved issues related to the nature of spectroscopically dark excited states, which could play a role in light-harvesting. To illustrate the interplay between structural determinations and spectroscopic investigations that exemplifies work in the field, we describe the spectroscopic properties of four light-harvesting complexes whose structures have been determined to atomic resolution. The first, the LH2 complex from the purple bacterium Rhodopseudomonas acidophila, contains the carotenoid, rhodopin glucoside. The second is the LHCII trimeric complex from higher plants which uses the carotenoids, lutein, neoxanthin

  15. Molecular factors controlling photosynthetic light harvesting by carotenoids.

    PubMed

    Polívka, Tomás; Frank, Harry A

    2010-08-17

    Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments that absorb light in the spectral region in which the sun irradiates maximally. These molecules transfer this energy to chlorophylls, initiating the primary photochemical events of photosynthesis. Carotenoids also regulate the flow of energy within the photosynthetic apparatus and protect it from photoinduced damage caused by excess light absorption. To carry out these functions in nature, carotenoids are bound in discrete pigment-protein complexes in the proximity of chlorophylls. A few three-dimensional structures of these carotenoid complexes have been determined by X-ray crystallography. Thus, the stage is set for attempting to correlate the structural information with the spectroscopic properties of carotenoids to understand the molecular mechanism(s) of their function in photosynthetic systems. In this Account, we summarize current spectroscopic data describing the excited state energies and ultrafast dynamics of purified carotenoids in solution and bound in light-harvesting complexes from purple bacteria, marine algae, and green plants. Many of these complexes can be modified using mutagenesis or pigment exchange which facilitates the elucidation of correlations between structure and function. We describe the structural and electronic factors controlling the function of carotenoids as energy donors. We also discuss unresolved issues related to the nature of spectroscopically dark excited states, which could play a role in light harvesting. To illustrate the interplay between structural determinations and spectroscopic investigations that exemplifies work in the field, we describe the spectroscopic properties of four light-harvesting complexes whose structures have been determined to atomic resolution. The first, the LH2 complex from the purple bacterium Rhodopseudomonas acidophila, contains the carotenoid rhodopin glucoside. The second is the LHCII trimeric complex from higher plants which uses the carotenoids

  16. Circadian expression of the PpLhcb2 gene encoding a major light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding protein in the moss Physcomitrella patens.

    PubMed

    Aoki, Setsuyuki; Kato, Seiji; Ichikawa, Kazuhiro; Shimizu, Masashi

    2004-01-01

    Circadian clocks control the expression of Lhcb genes encoding the chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins broadly in seed plants. We show here that this regulation is also conserved in the primitive moss Physcomitrella patens. Northern blotting analyses revealed a robust daily oscillation of Lhcb mRNA levels in protonema cells in 12-h : 12-h light-dark cycles (12 : 12LD) that damped rapidly in continuous darkness (DD). In continuous light (LL), by contrast with typical profiles in higher plants, Lhcb mRNA levels only peaked during the first day and thereafter it showed constant levels. Reverse transcription (RT)-PCR analyses showed similar patterns of expression in LL for three distinct Lhcb genes (PpLhcb1, PpLhcb2 and Zlab1). Moreover, transgenic reporter strains expressing luciferase under the control of the PpLhcb2 promoter showed bioluminescence patterns consistent with the Northern and RT-PCR data. At a higher concentration (4.5%) of glucose in the medium, the reporter strain showed self-sustained rhythms in DD, which was entrained to a differently phased 12 : 12LD, revealing a circadian regulation on the transcription. Kinetics of bioluminescent peaks in 12 : 12LD from gametophore was different to those from protonema, indicating a developmental regulation on PpLhcb2. Together, the regulatory link between the clock and Lhcb genes in P. patens shows characteristics that appear to differ from those in higher plants.

  17. Differential mobility of pigment-protein complexes in granal and agranal thylakoid membranes of C₃ and C₄ plants.

    PubMed

    Kirchhoff, Helmut; Sharpe, Richard M; Herbstova, Miroslava; Yarbrough, Robert; Edwards, Gerald E

    2013-01-01

    The photosynthetic performance of plants is crucially dependent on the mobility of the molecular complexes that catalyze the conversion of sunlight to metabolic energy equivalents in the thylakoid membrane network inside chloroplasts. The role of the extensive folding of thylakoid membranes leading to structural differentiation into stacked grana regions and unstacked stroma lamellae for diffusion-based processes of the photosynthetic machinery is poorly understood. This study examines, to our knowledge for the first time, the mobility of photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes in unstacked thylakoid regions in the C₃ plant Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and agranal bundle sheath chloroplasts of the C₄ plants sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and maize (Zea mays) by the fluorescence recovery after photobleaching technique. In unstacked thylakoid membranes, more than 50% of the protein complexes are mobile, whereas this number drops to about 20% in stacked grana regions. The higher molecular mobility in unstacked thylakoid regions is explained by a lower protein-packing density compared with stacked grana regions. It is postulated that thylakoid membrane stacking to form grana leads to protein crowding that impedes lateral diffusion processes but is required for efficient light harvesting of the modularly organized photosystem II and its light-harvesting antenna system. In contrast, the arrangement of the photosystem I light-harvesting complex I in separate units in unstacked thylakoid membranes does not require dense protein packing, which is advantageous for protein diffusion.

  18. Regulation of photosystem I light harvesting by zeaxanthin.

    PubMed

    Ballottari, Matteo; Alcocer, Marcelo J P; D'Andrea, Cosimo; Viola, Daniele; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Petrozza, Annamaria; Polli, Dario; Fleming, Graham R; Cerullo, Giulio; Bassi, Roberto

    2014-06-10

    In oxygenic photosynthetic eukaryotes, the hydroxylated carotenoid zeaxanthin is produced from preexisting violaxanthin upon exposure to excess light conditions. Zeaxanthin binding to components of the photosystem II (PSII) antenna system has been investigated thoroughly and shown to help in the dissipation of excess chlorophyll-excited states and scavenging of oxygen radicals. However, the functional consequences of the accumulation of the light-harvesting complex I (LHCI) proteins in the photosystem I (PSI) antenna have remained unclarified so far. In this work we investigated the effect of zeaxanthin binding on photoprotection of PSI-LHCI by comparing preparations isolated from wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana (i.e., with violaxanthin) and those isolated from the A. thaliana nonphotochemical quenching 2 mutant, in which violaxanthin is replaced by zeaxanthin. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements showed that zeaxanthin binding leads to a previously unrecognized quenching effect on PSI-LHCI fluorescence. The efficiency of energy transfer from the LHCI moiety of the complex to the PSI reaction center was down-regulated, and an enhanced PSI resistance to photoinhibition was observed both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, zeaxanthin was shown to be effective in inducing dissipative states in PSI, similar to its well-known effect on PSII. We propose that, upon acclimation to high light, PSI-LHCI changes its light-harvesting efficiency by a zeaxanthin-dependent quenching of the absorbed excitation energy, whereas in PSII the stoichiometry of LHC antenna proteins per reaction center is reduced directly.

  19. Regulation of photosystem I light harvesting by zeaxanthin

    PubMed Central

    Ballottari, Matteo; Alcocer, Marcelo J. P.; D’Andrea, Cosimo; Viola, Daniele; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Petrozza, Annamaria; Polli, Dario; Fleming, Graham R.; Cerullo, Giulio; Bassi, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    In oxygenic photosynthetic eukaryotes, the hydroxylated carotenoid zeaxanthin is produced from preexisting violaxanthin upon exposure to excess light conditions. Zeaxanthin binding to components of the photosystem II (PSII) antenna system has been investigated thoroughly and shown to help in the dissipation of excess chlorophyll-excited states and scavenging of oxygen radicals. However, the functional consequences of the accumulation of the light-harvesting complex I (LHCI) proteins in the photosystem I (PSI) antenna have remained unclarified so far. In this work we investigated the effect of zeaxanthin binding on photoprotection of PSI–LHCI by comparing preparations isolated from wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana (i.e., with violaxanthin) and those isolated from the A. thaliana nonphotochemical quenching 2 mutant, in which violaxanthin is replaced by zeaxanthin. Time-resolved fluorescence measurements showed that zeaxanthin binding leads to a previously unrecognized quenching effect on PSI–LHCI fluorescence. The efficiency of energy transfer from the LHCI moiety of the complex to the PSI reaction center was down-regulated, and an enhanced PSI resistance to photoinhibition was observed both in vitro and in vivo. Thus, zeaxanthin was shown to be effective in inducing dissipative states in PSI, similar to its well-known effect on PSII. We propose that, upon acclimation to high light, PSI–LHCI changes its light-harvesting efficiency by a zeaxanthin-dependent quenching of the absorbed excitation energy, whereas in PSII the stoichiometry of LHC antenna proteins per reaction center is reduced directly. PMID:24872450

  20. In Vivo Identification of Photosystem II Light Harvesting Complexes Interacting with PHOTOSYSTEM II SUBUNIT S1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Franchin, Cinzia; Arrigoni, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    Light is the primary energy source for photosynthetic organisms, but in excess, it can generate reactive oxygen species and lead to cell damage. Plants evolved multiple mechanisms to modulate light use efficiency depending on illumination intensity to thrive in a highly dynamic natural environment. One of the main mechanisms for protection from intense illumination is the dissipation of excess excitation energy as heat, a process called nonphotochemical quenching. In plants, nonphotochemical quenching induction depends on the generation of a pH gradient across thylakoid membranes and on the presence of a protein called PHOTOSYSTEM II SUBUNIT S (PSBS). Here, we generated Physcomitrella patens lines expressing histidine-tagged PSBS that were exploited to purify the native protein by affinity chromatography. The mild conditions used in the purification allowed copurifying PSBS with its interactors, which were identified by mass spectrometry analysis to be mainly photosystem II antenna proteins, such as LIGHT-HARVESTING COMPLEX B (LHCB). PSBS interaction with other proteins appears to be promiscuous and not exclusive, although the major proteins copurified with PSBS were components of the LHCII trimers (LHCB3 and LHCBM). These results provide evidence of a physical interaction between specific photosystem II light-harvesting complexes and PSBS in the thylakoids, suggesting that these subunits are major players in heat dissipation of excess energy. PMID:26069151

  1. Quantum mechanical light harvesting mechanisms in photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scholes, Gregory

    2012-02-01

    More than 10 million billion photons of light strike a leaf each second. Incredibly, almost every red-coloured photon is captured by chlorophyll pigments and initiates steps to plant growth. Last year we reported that marine algae use quantum mechanics in order to optimize photosynthesis [1], a process essential to its survival. These and other insights from the natural world promise to revolutionize our ability to harness the power of the sun. In a recent review [2] we described the principles learned from studies of various natural antenna complexes and suggested how to utilize that knowledge to shape future technologies. We forecast the need to develop ways to direct and regulate excitation energy flow using molecular organizations that facilitate feedback and control--not easy given that the energy is only stored for a billionth of a second. In this presentation I will describe new results that explain the observation and meaning of quantum-coherent energy transfer. [4pt] [1] Elisabetta Collini, Cathy Y. Wong, Krystyna E. Wilk, Paul M. G. Curmi, Paul Brumer, and Gregory D. Scholes, ``Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature'' Nature 463, 644-648 (2010).[0pt] [2] Gregory D. Scholes, Graham R. Fleming, Alexandra Olaya-Castro and Rienk van Grondelle, ``Lessons from nature about solar light harvesting'' Nature Chem. 3, 763-774 (2011).

  2. Photophysics in single light-harvesting complexes II: from micelle to native nanodisks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gruber, J. Michael; Scheidelaar, Stefan; van Roon, Henny; Dekker, Jan P.; Killian, J. Antoinette; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-02-01

    Most photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes of algae and higher plants are integral membrane proteins and are thus usually isolated in the presence of detergent to provide a hydrophobic interface and prevent aggregation. It was recently shown that the styrene maleic acid (SMA) copolymer can be used instead to solubilize and isolate protein complexes with their native lipid environment into nanodisk particles. We isolated LHCII complexes in SMA and compared their photophysics with trimeric LHCII complexes in β-DM detergent micelles to understand the effect of the native environment on the function of light-harvesting antennae. The triplet state kinetics and the calculated relative absorption cross section of single complexes indicate the successful isolation of trimeric complexes in SMA nanodisks, confirming the trimeric structure as the likely native configuration. The survival time of complexes before they photobleach is increased in SMA compared to detergent which might be explained by a stabilizing effect of the co-purified lipids in nanodisks. We furthermore find an unquenched fluorescence lifetime of 3.5 ns for LHCII in SMA nanodisks which coincides with detergent isolated complexes and notably differs from 2 ns typically found in native thylakoid structures. A large dynamic range of partially quenched complexes both in detergent micelles and lipid nanodisks is demonstrated by correlating the fluorescence lifetime with the intensity and likely reflects the conformational freedom of these complexes. This further supports the hypothesis that fluorescence intermittency is an intrinsic property of LHCII that may be involved in excess energy dissipation in native light-harvesting.

  3. Effects of nitrogen-deficiency on efficiency of light-harvesting apparatus in radish.

    PubMed

    Cetner, M D; Kalaji, H M; Goltsev, V; Aleksandrov, V; Kowalczyk, K; Borucki, W; Jajoo, A

    2017-10-01

    Nitrogen starvation has been stated to reduce chlorophyll a and accessory pigments, decrease photosynthetic efficiency, as well as modify chloroplast thylakoid membranes. However, the impact of N-deficiency on light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis has not been well understood. In this study, efficiency and structure of light-harvesting complex under N-deficiency conditions were investigated in two radish cultivars (Raphanus sativus var. sativus 'Fluo HF1' and 'Suntella F1'). Light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis were investigated by measuring in vivo chlorophyll a prompt fluorescence signal. Acquired data were utilised in two ways: by plotting fast induction curves and calculating OJIP-test biophysical parameters. Detailed analysis of difference curves as well as OJIP-test results showed that major disturbances were associated with photosystem II and its subunits, including decoupling of light-harvesting complexes, dysfunction of oxygen-evolving complex, and reaction centres inactivation. The maximum quantum yield of photosystem II primary photochemistry was severely restricted, causing an inhibition in electron transport through successive protein complexes in the thylakoid membrane. Structural changes were demonstrated by recording images using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). TEM investigations showed intensive starch accumulation under N-deficiency. Rare thylakoid stacks distributed in tiny layers of stroma around grains and chloroplast periphery were observed in cells of N-deficient plants. The application of principal component analysis (PCA) on OJIP-test results allowed characterizing the dynamics of stress response and separating parameters according to their influence on plants stress response. 'Suntella F1' genotype was found to be more sensitive to nitrogen deficiency as compared to 'Fluo HF1' genotype. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  4. Regulating the Energy Flow in a Cyanobacterial Light-Harvesting Antenna Complex.

    PubMed

    Eisenberg, Ido; Caycedo-Soler, Felipe; Harris, Dvir; Yochelis, Shira; Huelga, Susana F; Plenio, Martin B; Adir, Noam; Keren, Nir; Paltiel, Yossi

    2017-02-16

    Photosynthetic organisms harvest light energy, utilizing the absorption and energy-transfer properties of protein-bound chromophores. Controlling the harvesting efficiency is critical for the optimal function of the photosynthetic apparatus. Here, we show that the cyanobacterial light-harvesting antenna complex may be able to regulate the flow of energy to switch reversibly from efficient energy conversion to photoprotective quenching via a structural change. We isolated cyanobacterial light-harvesting proteins, phycocyanin and allophycocyanin, and measured their optical properties in solution and in an aggregated-desiccated state. The results indicate that energy band structures are changed, generating a switch between the two modes of operation, exciton transfer and quenching, achieved without dedicated carotenoid quenchers. This flexibility can contribute greatly to the large dynamic range of cyanobacterial light-harvesting systems.

  5. Significance of protein crowding, order and mobility for photosynthetic membrane functions.

    PubMed

    Kirchhoff, Helmut

    2008-10-01

    Natural photosynthesis requires diffusion-based processes either for the functional communication of protein complexes or for the adaptation, maintenance and biogenesis of the photosynthetic apparatus. A conceptual problem with lateral diffusion in photosynthetic membranes arises from the fact that these membranes are densely packed with membrane integral protein complexes (molecular crowding). Theoretical analysis of PQ (plastoquinone) and protein diffusion in higher plant grana thylakoids reveal very inefficient lateral diffusion. In contrast, measurement of protein mobility in grana membranes shows that a fraction of protein complexes can move surprisingly fast. It is postulated that organization of protein complexes in supercomplexes and large-scale ordering of Photosystem II and light-harvesting complex II could be strategies for the optimization of diffusion in crowded thylakoid membranes.

  6. Heat- and light-induced detachment of the light harvesting complex from isolated photosystem I supercomplexes.

    PubMed

    Nellaepalli, Sreedhar; Zsiros, Ottó; Tóth, Tünde; Yadavalli, Venkateswarlu; Garab, Győző; Subramanyam, Rajagopal; Kovács, László

    2014-08-01

    In a previous study, using photosystem I enriched stroma thylakoid membrane vesicles, we have shown that the light harvesting complexes of this photosystem are prone to heat- and light-induced, thermo-optically driven detachment from the supercomplex [43]. We have also shown that the splitting of the supercomplex occurs in a gradual and specific manner, selectively affecting the different constituents of the antenna complexes. Here we further analyse these heat- and light-induced processes in isolated Photosystem I supercomplex using circular dichroism and 77K fluorescence emission spectroscopy and immuno blotting, and obtain further details on the sequence of events of the dissociation process as well as on the thermal stability of the different components. Our absorption and circular dichroism spectroscopy and immuno blotting data show that the dissociation of LHCI from PSI-LHCI supercomplex starts above 50°C. Also, the low temperature fluorescence emission spectra depicts decrease of maximum fluorescence emission at 730nm and an increase of the intensity at 685nm, and about 10nm blue-shifts, from 730 to 720nm and from 685 to 676nm, respectively, indicating the heat (50°C) induced detachment of LHCI from PSI core complexes. The reaction centre proteins are highly stable even at high temperatures. Lhca2 is more heat stable than the other light harvesting protein complexes of PSI, whereas Lhca4 and Lhca3 are rather labile. Combined heat and light treatments significantly enhances the disorganization of PSI-LHCI supercomplexes, indicating a thermo-optic mechanism, which might have significant role under combined heat and light stress conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Visualizing the mobility and distribution of chlorophyll proteins in higher plant thylakoid membranes: effects of photoinhibition and protein phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Goral, Tomasz K; Johnson, Matthew P; Brain, Anthony P R; Kirchhoff, Helmut; Ruban, Alexander V; Mullineaux, Conrad W

    2010-06-01

    The diffusion of proteins in chloroplast thylakoid membranes is believed to be important for processes including the photosystem-II repair cycle and the regulation of light harvesting. However, to date there is very little direct information on the mobility of thylakoid proteins. We have used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching in a laser-scanning confocal microscope to visualize in real time the exchange of chlorophyll proteins between grana in intact spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) and Arabidopsis chloroplasts. Most chlorophyll proteins in the grana appear immobile on the 10-min timescale of our measurements. However, a limited population of chlorophyll proteins (accounting for around 15% of chlorophyll fluorescence) can exchange between grana on this timescale. In intact, wild-type chloroplasts this mobile population increases significantly after photoinhibition, consistent with a role for protein diffusion in the photosystem-II repair cycle. No such increase in mobility is seen in isolated grana membranes, or in the Arabidopsis stn8 and stn7 stn8 mutants, which lack the protein kinases required for phosphorylation of photosystem II core proteins and light-harvesting complexes. Furthermore, mobility under low-light conditions is significantly lower in stn8 and stn7 stn8 plants than in wild-type Arabidopsis. The changes in protein mobility correlate with changes in the packing density and size of thylakoid protein complexes, as observed by freeze-fracture electron microscopy. We conclude that protein phosphorylation switches the membrane system to a more fluid state, thus facilitating the photosystem-II repair cycle.

  8. Structures of membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R.; Henderson, Richard

    2010-01-01

    In reviewing the structures of membrane proteins determined up to the end of 2009, we present in words and pictures the most informative examples from each family. We group the structures together according to their function and architecture to provide an overview of the major principles and variations on the most common themes. The first structures, determined 20 years ago, were those of naturally abundant proteins with limited conformational variability, and each membrane protein structure determined was a major landmark. With the advent of complete genome sequences and efficient expression systems, there has been an explosion in the rate of membrane protein structure determination, with many classes represented. New structures are published every month and more than 150 unique membrane protein structures have been determined. This review analyses the reasons for this success, discusses the challenges that still lie ahead, and presents a concise summary of the key achievements with illustrated examples selected from each class. PMID:20667175

  9. Drugging Membrane Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Hang; Flynn, Aaron D.

    2016-01-01

    The majority of therapeutics target membrane proteins, accessible on the surface of cells, to alter cellular signaling. Cells use membrane proteins to transduce signals into cells, transport ions and molecules, bind the cell to a surface or substrate, and catalyze reactions. Newly devised technologies allow us to drug conventionally “undruggable” regions of membrane proteins, enabling modulation of protein–protein, protein–lipid, and protein–nucleic acid interactions. In this review, we survey the state of the art in high-throughput screening and rational design in drug discovery, and we evaluate the advances in biological understanding and technological capacity that will drive pharmacotherapy forward against unorthodox membrane protein targets. PMID:26863923

  10. Structural relationship in chloroplast membranes. Final report, August 1, 1977-August 31, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    1980-09-01

    Methodology has been developed for the isolation and characterization of pigment-proteins from chloroplast membranes. Characterization of these pigment-proteins has increased our understanding of mechanisms regulating the efficiency of photosynthetic light harvesting during photosynthesis. Incorporation of isolated pigment-protein complexes into model membranes has allowed simulation of grana stacks; these structural features of chloroplasts play a key role in maintaining appropriate interactions among light-harvesting assembles to regulate photosynthetic solar energy conversion.

  11. Applications of textured surfaces for light harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cocilovo, Byron

    Surface textures add another dimension to optical design. They can be used to redirect light, isolate spectral bands, and enhance optical fields. They effectively take up no space, so can be applied to any optical surface -- from intermediary elements to substrates. Here I present three applications of textured surfaces for light harvesting. The first project places scattering textures inside a film that can be applied to windows to scatter infrared light towards solar cells at the edges. The collected energy is then used to power tinting films. The second project uses modular diffractive structures to increase the absorption in solar cells. Lastly, structured silver surfaces are used to enhance plasmonics fields and increase two-photon excitation fluorescence.

  12. Electronic coherence lineshapes reveal hidden excitonic correlations in photosynthetic light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Wong, Cathy Y; Alvey, Richard M; Turner, Daniel B; Wilk, Krystyna E; Bryant, Donald A; Curmi, Paul M G; Silbey, Robert J; Scholes, Gregory D

    2012-03-25

    The effective absorption cross-section of a molecule (acceptor) can be greatly increased by associating it with a cluster of molecules that absorb light and transfer the excitation energy to the acceptor molecule. The basic mechanism of such light harvesting by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) is well established, but recent experiments have revealed a new feature whereby excitation is coherently shared among donor and acceptor molecules during FRET. In the present study, two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy was used to examine energy transfer at ambient temperature in a naturally occurring light-harvesting protein (PE545 of the marine cryptophyte alga Rhodomonas sp. strain CS24). Quantum beating was observed across a range of excitation frequencies. The shapes of those features in the two-dimensional spectra were examined. Through simulations, we show that two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy provides a probe of the adiabaticity of the free energy landscape underlying light harvesting.

  13. Strong Coupling of Localized Surface Plasmons to Excitons in Light-Harvesting Complexes

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Gold nanostructure arrays exhibit surface plasmon resonances that split after attaching light harvesting complexes 1 and 2 (LH1 and LH2) from purple bacteria. The splitting is attributed to strong coupling between the localized surface plasmon resonances and excitons in the light-harvesting complexes. Wild-type and mutant LH1 and LH2 from Rhodobacter sphaeroides containing different carotenoids yield different splitting energies, demonstrating that the coupling mechanism is sensitive to the electronic states in the light harvesting complexes. Plasmon–exciton coupling models reveal different coupling strengths depending on the molecular organization and the protein coverage, consistent with strong coupling. Strong coupling was also observed for self-assembling polypeptide maquettes that contain only chlorins. However, it is not observed for monolayers of bacteriochlorophyll, indicating that strong plasmon–exciton coupling is sensitive to the specific presentation of the pigment molecules. PMID:27689237

  14. Accessing exciton transport in light-harvesting structures with plasmonic nanotip

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saikin, Semion K.; Feist, Johannes; Homer Reid, M. T.; Lukin, Mikhail D.; Aspuru-Guzik, Alan

    2012-02-01

    Natural light-harvesting complexes, such as that of plant cells or photosynthetic bacteria, are considered as possible prototypes for artificially designed solar cell materials. In these structures the energy of light absorbed by a peripheral antenna is transmitted very efficiently in a form of excitons to a reaction center. Usually, information about the exciton transport is obtained from time-resolved nonlinear optical experiments where the frequencies of a pump and a probe fields select particular electronic transitions in the light-harvesting complex. We explore a complimentary setup utilizing a plasmonic nanotip as a local sub-wavelength probe of excitation dynamics. As specific examples we consider an LHII complex involved in the light-harvesting process of purple bacteria and a Fenna-Matthews-Olson pigment-protein complex of green-sulphur bacteria.

  15. Solvation Effect of Bacteriochlorophyll Excitons in Light-Harvesting Complex LH2

    PubMed Central

    Urbonienė, V.; Vrublevskaja, O.; Trinkunas, G.; Gall, A.; Robert, B.; Valkunas, L.

    2007-01-01

    We have characterized the influence of the protein environment on the spectral properties of the bacteriochlorophyll (Bchl) molecules of the peripheral light-harvesting (or LH2) complex from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. The spectral density functions of the pigments responsible for the 800 and 850 nm electronic transitions were determined from the temperature dependence of the Bchl absorption spectra in different environments (detergent micelles and native membranes). The spectral density function is virtually independent of the hydrophobic support that the protein experiences. The reorganization energy for the B850 Bchls is 220 cm−1, which is almost twice that of the B800 Bchls, and its Huang-Rhys factor reaches 8.4. Around the transition point temperature, and at higher temperatures, both the static spectral inhomogeneity and the resonance interactions become temperature-dependent. The inhomogeneous distribution function of the transitions exhibits less temperature dependence when LH2 is embedded in membranes, suggesting that the lipid phase protects the protein. However, the temperature dependence of the fluorescence spectra of LH2 cannot be fitted using the same parameters determined from the analysis of the absorption spectra. Correct fitting requires the lowest exciton states to be additionally shifted to the red, suggesting the reorganization of the exciton spectrum. PMID:17513366

  16. Long range excitonic transport in a biomimetic system inspired by the bacterial light-harvesting apparatus

    SciTech Connect

    Harel, Elad

    2012-05-07

    Photosynthesis, the process by which energy from sunlight drives cellular metabolism, relies on a unique organization of light-harvesting and reaction center complexes. Recently, the organization of light-harvesting LH2 complexes and dimeric reaction center-light-harvesting I-PufX core complexes in membranes of purple non-sulfur bacteria was revealed by atomic force microscopy [S. Bahatyrova et al., Nature (London) 430, 1058 (2004)]. Here, we discuss optimal exciton transfer in a biomimetic system closely modeled on the structure of LH2 and its organization within the membrane using a Markovian quantum model with dissipation and trapping added phenomenologically. In a deliberate manner, we neglect the high level detail of the bacterial light-harvesting complex and its interaction with the phonon bath in order to elucidate a set of design principles that may be incorporated in artificial pigment-scaffold constructs in a supramolecular assembly. We show that our scheme reproduces many of the most salient features found in their natural counterpart and may be largely explained by simple electrostatic considerations. Most importantly, we show that quantum effects act primarily to enforce robustness with respect to spatial and spectral disorder between and within complexes. The implications of such an arrangement are discussed in the context of biomimetic photosynthetic analogs capable of transferring energy efficiently across tens to hundreds of nanometers.

  17. Long range excitonic transport in a biomimetic system inspired by the bacterial light-harvesting apparatus.

    PubMed

    Harel, Elad

    2012-05-07

    Photosynthesis, the process by which energy from sunlight drives cellular metabolism, relies on a unique organization of light-harvesting and reaction center complexes. Recently, the organization of light-harvesting LH2 complexes and dimeric reaction center-light-harvesting I-PufX core complexes in membranes of purple non-sulfur bacteria was revealed by atomic force microscopy [S. Bahatyrova et al., Nature (London) 430, 1058 (2004)]. Here, we discuss optimal exciton transfer in a biomimetic system closely modeled on the structure of LH2 and its organization within the membrane using a Markovian quantum model with dissipation and trapping added phenomenologically. In a deliberate manner, we neglect the high level detail of the bacterial light-harvesting complex and its interaction with the phonon bath in order to elucidate a set of design principles that may be incorporated in artificial pigment-scaffold constructs in a supramolecular assembly. We show that our scheme reproduces many of the most salient features found in their natural counterpart and may be largely explained by simple electrostatic considerations. Most importantly, we show that quantum effects act primarily to enforce robustness with respect to spatial and spectral disorder between and within complexes. The implications of such an arrangement are discussed in the context of biomimetic photosynthetic analogs capable of transferring energy efficiently across tens to hundreds of nanometers.

  18. Long range excitonic transport in a biomimetic system inspired by the bacterial light-harvesting apparatus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harel, Elad

    2012-05-01

    Photosynthesis, the process by which energy from sunlight drives cellular metabolism, relies on a unique organization of light-harvesting and reaction center complexes. Recently, the organization of light-harvesting LH2 complexes and dimeric reaction center-light-harvesting I-PufX core complexes in membranes of purple non-sulfur bacteria was revealed by atomic force microscopy [S. Bahatyrova et al., Nature (London) 430, 1058 (2004)]. Here, we discuss optimal exciton transfer in a biomimetic system closely modeled on the structure of LH2 and its organization within the membrane using a Markovian quantum model with dissipation and trapping added phenomenologically. In a deliberate manner, we neglect the high level detail of the bacterial light-harvesting complex and its interaction with the phonon bath in order to elucidate a set of design principles that may be incorporated in artificial pigment-scaffold constructs in a supramolecular assembly. We show that our scheme reproduces many of the most salient features found in their natural counterpart and may be largely explained by simple electrostatic considerations. Most importantly, we show that quantum effects act primarily to enforce robustness with respect to spatial and spectral disorder between and within complexes. The implications of such an arrangement are discussed in the context of biomimetic photosynthetic analogs capable of transferring energy efficiently across tens to hundreds of nanometers.

  19. Potential of light-harvesting proton pumps for bioenergy applications.

    PubMed

    Walter, Jessica M; Greenfield, Derek; Liphardt, Jan

    2010-06-01

    Concerns about the security and longevity of traditional energy sources have increased interest in alternative methods of energy production, particularly those which utilize abundantly available solar energy. Solar energy can be harvested either indirectly through the conversion of plant or algal byproducts into biofuels or directly using engineered microorganisms. Here we summarize the main features of light-harvesting proton pumps, which may provide a relatively simple way to boost the efficiency of energy-limited biological processes in fuel production. This family of proton pumps, which includes bacteriorhodopsin and proteorhodopsin, directly uses light energy to create a proton motive force (pmf) which can be used by other enzymes to facilitate active transport, regulate transmembrane proteins, or to generate ATP and NADH.

  20. Light-harvesting antenna complexes in the moss Physcomitrella patens: implications for the evolutionary transition from green algae to land plants.

    PubMed

    Iwai, Masakazu; Yokono, Makio

    2017-06-01

    Plants have successfully adapted to a vast range of terrestrial environments during their evolution. To elucidate the evolutionary transition of light-harvesting antenna proteins from green algae to land plants, the moss Physcomitrella patens is ideally placed basally among land plants. Compared to the genomes of green algae and land plants, the P. patens genome codes for more diverse and redundant light-harvesting antenna proteins. It also encodes Lhcb9, which has characteristics not found in other light-harvesting antenna proteins. The unique complement of light-harvesting antenna proteins in P. patens appears to facilitate protein interactions that include those lost in both green algae and land plants with regard to stromal electron transport pathways and photoprotection mechanisms. This review will highlight unique characteristics of the P. patens light-harvesting antenna system and the resulting implications about the evolutionary transition during plant terrestrialization. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Multiscale model of light harvesting by photosystem II in plants

    PubMed Central

    Amarnath, Kapil; Bennett, Doran I. G.; Schneider, Anna R.; Fleming, Graham R.

    2016-01-01

    The first step of photosynthesis in plants is the absorption of sunlight by pigments in the antenna complexes of photosystem II (PSII), followed by transfer of the nascent excitation energy to the reaction centers, where long-term storage as chemical energy is initiated. Quantum mechanical mechanisms must be invoked to explain the transport of excitation within individual antenna. However, it is unclear how these mechanisms influence transfer across assemblies of antenna and thus the photochemical yield at reaction centers in the functional thylakoid membrane. Here, we model light harvesting at the several-hundred-nanometer scale of the PSII membrane, while preserving the dominant quantum effects previously observed in individual complexes. We show that excitation moves diffusively through the antenna with a diffusion length of 50 nm until it reaches a reaction center, where charge separation serves as an energetic trap. The diffusion length is a single parameter that incorporates the enhancing effect of excited state delocalization on individual rates of energy transfer as well as the complex kinetics that arise due to energy transfer and loss by decay to the ground state. The diffusion length determines PSII’s high quantum efficiency in ideal conditions, as well as how it is altered by the membrane morphology and the closure of reaction centers. We anticipate that the model will be useful in resolving the nonphotochemical quenching mechanisms that PSII employs in conditions of high light stress. PMID:26787911

  2. Enhancing the light harvesting capability of a photosynthetic reaction center by a tailored molecular fluorophore.

    PubMed

    Milano, Francesco; Tangorra, Rocco Roberto; Hassan Omar, Omar; Ragni, Roberta; Operamolla, Alessandra; Agostiano, Angela; Farinola, Gianluca M; Trotta, Massimo

    2012-10-29

    Light machine: The simplest photosynthetic protein able to convert sunlight into other energy forms is covalently functionalized with a tailored organic dye to obtain a fully functional hybrid complex that outperforms the natural system in light harvesting and conversion ability. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Preparation of native and recombinant light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b complex.

    PubMed

    Rühle, Wolfgang; Paulsen, Harald

    2011-01-01

    Procedures to isolate native light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b complex (LHCIIb) and to reconstitute recombinant LHCIIb are described. Separation of trimeric from monomeric forms and free pigment by sucrose density-gradient ultracentrifugation can be applied to both native and reconstituted complexes. The preparations are characterized by their pigment composition, protein pattern, and spectral properties.

  4. The ring structure and organization of light harvesting 2 complexes in a reconstituted lipid bilayer, resolved by atomic force microscopy.

    PubMed

    Stamouli, Amalia; Kafi, Sidig; Klein, Dionne C G; Oosterkamp, Tjerk H; Frenken, Joost W M; Cogdell, Richard J; Aartsma, Thijs J

    2003-04-01

    The main function of the transmembrane light-harvesting complexes in photosynthetic organisms is the absorption of a light quantum and its subsequent rapid transfer to a reaction center where a charge separation occurs. A combination of freeze-thaw and dialysis methods were used to reconstitute the detergent-solubilized Light Harvesting 2 complex (LH2) of the purple bacterium Rhodopseudomonas acidophila strain 10050 into preformed egg phosphatidylcholine liposomes, without the need for extra chemical agents. The LH2-containing liposomes opened up to a flat bilayer, which were imaged with tapping and contact mode atomic force microscopy under ambient and physiological conditions, respectively. The LH2 complexes were packed in quasicrystalline domains. The endoplasmic and periplasmic sides of the LH2 complexes could be distinguished by the difference in height of the protrusions from the lipid bilayer. The results indicate that the complexes entered in intact liposomes. In addition, it was observed that the most hydrophilic side, the periplasmic, enters first in the membrane. In contact mode the molecular structure of the periplasmic side of the transmembrane pigment-protein complex was observed. Using Föster's theory for describing the distance dependent energy transfer, we estimate the dipole strength for energy transfer between two neighboring LH2s, based on the architecture of the imaged unit cell.

  5. Early events in the biosynthesis and assembly of the cyanobacterial light-harvesting system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Lamont

    1996-02-01

    The cyanobacteria are photosynthetic procaryotes that employ a mechanism of photosynthesis which is essentially identical to the systems found in plant chloroplasts and the eukaryotic green algae. Cyanobacteria can drive photosynthesis with light energy from a broad region of the visible spectrum (500 - 650 nm wavelength) that is not available to plants and green algae, which are limited to the narrow band of light energy that is absorbed by chlorophyll (660-680 nm). The light-harvesting capacity of the cyanobacteria is a function of a complex protein structure that resides on the surface of the photosynthetic membrane in contact with the PSII chlorophyll reaction centers. This light-harvesting complex is called a phycobilisome and functions as a protein scaffold for a rigid array of chromophores that absorbs light energy and transfers it to chlorophyll. The chromophores are linear tetrapyrroles (the bilins) that are covalently attached to the biliproteins, which comprise 80 - 85% of the total phycobilisome mass. There are three major classes of spectrally distinct biliproteins [phycoerythrin (PE), (lambda) max equals 565 nm; phycocyanin (PC), (lambda) max equals 617 nm; and allophycocyanin (AP), (lambda) max equals 650 nm] and their spatial organization within the phycobilisome creates an array of donor and acceptor chromophores that is optimized for resonance energy transfer to chlorophyll on a picosecond timescale and at close to 100% efficiency. The cyanobacteria can exert control over the biliprotein composition of the phycobilisomes in response to both light quality and light quantity, and they do so primarily by light-responsive transcription control mechanisms. The biosynthesis and assembly of a phycobilisome is an interesting example of self-assembly in a complex protein system. A phycobilisome from Synechocystis sp. strain 6701 can contain 400 proteins derived from a repertoire of 16 different polypeptides that includes the (alpha) and (beta) subunits for

  6. Assembly and structural organization of pigment-protein complexes in membranes of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides.

    PubMed

    Hunter, C N; Pennoyer, J D; Niederman, R A

    1982-01-01

    The B875 and B800-850 light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides are characterized further by lithium dodecyl sulfate/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis at 4 degrees C. Bacteriochlorophyll a was shown in reconstruction studies to remain complexed with its respective binding proteins during this procedure. From distributions in these gels, a quantitative description for the arrangement of the complexes is proposed. Assembly of the complexes was examined in delta-aminolevulinate-requiring mutant H-5 after a shift from high- to low-light intensity. After 10 h of delta-[3H]aminolevulinate labeling, the specific radioactivity of bacteriochlorophyll in a fraction containing putative membrane invaginations reached the maximal level, while that of the mature photosynthetic membrane was at only one-third this level. This suggests that membrane invaginations are sites of preferential bacteriochlorophyll synthesis in which completed pigment-proteins exist transiently. Analysis of the 3H distribution after electrophoretic separation further suggests that photosynthetic membranes grow mainly by addition of B800-850 to preformed membrane consisting largely of B875 and photochemical reaction centers. These results corroborate the above model for the structural organization of the light-harvesting system and indicate that the structurally and functionally discrete B800-850 pool is not completely assembled until all B875 sites for B800-850 interactions are occupied.

  7. Polymer light harvesting composites for optoelectronic applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Sam-Shajing; Wang, Dan

    2015-09-01

    Polymer based optoelectronic composites and thin film devices exhibit great potential in space applications due to their lightweight, flexible shape, high photon absorption coefficients, and robust radiation tolerance in space environment. Polymer/dye composites appear promising for optoelectronics applications due to potential enhancements in both light harvesting and charge separation. In this study, the optoelectronic properties of a series of molecular dyes paired with a conjugated polymer Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl) (P3HT) were investigated. Specifically, the solution PL quenching coefficients (Ksv) of dye/polymer follows a descending order from dyes of Chloro(protoporphyrinato)iron(III) (Hemin), Protoporphyrin, to meso-Tetra(4-carboxyphenyl)porphine (TCPP). In optoelectronic devices made of the P3HT/dye/PCBM composites, the short circuit current densities Jsc as well as the overall power conversion efficiencies (PCE) also follow a descending order from Hemin, Protoporphyrin, to TCPP, despite Hemin exhibits the intermediate polymer/dye LUMO (lowest unoccupied molecular orbital) offset and lowest absorption coefficient as compared to the other two dyes, i.e., the cell optoelectronic efficiency did not follow the LUMO offsets which are the key driving forces for the photo induced charge separations. This study reveals that too large LUMO offset or electron transfer driving force may result in smaller PL quenching and optoelectronic conversion efficiency, this could be another experimental evidence for the Marcus electron transfer model, particularly for the Marcus `inverted region'. It appears an optimum electron transfer driving force or strong PL quenching appears more critical than absorption coefficient for optoelectronic conversion devices.

  8. Crystallisation, structure and function of plant light-harvesting Complex II.

    PubMed

    Barros, Tiago; Kühlbrandt, Werner

    2009-06-01

    The chlorophyll a/b light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHC-II) collects most of the solar energy in the biosphere. LHC-II is the prototype of a highly conserved family of membrane proteins that fuels plant photosynthesis in the conversion of excitation energy into biologically useful chemical energy. In addition, LHC-II plays an important role in the organisation of the thylakoid membrane, the structure of the photosynthetic apparatus, the regulation of energy flow between the two photosystems, and in the controlled dissipation of excess excitation energy under light stress. Our current understanding of the sophisticated mechanisms behind each of these processes has profited greatly from the progress made over the past two decades in determining the structure of the complex. This review presents the developments and breakthroughs that ultimately lead to the high-resolution structure of LHC-II. Based on an alignment of the remarkably well engineered and highly conserved LHC polypeptide, we propose several key features of the LHC-II structure that are likely to be present in all members of the LHC family. Finally, some recently proposed mechanisms of energy-dependent non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) are examined from a structural perspective.

  9. Proteins of Excitable Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Nachmansohn, David

    1969-01-01

    Excitable membranes have the special ability of changing rapidly and reversibly their permeability to ions, thereby controlling the ion movements that carry the electric currents propagating nerve impulses. Acetylcholine (ACh) is the specific signal which is released by excitation and is recognized by a specific protein, the ACh-receptor; it induces a conformational change, triggering off a sequence of reactions resulting in increased permeability. The hydrolysis of ACh by ACh-esterase restores the barrier to ions. The enzymes hydrolyzing and forming ACh and the receptor protein are present in the various types of excitable membranes. Properties of the two proteins directly associated with electrical activity, receptor and esterase, will be described in this and subsequent lectures. ACh-esterase has been shown to be located within the excitable membranes. Potent enzyme inhibitors block electrical activity demonstrating the essential role in this function. The enzyme has been recently crystallized and some protein properties will be described. The monocellular electroplax preparation offers a uniquely favorable material for analyzing the properties of the ACh-receptor and its relation to function. The essential role of the receptor in electrical activity has been demonstrated with specific receptor inhibitors. Recent data show the basically similar role of ACh in the axonal and junctional membranes; the differences of electrical events and pharmacological actions are due to variations of shape, structural organization, and environment. PMID:19873642

  10. Optimization of Light-Harvesting Pigment Improves Photosynthetic Efficiency1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Honglei; Li, Mengshu; Duan, Sujuan; Fu, Mei; Dong, Xiaoxiao; Feng, Dongru; Wang, Jinfa

    2016-01-01

    Maximizing light capture by light-harvesting pigment optimization represents an attractive but challenging strategy to improve photosynthetic efficiency. Here, we report that loss of a previously uncharacterized gene, HIGH PHOTOSYNTHETIC EFFICIENCY1 (HPE1), optimizes light-harvesting pigments, leading to improved photosynthetic efficiency and biomass production. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) hpe1 mutants show faster electron transport and increased contents of carbohydrates. HPE1 encodes a chloroplast protein containing an RNA recognition motif that directly associates with and regulates the splicing of target RNAs of plastid genes. HPE1 also interacts with other plastid RNA-splicing factors, including CAF1 and OTP51, which share common targets with HPE1. Deficiency of HPE1 alters the expression of nucleus-encoded chlorophyll-related genes, probably through plastid-to-nucleus signaling, causing decreased total content of chlorophyll (a+b) in a limited range but increased chlorophyll a/b ratio. Interestingly, this adjustment of light-harvesting pigment reduces antenna size, improves light capture, decreases energy loss, mitigates photodamage, and enhances photosynthetic quantum yield during photosynthesis. Our findings suggest a novel strategy to optimize light-harvesting pigments that improves photosynthetic efficiency and biomass production in higher plants. PMID:27609860

  11. Evolutionary origins of membrane proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulkidjanian, Armen Y.; Galperin, Michael Y.

    Although the genes that encode membrane proteins make about 30% of the sequenced genomes, the evolution of membrane proteins and their origins are still poorly understood. Here we address this topic by taking a closer look at those membrane proteins the ancestors of which were present in the Last Universal Common Ancestor, and in particular, the F/V-type rotating ATPases. Reconstruction of their evolutionary history provides hints for understanding not only the origin of membrane proteins, but also of membranes themselves. We argue that the evolution of biological membranes could occur as a process of coevolution of lipid bilayers and membrane proteins, where the increase in the ion-tightness of the membrane bilayer may have been accompanied by a transition from amphiphilic, pore-forming membrane proteins to highly hydrophobic integral membrane complexes.

  12. Exciton coupling induces vibronic hyperchromism in light-harvesting complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze, Jan; Torbjörnsson, Magne; Kühn, Oliver; Pullerits, Tõnu

    2014-04-01

    The recently suggested possibility that weak vibronic transitions can be excitonically enhanced in light-harvesting complexes is studied in detail. A vibronic exciton dimer model that includes ground-state vibrations is investigated using the multi-configuration time-dependent Hartree method with a parameter set typical to photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes. The absorption spectra are discussed based on the Coulomb coupling, the detuning of the site energies, and the number of vibrational modes. Fluorescence spectra calculations show that the spectral densities obtained from the low-temperature fluorescence line-narrowing measurements of light-harvesting systems need to be corrected for the effects of excitons. For the J-aggregate configuration, as in most light-harvesting complexes, the true spectral density has a larger amplitude than that obtained from the measurement.

  13. Plants lacking the main light-harvesting complex retain photosystem II macro-organization.

    PubMed

    Ruban, A V; Wentworth, M; Yakushevska, A E; Andersson, J; Lee, P J; Keegstra, W; Dekker, J P; Boekema, E J; Jansson, S; Horton, P

    2003-02-06

    Photosystem II (PSII) is a key component of photosynthesis, the process of converting sunlight into the chemical energy of life. In plant cells, it forms a unique oligomeric macrostructure in membranes of the chloroplasts. Several light-harvesting antenna complexes are organized precisely in the PSII macrostructure-the major trimeric complexes (LHCII) that bind 70% of PSII chlorophyll and three minor monomeric complexes-which together form PSII supercomplexes. The antenna complexes are essential for collecting sunlight and regulating photosynthesis, but the relationship between these functions and their molecular architecture is unresolved. Here we report that antisense Arabidopsis plants lacking the proteins that form LHCII trimers have PSII supercomplexes with almost identical abundance and structure to those found in wild-type plants. The place of LHCII is taken by a normally minor and monomeric complex, CP26, which is synthesized in large amounts and organized into trimers. Trimerization is clearly not a specific attribute of LHCII. Our results highlight the importance of the PSII macrostructure: in the absence of one of its main components, another protein is recruited to allow it to assemble and function.

  14. Modulation of the light-harvesting chlorophyll antenna size in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by TLA1 gene over-expression and RNA interference.

    PubMed

    Mitra, Mautusi; Kirst, Henning; Dewez, David; Melis, Anastasios

    2012-12-19

    Truncated light-harvesting antenna 1 (TLA1) is a nuclear gene proposed to regulate the chlorophyll (Chl) antenna size in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The Chl antenna size of the photosystems and the chloroplast ultrastructure were manipulated upon TLA1 gene over-expression and RNAi downregulation. The TLA1 over-expressing lines possessed a larger chlorophyll antenna size for both photosystems and contained greater levels of Chl b per cell relative to the wild type. Conversely, TLA1 RNAi transformants had a smaller Chl antenna size for both photosystems and lower levels of Chl b per cell. Western blot analyses of the TLA1 over-expressing and RNAi transformants showed that modulation of TLA1 gene expression was paralleled by modulation in the expression of light-harvesting protein, reaction centre D1 and D2, and VIPP1 genes. Transmission electron microscopy showed that modulation of TLA1 gene expression impacts the organization of thylakoid membranes in the chloroplast. Over-expressing lines showed well-defined grana, whereas RNAi transformants possessed loosely held together and more stroma-exposed thylakoids. Cell fractionation suggested localization of the TLA1 protein in the inner chloroplast envelope and potentially in association with nascent thylakoid membranes, indicating a role in Chl antenna assembly and thylakoid membrane biogenesis. The results provide a mechanistic understanding of the Chl antenna size regulation by the TLA1 gene.

  15. Modulation of the light-harvesting chlorophyll antenna size in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii by TLA1 gene over-expression and RNA interference

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Mautusi; Kirst, Henning; Dewez, David; Melis, Anastasios

    2012-01-01

    Truncated light-harvesting antenna 1 (TLA1) is a nuclear gene proposed to regulate the chlorophyll (Chl) antenna size in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The Chl antenna size of the photosystems and the chloroplast ultrastructure were manipulated upon TLA1 gene over-expression and RNAi downregulation. The TLA1 over-expressing lines possessed a larger chlorophyll antenna size for both photosystems and contained greater levels of Chl b per cell relative to the wild type. Conversely, TLA1 RNAi transformants had a smaller Chl antenna size for both photosystems and lower levels of Chl b per cell. Western blot analyses of the TLA1 over-expressing and RNAi transformants showed that modulation of TLA1 gene expression was paralleled by modulation in the expression of light-harvesting protein, reaction centre D1 and D2, and VIPP1 genes. Transmission electron microscopy showed that modulation of TLA1 gene expression impacts the organization of thylakoid membranes in the chloroplast. Over-expressing lines showed well-defined grana, whereas RNAi transformants possessed loosely held together and more stroma-exposed thylakoids. Cell fractionation suggested localization of the TLA1 protein in the inner chloroplast envelope and potentially in association with nascent thylakoid membranes, indicating a role in Chl antenna assembly and thylakoid membrane biogenesis. The results provide a mechanistic understanding of the Chl antenna size regulation by the TLA1 gene. PMID:23148270

  16. Two-dimensional patterning of bacterial light-harvesting 2 complexes on lipid-modified gold surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yajima, Shunsuke; Furukawa, Rei A.; Nagata, Morio; Sakai, Shunsuke; Kondo, Masaharu; Iida, Kouji; Dewa, Takehisa; Nango, Mamoru

    2012-06-01

    In a photosynthetic membrane, nano-scale patterns of light-harvesting (LH) pigment-protein complexes play an essential role in capturing photons and ensuring efficient excitation energy transfer. LH complexes 1 and 2 have drawn attention as building blocks of a nano-scale photoelectric device. For obtaining a device with efficiency comparable to that of the natural photosynthesis, a method has to be established for forming a two-dimensional assembly of LH complexes around a metal electrode. In this study, LH2 complexes isolated from Rb. sphaeroides were immobilized on a patterned gold surface. Quenching of photo-excitation energy by gold was prevented through the placement of a self-assembled phospholipid monolayer between the LH2 complexes and the gold surface.

  17. A femtosecond visible/visible and visible/mid-infrared transient absorption study of the light harvesting complex II.

    PubMed

    Stahl, Andreas D; Di Donato, Mariangela; van Stokkum, Ivo; van Grondelle, Rienk; Groot, Marie Louise

    2009-12-16

    Light harvesting complex II (LHCII) is the most abundant protein in the thylakoid membrane of higher plants and green algae. LHCII acts to collect solar radiation, transferring this energy mainly toward photosystem II, with a smaller amount going to photosystem I; it is then converted into a chemical, storable form. We performed time-resolved femtosecond visible pump/mid-infrared probe and visible pump/visible probe absorption difference spectroscopy on purified LHCII to gain insight into the energy transfer in this complex occurring in the femto-picosecond time regime. We find that information derived from mid-infrared spectra, together with structural and modeling information, provides a unique visualization of the flow of energy via the bottleneck pigment chlorophyll a604.

  18. Electronic Energy transfer in light-harvesting antenna complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hossein-Nejad, Hoda

    The studies presented in this thesis explore electronic energy transfer (EET) in light-harvesting antenna complexes and investigate the role of quantum coherence in EET. The dynamics of energy transfer are investigated in three distinct length scales and a different formulation of the exciton transport problem is applied at each scale. These scales include: the scale of a molecular dimer, the scale of a single protein and the scale of a molecular aggregate. The antenna protein phycoerythrin 545 (PE545) isolated from the photosynthetic cryptophyte algae Rhodomonas CS4 is specifically studied in two chapters of this thesis. It is found that formation of small aggregates delocalizes the excitation across chromophores of adjacent proteins, and that this delocalization has a dramatic effect in enhancing the rate of energy transfer between pigments. Furthermore, we investigate EET from a donor to an acceptor via an intermediate site and observe that interference of coherent pathways gives a finite correction to the transfer rate that is sensitively dependent on the nature of the vibrational interactions in the system. The statistical fluctuations of a system exhibiting EET are investigated in the final chapter. The techniques of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics are applied to investigate the steady-state of a typical system exhibiting EET that is perturbed out of equilibrium due to its interaction with a fluctuating bath.

  19. Functionalized dye encapsulated polymer nanoparticles attached with a BSA scaffold as efficient antenna materials for artificial light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Jana, Bikash; Bhattacharyya, Santanu; Patra, Amitava

    2016-09-21

    A potential strategy for a new generation light harvesting system is multi-chromophoric donor-acceptor pairs where light energy is absorbed by an antenna complex and subsequently transfers its energy to the acceptor via energy transfer. Here, we design a system of a functionalized polymer nanoparticle-protein scaffold for efficient light harvesting and white light generation where a dye doped polymer nanoparticle acts as a donor and a dye encapsulated BSA protein acts as an acceptor. Analysis reveals that 91.3% energy transfer occurs from the dye doped polymer nanoparticle to the dye encapsulated BSA protein. The antenna effect of this light harvesting system is found to be 31 at a donor to acceptor ratio of 0.82 : 1 which is unprecedented. The enhanced effective molar extinction coefficient of the acceptor dye is potential for the light harvesting system. Bright white light emission with a quantum yield of 14% under single wavelength excitation is obtained by changing the ratio of donor to acceptor. Analysis reveals that the efficient energy transfer in this polymer-protein assembly may open up new possibilities in designing artificial light harvesting systems for future applications.

  20. Tracking membrane protein association in model membranes.

    PubMed

    Reffay, Myriam; Gambin, Yann; Benabdelhak, Houssain; Phan, Gilles; Taulier, Nicolas; Ducruix, Arnaud; Hodges, Robert S; Urbach, Wladimir

    2009-01-01

    Membrane proteins are essential in the exchange processes of cells. In spite of great breakthrough in soluble proteins studies, membrane proteins structures, functions and interactions are still a challenge because of the difficulties related to their hydrophobic properties. Most of the experiments are performed with detergent-solubilized membrane proteins. However widely used micellar systems are far from the biological two-dimensions membrane. The development of new biomimetic membrane systems is fundamental to tackle this issue.We present an original approach that combines the Fluorescence Recovery After fringe Pattern Photobleaching technique and the use of a versatile sponge phase that makes it possible to extract crucial informations about interactions between membrane proteins embedded in the bilayers of a sponge phase. The clear advantage lies in the ability to adjust at will the spacing between two adjacent bilayers. When the membranes are far apart, the only possible interactions occur laterally between proteins embedded within the same bilayer, whereas when membranes get closer to each other, interactions between proteins embedded in facing membranes may occur as well.After validating our approach on the streptavidin-biotinylated peptide complex, we study the interactions between two membrane proteins, MexA and OprM, from a Pseudomonas aeruginosa efflux pump. The mode of interaction, the size of the protein complex and its potential stoichiometry are determined. In particular, we demonstrate that: MexA is effectively embedded in the bilayer; MexA and OprM do not interact laterally but can form a complex if they are embedded in opposite bilayers; the population of bound proteins is at its maximum for bilayers separated by a distance of about 200 A, which is the periplasmic thickness of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. We also show that the MexA-OprM association is enhanced when the position and orientation of the protein is restricted by the bilayers. We extract a

  1. Phycobilisome Mobility and Its Role in the Regulation of Light Harvesting in Red Algae1[W

    PubMed Central

    Kaňa, Radek; Kotabová, Eva; Lukeš, Martin; Papáček, Štěpán; Matonoha, Ctirad; Liu, Lu-Ning; Prášil, Ondřej; Mullineaux, Conrad W.

    2014-01-01

    Red algae represent an evolutionarily important group that gave rise to the whole red clade of photosynthetic organisms. They contain a unique combination of light-harvesting systems represented by a membrane-bound antenna and by phycobilisomes situated on thylakoid membrane surfaces. So far, very little has been revealed about the mobility of their phycobilisomes and the regulation of their light-harvesting system in general. Therefore, we carried out a detailed analysis of phycobilisome dynamics in several red alga strains and compared these results with the presence (or absence) of photoprotective mechanisms. Our data conclusively prove phycobilisome mobility in two model mesophilic red alga strains, Porphyridium cruentum and Rhodella violacea. In contrast, there was almost no phycobilisome mobility in the thermophilic red alga Cyanidium caldarium that was not caused by a decrease in lipid desaturation in this extremophile. Experimental data attributed this immobility to the strong phycobilisome-photosystem interaction that highly restricted phycobilisome movement. Variations in phycobilisome mobility reflect the different ways in which light-harvesting antennae can be regulated in mesophilic and thermophilic red algae. Fluorescence changes attributed in cyanobacteria to state transitions were observed only in mesophilic P. cruentum with mobile phycobilisomes, and they were absent in the extremophilic C. caldarium with immobile phycobilisomes. We suggest that state transitions have an important regulatory function in mesophilic red algae; however, in thermophilic red algae, this process is replaced by nonphotochemical quenching. PMID:24948833

  2. Phycobilisome Mobility and Its Role in the Regulation of Light Harvesting in Red Algae.

    PubMed

    Kaňa, Radek; Kotabová, Eva; Lukeš, Martin; Papáček, Stěpán; Matonoha, Ctirad; Liu, Lu-Ning; Prášil, Ondřej; Mullineaux, Conrad W

    2014-08-01

    Red algae represent an evolutionarily important group that gave rise to the whole red clade of photosynthetic organisms. They contain a unique combination of light-harvesting systems represented by a membrane-bound antenna and by phycobilisomes situated on thylakoid membrane surfaces. So far, very little has been revealed about the mobility of their phycobilisomes and the regulation of their light-harvesting system in general. Therefore, we carried out a detailed analysis of phycobilisome dynamics in several red alga strains and compared these results with the presence (or absence) of photoprotective mechanisms. Our data conclusively prove phycobilisome mobility in two model mesophilic red alga strains, Porphyridium cruentum and Rhodella violacea. In contrast, there was almost no phycobilisome mobility in the thermophilic red alga Cyanidium caldarium that was not caused by a decrease in lipid desaturation in this extremophile. Experimental data attributed this immobility to the strong phycobilisome-photosystem interaction that highly restricted phycobilisome movement. Variations in phycobilisome mobility reflect the different ways in which light-harvesting antennae can be regulated in mesophilic and thermophilic red algae. Fluorescence changes attributed in cyanobacteria to state transitions were observed only in mesophilic P. cruentum with mobile phycobilisomes, and they were absent in the extremophilic C. caldarium with immobile phycobilisomes. We suggest that state transitions have an important regulatory function in mesophilic red algae; however, in thermophilic red algae, this process is replaced by nonphotochemical quenching.

  3. Membrane fission by protein crowding.

    PubMed

    Snead, Wilton T; Hayden, Carl C; Gadok, Avinash K; Zhao, Chi; Lafer, Eileen M; Rangamani, Padmini; Stachowiak, Jeanne C

    2017-04-18

    Membrane fission, which facilitates compartmentalization of biological processes into discrete, membrane-bound volumes, is essential for cellular life. Proteins with specific structural features including constricting rings, helical scaffolds, and hydrophobic membrane insertions are thought to be the primary drivers of fission. In contrast, here we report a mechanism of fission that is independent of protein structure-steric pressure among membrane-bound proteins. In particular, random collisions among crowded proteins generate substantial pressure, which if unbalanced on the opposite membrane surface can dramatically increase membrane curvature, leading to fission. Using the endocytic protein epsin1 N-terminal homology domain (ENTH), previously thought to drive fission by hydrophobic insertion, our results show that membrane coverage correlates equally with fission regardless of the hydrophobicity of insertions. Specifically, combining FRET-based measurements of membrane coverage with multiple, independent measurements of membrane vesiculation revealed that fission became spontaneous as steric pressure increased. Further, fission efficiency remained equally potent when helices were replaced by synthetic membrane-binding motifs. These data challenge the view that hydrophobic insertions drive membrane fission, suggesting instead that the role of insertions is to anchor proteins strongly to membrane surfaces, amplifying steric pressure. In line with these conclusions, even green fluorescent protein (GFP) was able to drive fission efficiently when bound to the membrane at high coverage. Our conclusions are further strengthened by the finding that intrinsically disordered proteins, which have large hydrodynamic radii yet lack a defined structure, drove fission with substantially greater potency than smaller, structured proteins.

  4. Proteins causing membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors.

    PubMed

    Miyoshi, Taro; Nagai, Yuhei; Aizawa, Tomoyasu; Kimura, Katsuki; Watanabe, Yoshimasa

    2015-01-01

    In this study, the details of proteins causing membrane fouling in membrane bioreactors (MBRs) treating real municipal wastewater were investigated. Two separate pilot-scale MBRs were continuously operated under significantly different operating conditions; one MBR was a submerged type whereas the other was a side-stream type. The submerged and side-stream MBRs were operated for 20 and 10 days, respectively. At the end of continuous operation, the foulants were extracted from the fouled membranes. The proteins contained in the extracted foulants were enriched by using the combination of crude concentration with an ultrafiltration membrane and trichloroacetic acid precipitation, and then separated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE). The N-terminal amino acid sequencing analysis of the proteins which formed intensive spots on the 2D-PAGE gels allowed us to partially identify one protein (OmpA family protein originated from genus Brevundimonas or Riemerella anatipestifer) from the foulant obtained from the submerged MBR, and two proteins (OprD and OprF originated from genus Pseudomonas) from that obtained from the side-stream MBR. Despite the significant difference in operating conditions of the two MBRs, all proteins identified in this study belong to β-barrel protein. These findings strongly suggest the importance of β-barrel proteins in developing membrane fouling in MBRs.

  5. Conformation of Membrane Proteins: Bacteriorhodopsin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-05-13

    membrane (PM) of Halobacterium halobium, was chemically modified with methoxypolyethylene glycol MINE (MW = 5000) succinimidyl carbonate. The...membrane protein (248 amino acids) which catalyzes the light-induced proton translocation across the membrane of Halobacterium halobium. Research was...purple membrane (PM) of Halobacterium halobium, was chemically modified with methoxypolyethylene glycol (MW = 5000) succinimidyl carbonate. The

  6. Dephosphorylation of photosystem II proteins and phosphorylation of CP29 in barley photosynthetic membranes as a response to water stress.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wen-Juan; Chen, Yang-Er; Tian, Wen-Juan; Du, Jun-Bo; Zhang, Zhong-Wei; Xu, Fei; Zhang, Fan; Yuan, Shu; Lin, Hong-Hui

    2009-10-01

    Kinetic studies of protein dephosphorylation in barley thylakoid membranes revealed accelerated dephosphorylation of photosystem II (PSII) proteins, and meanwhile rapidly induced phosphorylation of a light-harvesting complex (LHCII) b4, CP29 under water stress. Inhibition of dephosphorylation aggravates stress damages and hampers photosystem recovery after rewatering. This increased dephosphorylation is catalyzed by both intrinsic and extrinsic membrane protein phosphatase. Water stress did not cause any thylakoid destacking, and the lateral migration from granum membranes to stroma-exposed lamellae was only found to CP29, but not other PSII proteins. Activation of plastid proteases and release of TLP40, an inhibitor of the membrane phosphatases, were also enhanced during water stress. Phosphorylation of CP29 may facilitate disassociation of LHCII from PSII complex, disassembly of the LHCII trimer and its subsequent degradation, while general dephosphorylation of PSII proteins may be involved in repair cycle of PSII proteins and stress-response-signaling.

  7. Single-molecule exploration of photoprotective mechanisms in light-harvesting complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hsiang-Yu; Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.; Gwizdala, Michal; Krüger, Tjaart; Xu, Pengqi; Croce, Roberta; van Grondelle, Rienk; Moerner, W. E.

    2015-03-01

    Plants harvest sunlight by converting light energy to electron flow through the primary events in photosynthesis. One important question is how the light harvesting machinery adapts to fluctuating sunlight intensity. As a result of various regulatory processes, efficient light harvesting and photoprotection are balanced. Some of the biological steps in the photoprotective processes have been extensively studied and physiological regulatory factors have been identified. For example, the effect of lumen pH in changing carotenoid composition has been explored. However, the importance of photophysical dynamics in the initial light-harvesting steps and its relation to photoprotection remain poorly understood. Conformational and excited-state dynamics of multi-chromophore pigment-protein complexes are often difficult to study and limited information can be extracted from ensemble-averaged measurements. To address the problem, we use the Anti-Brownian ELectrokinetic (ABEL) trap to investigate the fluorescence from individual copies of light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), the primary antenna protein in higher plants, in a solution-phase environment. Perturbative surface immobilization or encapsulation schemes are avoided, and therefore the intrinsic dynamics and heterogeneity in the fluorescence of individual proteins are revealed. We perform simultaneous measurements of fluorescence intensity (brightness), excited-state lifetime, and emission spectrum of single trapped proteins. By analyzing the correlated changes between these observables, we identify forms of LHCII with different fluorescence intensities and excited-state lifetimes. The distinct forms may be associated with different energy dissipation mechanisms in the energy transfer chain. Changes of relative populations in response to pH and carotenoid composition are observed, which may extend our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of photoprotection.

  8. Design principles of natural light-harvesting as revealed by single molecule spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krüger, T. P. J.; van Grondelle, R.

    2016-01-01

    Biology offers a boundless source of adaptation, innovation, and inspiration. A wide range of photosynthetic organisms exist that are capable of harvesting solar light in an exceptionally efficient way, using abundant and low-cost materials. These natural light-harvesting complexes consist of proteins that strongly bind a high density of chromophores to capture solar photons and rapidly transfer the excitation energy to the photochemical reaction centre. The amount of harvested light is also delicately tuned to the level of solar radiation to maintain a constant energy throughput at the reaction centre and avoid the accumulation of the products of charge separation. In this Review, recent developments in the understanding of light-harvesting by plants will be discussed, based on results obtained from single molecule spectroscopy studies. Three design principles of the main light-harvesting antenna of plants will be highlighted: (a) fine, photoactive control over the intrinsic protein disorder to efficiently use intrinsically available thermal energy dissipation mechanisms; (b) the design of the protein microenvironment of a low-energy chromophore dimer to control the amount of shade absorption; (c) the design of the exciton manifold to ensure efficient funneling of the harvested light to the terminal emitter cluster.

  9. [Structural organization of membranes reconstituted from phospholipids and subchromatophore pigment-protein complexes].

    PubMed

    Kondrashin, A A; Samuilov, V D; Frolov, V N

    1980-08-01

    Pigment--protein complexes of the P870 reaction centers and complexes of the bacteriochlorophyll light-harvesting antenna were isolated from the chromatophores of the non-sulfur purple bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum by solubilization with detergents. The proteoliposomes containing the reaction centers or reaction centers and the light-harvesting antenna as well as liposomes formed from phospholipids were obtained by a self-assembly procedure using seya bean phospholipids. The freeze-fracture study showed that the proteoliposomes contain a large amount of globular particles. The particles incorporated into the two types of the proteoliposomes were distinguished in size. The globules of the reaction center and antenna complexes were bigger in size than the reaction center globules. The globular structures were not found in the liposomal membranes. The liposomes formed in the absence of the pigment--protein complexes were predominantly the multilamellar vesicles. The proteoliposomes were mostly represented as monolamellar membrane vesicles. The spatial arrangement of the reaction center complexes in the membranes is discussed.

  10. Convergent synthesis of multiporphyrin light-harvesting rods

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Loewe, Robert S.

    2003-08-05

    The present invention provides a convergent method for the synthesis of light harvesting rods. The rods are oligomers of the formula A.sup.1 (A.sup.b+1).sub.b, wherein b is at least 1, A.sup.1 through A.sup.b+1 are covalently coupled rod segments, and each rod segment A.sup.1 through A.sup.1+b comprises a compound of the formula X.sup.1 (X.sup.m+1).sub.m wherein m is at least 1 and X.sup.1 through X.sup.m+1 are covalently coupled porphyrinic macrocycles. Light harvesting arrays and solar cells containing such light harvesting rods are also described, along with intermediates useful in such methods and rods produced by such methods.

  11. Aluminum Nanoarrays for Plasmon-Enhanced Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Lee, Minah; Kim, Jong Uk; Lee, Ki Joong; Ahn, SooHoon; Shin, Yong-Beom; Shin, Jonghwa; Park, Chan Beum

    2015-06-23

    The practical limits of coinage-metal-based plasmonic materials demand sustainable, abundant alternatives with a wide plasmonic range of the solar energy spectrum. Aluminum (Al) is an emerging alternative, but its instability in aqueous environments critically limits its applicability to various light-harvesting systems. Here, we report a design strategy to achieve a robust platform for plasmon-enhanced light harvesting using Al nanostructures. The incorporation of mussel-inspired polydopamine nanolayers in the Al nanoarrays allowed for the reliable use of Al plasmonic resonances in a highly corrosive photocatalytic redox solution and provided nanoscale arrangement of organic photosensitizers on Al surfaces. The Al-photosensitizer core-shell assemblies exhibited plasmon-enhanced light absorption, which resulted in a 300% efficiency increase in photo-to-chemical conversion. Our strategy enables stable and advanced use of aluminum for plasmonic light harvesting.

  12. Structural constraints for protein repair in plant photosynthetic membranes.

    PubMed

    Kirchhoff, Helmut

    2013-04-01

    The thylakoid membrane system inside plants chloroplasts defines the structural framework for photosynthetic conversion of sunlight into metabolic energy forms (ATP, NADPH + H(+)). An architectural hallmark of these thylakoid membranes is the tight stacking of part of the membrane into cylindrical flat grana thylakoids, with a diameter of about 500 nm, that are interconnected by unstacked stroma lamellae forming a complex 3D network of alternating grana piles and stroma lamellae. The structural differentiation in the stacked and unstacked thylakoid regions is the basis for a pronounced spatial separation of multisubunit pigment-protein complexes that catalyze energy transformation. The main part of photosystem II (PSII) associated with light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) is concentrated in the grana thylakoids whereas PSI-LHCI and the ATPase complex are excluded from the stacked grana and accumulate in the unstacked thylakoid regions. The fifth protein complex, the cytochrome b 6f complex, is assumed to be homogenously distributed. It is important to recognize that this structural arrangement is not static but highly dynamic and responsive to environmental factors like light intensity and quality or temperature. Knowledge about the interplay between dynamic structural features of the intricate thylakoid architecture, and the functionality, regulation, repair and biogenesis of the photosynthetic machinery is essential for understanding the plasticity of energy conversion in plants living in a fluctuating multi-factorial environment.

  13. Predicting the structure of the light-harvesting complex II of Rhodospirillum molischianum.

    PubMed Central

    Hu, X.; Xu, D.; Hamer, K.; Schulten, K.; Koepke, J.; Michel, H.

    1995-01-01

    We attempted to predict through computer modeling the structure of the light-harvesting complex II (LH-II) of Rhodospirillum molischianum, before the impending publication of the structure of a homologous protein solved by means of X-ray diffraction. The protein studied is an integral membrane protein of 16 independent polypeptides, 8 alpha-apoproteins and 8 beta-apoproteins, which aggregate and bind to 24 bacteriochlorophyll-a's and 12 lycopenes. Available diffraction data of a crystal of the protein, which could not be phased due to a lack of heavy metal derivatives, served to test the predicted structure, guiding the search. In order to determine the secondary structure, hydropathy analysis was performed to identify the putative transmembrane segments and multiple sequence alignment propensity analyses were used to pinpoint the exact sites of the 20-residue-long transmembrane segment and the 4-residue-long terminal sequence at both ends, which were independently verified and improved by homology modeling. A consensus assignment for the secondary structure was derived from a combination of all the prediction methods used. Three-dimensional structures for the alpha- and the beta-apoprotein were built by comparative modeling. The resulting tertiary structures are combined, using X-PLOR, into an alpha beta dimer pair with bacteriochlorophyll-a's attached under constraints provided by site-directed mutagenesis and spectral data. The alpha beta dimer pairs were then aggregated into a quaternary structure through further molecular dynamics simulations and energy minimization. The structure of LH-II so determined is an octamer of alpha beta heterodimers forming a ring with a diameter of 70 A. PMID:8528066

  14. Quantum coherent energy transfer over varying pathways in single light-harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Hildner, Richard; Brinks, Daan; Nieder, Jana B; Cogdell, Richard J; van Hulst, Niek F

    2013-06-21

    The initial steps of photosynthesis comprise the absorption of sunlight by pigment-protein antenna complexes followed by rapid and highly efficient funneling of excitation energy to a reaction center. In these transport processes, signatures of unexpectedly long-lived coherences have emerged in two-dimensional ensemble spectra of various light-harvesting complexes. Here, we demonstrate ultrafast quantum coherent energy transfer within individual antenna complexes of a purple bacterium under physiological conditions. We find that quantum coherences between electronically coupled energy eigenstates persist at least 400 femtoseconds and that distinct energy-transfer pathways that change with time can be identified in each complex. Our data suggest that long-lived quantum coherence renders energy transfer in photosynthetic systems robust in the presence of disorder, which is a prerequisite for efficient light harvesting.

  15. Theoretical Studies on Excitation Energy Fluctuations of Pigments in a Light-Harvesting Complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higashi, Masahiro; Saito, Shinji

    2014-03-01

    Excitation energy fluctuations of pigments in light-harvesting complexes play an important role in the excitation energy transfer dynamics. It is considered that protein environment controls the excitation energy fluctuation to maximize the efficiency of excitation energy transfer. However, the detailed mechanism is still unknown. The high computational cost of reliable electronic structure calculations for excited states prevents us from carrying out a large number of sampling needed to evaluate the excitation energy fluctuations. To overcome this difficulty, we develop a new method called molecular mechanics with Shepard interpolation corrections (MMSIC), which enable us to generate potential energy surfaces for pigments in light-harvesting complexes efficiently. We illustrate the new method by application to bacteriochlorophyll a pigments in the Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex. The MMSIC calculations are more than a million times faster than the direct electronic structure calculations, and the calculated results are in good agreement with the experimental results.

  16. Proteins interacting with Membranes: Protein Sorting and Membrane Shaping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callan-Jones, Andrew

    2015-03-01

    Membrane-bound transport in cells requires generating membrane curvature. In addition, transport is selective, in order to establish spatial gradients of membrane components in the cell. The mechanisms underlying cell membrane shaping by proteins and the influence of curvature on membrane composition are active areas of study in cell biophysics. In vitro approaches using Giant Unilamellar Vesicles (GUVs) are a useful tool to identify the physical mechanisms that drive sorting of membrane components and membrane shape change by proteins. I will present recent work on the curvature sensing and generation of IRSp53, a protein belonging to the BAR family, whose members, sharing a banana-shaped backbone, are involved in endocytosis. Pulling membrane tubes with 10-100 nm radii from GUVs containing encapsulated IRSp53 have, unexpectedly, revealed a non-monotonic dependence of the protein concentration on the tube as a function of curvature. Experiments also show that bound proteins alter the tube mechanics and that protein phase separation along the tube occurs at low tensions. I will present accompanying theoretical work that can explain these findings based on the competition between the protein's intrinsic curvature and the effective rigidity of a membrane-protein patch.

  17. Metal-enhanced fluorescence of chlorophylls in light-harvesting complexes coupled to silver nanowires.

    PubMed

    Kowalska, Dorota; Krajnik, Bartosz; Olejnik, Maria; Twardowska, Magdalena; Czechowski, Nikodem; Hofmann, Eckhard; Mackowski, Sebastian

    2013-01-01

    We investigate metal-enhanced fluorescence of peridinin-chlorophyll protein coupled to silver nanowires using optical microscopy combined with spectrally and time-resolved fluorescence techniques. In particular we study two different sample geometries: first, in which the light-harvesting complexes are deposited onto silver nanowires, and second, where solution of both nanostructures are mixed prior deposition on a substrate. The results indicate that for the peridinin-chlorophyll complexes placed in the vicinity of the silver nanowires we observe higher intensities of fluorescence emission as compared to the reference sample, where no nanowires are present. Enhancement factors estimated for the sample where the light-harvesting complexes are mixed together with the silver nanowires prior deposition on a substrate are generally larger in comparison to the other geometry of a hybrid nanostructure. While fluorescence spectra are identical both in terms of overall shape and maximum wavelength for peridinin-chlorophyll-protein complexes both isolated and coupled to metallic nanostructures, we conclude that interaction with plasmon excitations in the latter remains neutral to the functionality of the biological system. Fluorescence transients measured for the PCP complexes coupled to the silver nanowires indicate shortening of the fluorescence lifetime pointing towards modifications of radiative rate due to plasmonic interactions. Our results can be applied for developing ways to plasmonically control the light-harvesting capability of photosynthetic complexes.

  18. Direct evidence of quantum transport in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Panitchayangkoon, Gitt; Voronine, Dmitri V; Abramavicius, Darius; Caram, Justin R; Lewis, Nicholas H C; Mukamel, Shaul; Engel, Gregory S

    2011-12-27

    The photosynthetic light-harvesting apparatus moves energy from absorbed photons to the reaction center with remarkable quantum efficiency. Recently, long-lived quantum coherence has been proposed to influence efficiency and robustness of photosynthetic energy transfer in light-harvesting antennae. The quantum aspect of these dynamics has generated great interest both because of the possibility for efficient long-range energy transfer and because biology is typically considered to operate entirely in the classical regime. Yet, experiments to date show only that coherence persists long enough that it can influence dynamics, but they have not directly shown that coherence does influence energy transfer. Here, we provide experimental evidence that interaction between the bacteriochlorophyll chromophores and the protein environment surrounding them not only prolongs quantum coherence, but also spawns reversible, oscillatory energy transfer among excited states. Using two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, we observe oscillatory excited-state populations demonstrating that quantum transport of energy occurs in biological systems. The observed population oscillation suggests that these light-harvesting antennae trade energy reversibly between the protein and the chromophores. Resolving design principles evident in this biological antenna could provide inspiration for new solar energy applications.

  19. Direct evidence of quantum transport in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes

    PubMed Central

    Panitchayangkoon, Gitt; Voronine, Dmitri V.; Abramavicius, Darius; Caram, Justin R.; Lewis, Nicholas H. C.; Mukamel, Shaul; Engel, Gregory S.

    2011-01-01

    The photosynthetic light-harvesting apparatus moves energy from absorbed photons to the reaction center with remarkable quantum efficiency. Recently, long-lived quantum coherence has been proposed to influence efficiency and robustness of photosynthetic energy transfer in light-harvesting antennae. The quantum aspect of these dynamics has generated great interest both because of the possibility for efficient long-range energy transfer and because biology is typically considered to operate entirely in the classical regime. Yet, experiments to date show only that coherence persists long enough that it can influence dynamics, but they have not directly shown that coherence does influence energy transfer. Here, we provide experimental evidence that interaction between the bacteriochlorophyll chromophores and the protein environment surrounding them not only prolongs quantum coherence, but also spawns reversible, oscillatory energy transfer among excited states. Using two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, we observe oscillatory excited-state populations demonstrating that quantum transport of energy occurs in biological systems. The observed population oscillation suggests that these light-harvesting antennae trade energy reversibly between the protein and the chromophores. Resolving design principles evident in this biological antenna could provide inspiration for new solar energy applications. PMID:22167798

  20. Supercomplexes of plant photosystem I with cytochrome b6f, light-harvesting complex II and NDH.

    PubMed

    Yadav, K N Sathish; Semchonok, Dmitry A; Nosek, Lukáš; Kouřil, Roman; Fucile, Geoffrey; Boekema, Egbert J; Eichacker, Lutz A

    2017-01-01

    Photosystem I (PSI) is a pigment-protein complex required for the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis and participates in light-harvesting and redox-driven chloroplast metabolism. Assembly of PSI into supercomplexes with light harvesting complex (LHC) II, cytochrome b6f (Cytb6f) or NAD(P)H dehydrogenase complex (NDH) has been proposed as a means for regulating photosynthesis. However, structural details about the binding positions in plant PSI are lacking. We analyzed large data sets of electron microscopy single particle projections of supercomplexes obtained from the stroma membrane of Arabidopsis thaliana. By single particle analysis, we established the binding position of Cytb6f at the antenna side of PSI. The rectangular-shaped Cytb6f dimer binds at the side where Lhca1 is located. The complex binds with its short side rather than its long side to PSI, which may explain why these supercomplexes are difficult to purify and easily disrupted. Refined analysis of the interaction between PSI and the NDH complex indicates that in total up to 6 copies of PSI can arrange with one NDH complex. Most PSI-NDH supercomplexes appeared to have 1-3 PSI copies associated. Finally, the PSI-LHCII supercomplex was found to bind an additional LHCII trimer at two positions on the LHCI side in Arabidopsis. The organization of PSI, either in a complex with NDH or with Cytb6f, may improve regulation of electron transport by the control of binding partners and distances in small domains.

  1. Light-harvesting photocatalysis for water oxidation using mesoporous organosilica.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Hiroyuki; Ohashi, Masataka; Goto, Yasutomo; Ohsuna, Tetsu; Tani, Takao; Inagaki, Shinji

    2014-07-14

    An organic-based photocatalysis system for water oxidation, with visible-light harvesting antennae, was constructed using periodic mesoporous organosilica (PMO). PMO containing acridone groups in the framework (Acd-PMO), a visible-light harvesting antenna, was supported with [Ru(II)(bpy)3(2+)] complex (bpy = 2,2'-bipyridyl) coupled with iridium oxide (IrO(x)) particles in the mesochannels as photosensitizer and catalyst, respectively. Acd-PMO absorbed visible light and funneled the light energy into the Ru complex in the mesochannels through excitation energy transfer. The excited state of Ru complex is oxidatively quenched by a sacrificial oxidant (Na2S2O8) to form Ru(3+) species. The Ru(3+) species extracts an electron from IrO(x) to oxidize water for oxygen production. The reaction quantum yield was 0.34 %, which was improved to 0.68 or 1.2 % by the modifications of PMO. A unique sequence of reactions mimicking natural photosystem II, 1) light-harvesting, 2) charge separation, and 3) oxygen generation, were realized for the first time by using the light-harvesting PMO.

  2. Insights from Placing Photosynthetic Light Harvesting into Context.

    PubMed

    Demmig-Adams, Barbara; Stewart, Jared J; Burch, Tyson A; Adams, William W

    2014-08-21

    Solar-energy conversion through natural photosynthesis forms the base of virtually all food chains on Earth and provides fiber, materials, and fuels, as well as inspiration for the design of biomimetic energy-conversion systems. We summarize well-known as well as recently discovered feedback loops between natural light-harvesting systems and whole-organism function in natural settings. We propose that the low effective quantum yield of natural light-harvesting systems in high light is caused by downstream limitations rather than unavoidable intrinsic vulnerabilities. We evaluate potential avenues, and their costs and benefits, for increasing the maximal rate and photon yield of photosynthesis in high light in plants and photosynthetic microbes. By summarizing mechanisms observable only in complex systems (whole plants, algae, or, in some cases, intact leaves), we aim to stimulate future research efforts on reciprocal feedback loops between light harvesting and downstream processes in whole organisms and to provide additional arguments for the significance of research on photosynthetic light harvesting.

  3. Light harvesting: Strike while the iron is cold

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galoppini, Elena

    2015-11-01

    For many years, chemists have tried and failed to find efficient light-harvesting molecules based on Earth-abundant, environmentally friendly iron. Now, an iron complex has been developed with photoluminescent properties that are tuned to efficiently convert light to electrons.

  4. Design of membrane proteins: toward functional systems.

    PubMed

    Ghirlanda, Giovanna

    2009-12-01

    Over the years, membrane-soluble peptides have provided a convenient model system to investigate the folding and assembly of integral membrane proteins. Recent advances in experimental and computational methods are now being translated into the design of functional membrane proteins. Applications include artificial modulators of membrane protein function, inhibitors of protein-protein interactions, and redox membrane proteins.

  5. Temperature and Ionic Strength Effects on the Chlorosome Light-Harvesting Antenna Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Kuo-Hsiang; Zhu, Liying; Urban, Volker S; Collins, Aaron M.; Biswas, Pratim; Blankenship, R. E.

    2011-03-15

    Chlorosomes, the peripheral light-harvesting antenna complex from green photosynthetic bacteria, are the largest and one of the most efficient light-harvesting antenna complexes found in nature. In contrast to other light-harvesting antennas, chlorosomes are constructed from more than 150,000 self-assembled bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) and contain relatively few proteins that play secondary roles. These unique properties have led to chlorosomes as an attractive candidate for developing biohybrid solar cell devices. In this article, we investigate the temperature and ionic strength effects on the viability of chlorosomes from the photosynthetic green bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus using small-angle neutron scattering and dynamic light scattering. Our studies indicate that chlorosomes remain intact up to 75 °C and that salt induces the formation of large aggregates of chlorosomes. No internal structural changes are observed for the aggregates. The salt-induced aggregation, which is a reversible process, is more efficient with divalent metal ions than with monovalent metal ions. Moreover, with treatment at 98 °C for 2 min, the bulk of the chlorosome pigments are undamaged, while the baseplate is destroyed. Chlorosomes without the baseplate remain rodlike in shape and are 30-40% smaller than with the baseplate attached. Further, chlorosomes are stable from pH 5.5 to 11.0. Together, this is the first time such a range of characterization tools have been used for chlorosomes, and this has enabled elucidation of properties that are not only important to understanding their functionality but also may be useful in biohybrid devices for effective light harvesting.

  6. Temperature and Ionic Strength Effects on the Chlorosome Light-Harvesting Antenna Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Tang, Kuo-Hsiang; Zhu, Liying; Urban, Volker S.; Collins, Aaron M.; Biswas, Pratim; Blankenship, Robert E.

    2011-03-15

    Chlorosomes, the peripheral light-harvesting antenna complex from green photosynthetic bacteria, are the largest and one of the most efficient light-harvesting antenna complexes found in nature. In contrast to other light-harvesting antennas, chlorosomes are constructed from more than 150,000 self-assembled bacteriochlorophylls (BChls) and contain relatively few proteins that play secondary roles. These unique properties have led to chlorosomes as an attractive candidate for developing biohybrid solar cell devices. In this article, we investigate the temperature and ionic strength effects on the viability of chlorosomes from the photosynthetic green bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus using small-angle neutron scattering and dynamic light scattering. Our studies indicate that chlorosomes remain intact up to 75 °C and that salt induces the formation of large aggregates of chlorosomes. No internal structural changes are observed for the aggregates. The salt-induced aggregation, which is a reversible process, is more efficient with divalent metal ions than with monovalent metal ions. Moreover, with treatment at 98 °C for 2 min, the bulk of the chlorosome pigments are undamaged, while the baseplate is destroyed. Chlorosomes without the baseplate remain rodlike in shape and are 30-40% smaller than with the baseplate attached. Further, chlorosomes are stable from pH 5.5 to 11.0. In conclusion, together, this is the first time such a range of characterization tools have been used for chlorosomes, and this has enabled elucidation of properties that are not only important to understanding their functionality but also may be useful in biohybrid devices for effective light harvesting.

  7. Two Cyanobacterial Photoreceptors Regulate Photosynthetic Light Harvesting by Sensing Teal, Green, Yellow, and Red Light

    PubMed Central

    Wiltbank, Lisa B.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The genomes of many photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic bacteria encode numerous phytochrome superfamily photoreceptors whose functions and interactions are largely unknown. Cyanobacterial genomes encode particularly large numbers of phytochrome superfamily members called cyanobacteriochromes. These have diverse light color-sensing abilities, and their functions and interactions are just beginning to be understood. One of the best characterized of these functions is the regulation of photosynthetic light-harvesting antenna composition in the cyanobacterium Fremyella diplosiphon by the cyanobacteriochrome RcaE in response to red and green light, a process known as chromatic acclimation. We have identified a new cyanobacteriochrome named DpxA that maximally senses teal (absorption maximum, 494 nm) and yellow (absorption maximum, 568 nm) light and represses the accumulation of a key light-harvesting protein called phycoerythrin, which is also regulated by RcaE during chromatic acclimation. Like RcaE, DpxA is a two-component system kinase, although these two photoreceptors can influence phycoerythrin expression through different signaling pathways. The peak responsiveness of DpxA to teal and yellow light provides highly refined color discrimination in the green spectral region, which provides important wavelengths for photosynthetic light harvesting in cyanobacteria. These results redefine chromatic acclimation in cyanobacteria and demonstrate that cyanobacteriochromes can coordinately impart sophisticated light color sensing across the visible spectrum to regulate important photosynthetic acclimation processes. PMID:26861023

  8. Protein kinase and phosphatase activities of thylakoid membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Michel, H.; Shaw, E.K.; Bennett, J.

    1987-01-01

    Dephosphorylation of the 25 and 27 kDa light-harvesting Chl a/b proteins (LHCII) of the thylakoid membranes is catalyzed by a phosphatase which differs from previously reported thylakoid-bound phosphatases in having an alkaline pH optimum (9.0) and a requirement for Mg/sup 2 +/ ions. Dephosphorylation of the 8.3 kDa psb H gene product requires a Mg/sup 2 +/ ion concentration more than 200 fold higher than that for dephosphorylation of LHC II. The 8.3 kDa and 27 kDa proteins appear to be phosphorylated by two distinct kinases, which differ in substrate specificity and sensitivity to inhibitors. The plastoquinone antagonist 2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropyl-benzoquinone (DBMIB) inhibits phosphorylation of the 27 kDa LHC II much more readily than phosphorylation of the 8.3 kDa protein. A similar pattern of inhibition is seen for two synthetic oligopeptides (MRKSATTKKAVC and ATQTLESSSRC) which are analogs of the phosphorylation sites of the two proteins. Possible modes of action of DBMIB are discussed. 45 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

  9. Electrochromic responses of carotenoid absorbance bands in purified light-harvesting complexes from Rhodobacter capsulatus reconstituted into liposomes.

    PubMed

    Goodwin, M G; Jackson, J B

    1993-09-13

    Light-Harvesting Complexes I and II (LHI and LHII) were extracted from chromatophores of Rhodobacter capsulatus, purified in Triton X-100 and reconstituted into phospholipid vesicles. Application of membrane potentials (K+ diffusion potentials) to LHII proteoliposomes led to absorbance changes in the carotenoid bands which were spectrally similar to those in chromatophores. These (electrochromic) absorbance changes were linear with the applied membrane potential between -107 mV and +105 mV. The data were consistent with the existence of two forms of carotenoid in LHII. One form, comprising 2/3 of the total and with a long wavelength absorbance maximum at 510 nm, was not significantly affected by membrane potential. The other component, comprising 1/3 of the total and with a long wavelength absorbance maximum at 516.5 nm, was shifted by approx. 1.6 nm to the red by a membrane potential of 105 mV. Reduction of the B800 bacteriochlorophyll in LHII with NaBH4 before reconstitution did not affect the absorbance spectrum of the carotenoids and it did not affect their response to applied membrane potentials in proteoliposomes. Although the electrochromically-sensitive carotenoids might be associated with B800, interactions with the bacteriochlorophyll are perhaps not the cause of the polarisation of the carotenoid that is responsible for the linearity of the response. The carotenoids in reconstituted LHI complexes were not detectably electrochromic. The electrochromic absorbance changes of carotenoids in LHII could be useful for membrane potential measurement in liposomes containing ion-translocating proteins.

  10. Replication of Leaf Surface Structures for Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Huang, Zhongjia; Yang, Sai; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Meng; Cao, Wei

    2015-09-18

    As one of the most important hosts of natural light harvesting, foliage normally has complicated surface structures to capture solar radiances. Bio-mimicking leaf surface structures can provide novel designs of covers in photovoltaic systems. In this article, we reported on replicating leaf surface structures on poly-(methyl methacrylate) polymers to prompt harvesting efficiencies. Prepared via a double transfer process, the polymers were found to have high optical transparencies and transmission hazes, with both values exceeding 80% in some species. Benefiting from optical properties and wrinkled surfaces, the biomimetic polymers brought up to 17% gains to photovoltaic efficiencies. Through Monte-Carlo simulations of light transport, ultrahigh haze values and low reflections were attributed to lightwave guidance schemes lead by the nano- and micro-morphologies which are inherited from master leaves. Thus, leaf surface bio-mimicking can be considered as a strategic direction to design covers of light harvesting systems.

  11. Replication of Leaf Surface Structures for Light Harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhongjia; Yang, Sai; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Meng; Cao, Wei

    2015-01-01

    As one of the most important hosts of natural light harvesting, foliage normally has complicated surface structures to capture solar radiances. Bio-mimicking leaf surface structures can provide novel designs of covers in photovoltaic systems. In this article, we reported on replicating leaf surface structures on poly-(methyl methacrylate) polymers to prompt harvesting efficiencies. Prepared via a double transfer process, the polymers were found to have high optical transparencies and transmission hazes, with both values exceeding 80% in some species. Benefiting from optical properties and wrinkled surfaces, the biomimetic polymers brought up to 17% gains to photovoltaic efficiencies. Through Monte-Carlo simulations of light transport, ultrahigh haze values and low reflections were attributed to lightwave guidance schemes lead by the nano- and micro-morphologies which are inherited from master leaves. Thus, leaf surface bio-mimicking can be considered as a strategic direction to design covers of light harvesting systems. PMID:26381702

  12. Artificial photosynthetic reaction centers coupled to light-harvesting antennas.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Pulak Kumar; Smirnov, Anatoly Yu; Nori, Franco

    2011-12-01

    We analyze a theoretical model for energy and electron transfer in an artificial photosynthetic system. The photosystem consists of a molecular triad (i.e., with a donor, a photosensitive unit, and an acceptor) coupled to four accessory light-harvesting-antenna pigments. The resonant energy transfer from the antennas to the artificial reaction center (the molecular triad) is described here by the Förster mechanism. We consider two different kinds of arrangements of the accessory light-harvesting pigments around the reaction center. The first arrangement allows direct excitation transfer to the reaction center from all the surrounding pigments. The second configuration transmits energy via a cascade mechanism along a chain of light-harvesting chromophores, where only one chromophore is connected to the reaction center. We show that the artificial photosynthetic system using the cascade energy transfer absorbs photons in a broader wavelength range and converts their energy into electricity with a higher efficiency than the system based on direct couplings between all the antenna chromophores and the reaction center.

  13. Programming Light-Harvesting Efficiency Using DNA Origami.

    PubMed

    Hemmig, Elisa A; Creatore, Celestino; Wünsch, Bettina; Hecker, Lisa; Mair, Philip; Parker, M Andy; Emmott, Stephen; Tinnefeld, Philip; Keyser, Ulrich F; Chin, Alex W

    2016-04-13

    The remarkable performance and quantum efficiency of biological light-harvesting complexes has prompted a multidisciplinary interest in engineering biologically inspired antenna systems as a possible route to novel solar cell technologies. Key to the effectiveness of biological "nanomachines" in light capture and energy transport is their highly ordered nanoscale architecture of photoactive molecules. Recently, DNA origami has emerged as a powerful tool for organizing multiple chromophores with base-pair accuracy and full geometric freedom. Here, we present a programmable antenna array on a DNA origami platform that enables the implementation of rationally designed antenna structures. We systematically analyze the light-harvesting efficiency with respect to number of donors and interdye distances of a ring-like antenna using ensemble and single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and detailed Förster modeling. This comprehensive study demonstrates exquisite and reliable structural control over multichromophoric geometries and points to DNA origami as highly versatile platform for testing design concepts in artificial light-harvesting networks.

  14. Programming Light-Harvesting Efficiency Using DNA Origami

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The remarkable performance and quantum efficiency of biological light-harvesting complexes has prompted a multidisciplinary interest in engineering biologically inspired antenna systems as a possible route to novel solar cell technologies. Key to the effectiveness of biological “nanomachines” in light capture and energy transport is their highly ordered nanoscale architecture of photoactive molecules. Recently, DNA origami has emerged as a powerful tool for organizing multiple chromophores with base-pair accuracy and full geometric freedom. Here, we present a programmable antenna array on a DNA origami platform that enables the implementation of rationally designed antenna structures. We systematically analyze the light-harvesting efficiency with respect to number of donors and interdye distances of a ring-like antenna using ensemble and single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy and detailed Förster modeling. This comprehensive study demonstrates exquisite and reliable structural control over multichromophoric geometries and points to DNA origami as highly versatile platform for testing design concepts in artificial light-harvesting networks. PMID:26906456

  15. Antheraxanthin, a light harvesting carotenoid found in a chromophyte alga.

    PubMed

    Alberte, R S; Andersen, R A

    1986-02-01

    The pigments of the chromophyte freshwater alga, Chrysophaera magna Belcher were analyzed by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to reveal the presence of chlorophylls a and c, beta-carotene, fucoxanthin, and antheraxanthin. The presence of antheraxanthin was verified by comparison of TLC R(F) values, HPLC retention times, and absorption features to those of authentic, synthetic antheraxanthin. Antheraxanthin accounted for about 15% of the total carotenoid content of C. magna. The molar ratio of the major carotenoids was antheraxanthin:fucoxanthin:beta-carotene, 1:2.3:3.3. The whole-cell absorption spectrum revealed a broad band between 470 and 520 nanometers which was attributed to fucoxanthin and antheraxanthin in vivo. Upon extraction in hydrocarbon, this broad absorption region was lost. The in vivo fluorescence excitation spectrum for 680 nm emission revealed the energy transfer activities and light harvesting roles of chlorophylls a and c, and fucoxanthin. In addition, an excitation band was resolved at 487 nanometers which could be attributed only to antheraxanthin. Comparison of whole-cell fluorescence excitation spectra of C. magna with the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum, which possesses fucoxanthin but not antheraxanthin, supports the assignment of the 487 nm band to antheraxanthin. This is the first report of a photosynthetic light harvesting function of the xanthophyll, antheraxanthin. This carotenoid broadens the absorption cross-section for photosynthesis in C. magna and extends light harvesting into the green portion of the spectrum.

  16. Artificial photosynthetic reaction centers coupled to light-harvesting antennas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghosh, Pulak Kumar; Smirnov, Anatoly Yu.; Nori, Franco

    2011-12-01

    We analyze a theoretical model for energy and electron transfer in an artificial photosynthetic system. The photosystem consists of a molecular triad (i.e., with a donor, a photosensitive unit, and an acceptor) coupled to four accessory light-harvesting-antenna pigments. The resonant energy transfer from the antennas to the artificial reaction center (the molecular triad) is described here by the Förster mechanism. We consider two different kinds of arrangements of the accessory light-harvesting pigments around the reaction center. The first arrangement allows direct excitation transfer to the reaction center from all the surrounding pigments. The second configuration transmits energy via a cascade mechanism along a chain of light-harvesting chromophores, where only one chromophore is connected to the reaction center. We show that the artificial photosynthetic system using the cascade energy transfer absorbs photons in a broader wavelength range and converts their energy into electricity with a higher efficiency than the system based on direct couplings between all the antenna chromophores and the reaction center.

  17. Quantum coherence, decoherence and entanglement in light harvesting complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plenio, Martin; Caruso, Filippo; Chin, Alex; Datta, Animesh; Huelga, Susana

    2009-03-01

    Transport phenomena in networks allow for information and energy to be exchanged between individual constituents of communication systems, networks or light-harvesting complexes. Environmental noise is generally expected to hinder transport. Here we show that transport of excitations across dissipative quantum networks can be enhanced by dephasing noise. We identify two key processes that underly this phenomenon and provide instructive examples of quantum networks for each. We argue that Nature may be routinely exploiting this effect by showing that exciton transport in light harvesting complexes and other networks benefits from noise and is remarkably robust against static disorder. These results point towards the possibility for designing optimized structures for transport, for example in artificial nano-structures, assisted by noise. Furthermore, we demonstrate that quantum entanglement may be present for short times in light-harvesting complexes. We describe how the presence of such entanglement may be verified without the need for full state tomography and with minimal model assumptions. This work is based on M.B. Plenio & S.F. Huelga, New J. Phys. 10, 113019 (2008) and F. Caruso, A. Chin, A. Datta, S.F. Huelga & M.B. Plenio, in preparation

  18. Cytochrome b 6 f function and localization, phosphorylation state of thylakoid membrane proteins and consequences on cyclic electron flow.

    PubMed

    Dumas, Louis; Chazaux, Marie; Peltier, Gilles; Johnson, Xenie; Alric, Jean

    2016-09-01

    Both the structure and the protein composition of thylakoid membranes have an impact on light harvesting and electron transfer in the photosynthetic chain. Thylakoid membranes form stacks and lamellae where photosystem II and photosystem I localize, respectively. Light-harvesting complexes II can be associated to either PSII or PSI depending on the redox state of the plastoquinone pool, and their distribution is governed by state transitions. Upon state transitions, the thylakoid ultrastructure and lateral distribution of proteins along the membrane are subject to significant rearrangements. In addition, quinone diffusion is limited to membrane microdomains and the cytochrome b 6 f complex localizes either to PSII-containing grana stacks or PSI-containing stroma lamellae. Here, we discuss possible similarities or differences between green algae and C3 plants on the functional consequences of such heterogeneities in the photosynthetic electron transport chain and propose a model in which quinones, accepting electrons either from PSII (linear flow) or NDH/PGR pathways (cyclic flow), represent a crucial control point. Our aim is to give an integrated description of these processes and discuss their potential roles in the balance between linear and cyclic electron flows.

  19. Molecular dynamics of membrane proteins.

    SciTech Connect

    Woolf, Thomas B.; Crozier, Paul Stewart; Stevens, Mark Jackson

    2004-10-01

    Understanding the dynamics of the membrane protein rhodopsin will have broad implications for other membrane proteins and cellular signaling processes. Rhodopsin (Rho) is a light activated G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR). When activated by ligands, GPCRs bind and activate G-proteins residing within the cell and begin a signaling cascade that results in the cell's response to external stimuli. More than 50% of all current drugs are targeted toward G-proteins. Rho is the prototypical member of the class A GPCR superfamily. Understanding the activation of Rho and its interaction with its Gprotein can therefore lead to a wider understanding of the mechanisms of GPCR activation and G-protein activation. Understanding the dark to light transition of Rho is fully analogous to the general ligand binding and activation problem for GPCRs. This transition is dependent on the lipid environment. The effect of lipids on membrane protein activity in general has had little attention, but evidence is beginning to show a significant role for lipids in membrane protein activity. Using the LAMMPS program and simulation methods benchmarked under the IBIG program, we perform a variety of allatom molecular dynamics simulations of membrane proteins.

  20. Biohybrid photosynthetic antenna complexes for enhanced light-harvesting.

    PubMed

    Springer, Joseph W; Parkes-Loach, Pamela S; Reddy, Kanumuri Ramesh; Krayer, Michael; Jiao, Jieying; Lee, Gregory M; Niedzwiedzki, Dariusz M; Harris, Michelle A; Kirmaier, Christine; Bocian, David F; Lindsey, Jonathan S; Holten, Dewey; Loach, Paul A

    2012-03-14

    Biohybrid antenna systems have been constructed that contain synthetic chromophores attached to 31mer analogues of the bacterial photosynthetic core light-harvesting (LH1) β-polypeptide. The peptides are engineered with a Cys site for bioconjugation with maleimide-terminated chromophores, which include synthetic bacteriochlorins (BC1, BC2) with strong near-infrared absorption and commercial dyes Oregon green (OGR) and rhodamine red (RR) with strong absorption in the blue-green to yellow-orange regions. The peptides place the Cys 14 (or 6) residues before a native His site that binds bacteriochlorophyll a (BChl-a) and, like the native LH proteins, have high helical content as probed by single-reflection IR spectroscopy. The His residue associates with BChl-a as in the native LH1 β-polypeptide to form dimeric ββ-subunit complexes [31mer(-14Cys)X/BChl](2), where X is one of the synthetic chromophores. The native-like BChl-a dimer has Q(y) absorption at 820 nm and serves as the acceptor for energy from light absorbed by the appended synthetic chromophore. The energy-transfer characteristics of biohybrid complexes have been characterized by steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence and absorption measurements. The quantum yields of energy transfer from a synthetic chromophore located 14 residues from the BChl-coordinating His site are as follows: OGR (0.30) < RR (0.60) < BC2 (0.90). Oligomeric assemblies of the subunit complexes [31mer(-14Cys)X/BChl](n) are accompanied by a bathochromic shift of the Q(y) absorption of the BChl-a oligomer as far as the 850-nm position found in cyclic native photosynthetic LH2 complexes. Room-temperature stabilized oligomeric biohybrids have energy-transfer quantum yields comparable to those of the dimeric subunit complexes as follows: OGR (0.20) < RR (0.80) < BC1 (0.90). Thus, the new biohybrid antennas retain the energy-transfer and self-assembly characteristics of the native antenna complexes, offer enhanced coverage of the solar

  1. Strategies to enhance the excitation energy-transfer efficiency in a light-harvesting system using the intra-molecular charge transfer character of carotenoids.

    PubMed

    Yukihira, Nao; Sugai, Yuko; Fujiwara, Masazumi; Kosumi, Daisuke; Iha, Masahiko; Sakaguchi, Kazuhiko; Katsumura, Shigeo; Gardiner, Alastair T; Cogdell, Richard J; Hashimoto, Hideki

    2017-03-15

    Fucoxanthin is a carotenoid that is mainly found in light-harvesting complexes from brown algae and diatoms. Due to the presence of a carbonyl group attached to polyene chains in polar environments, excitation produces an excited intra-molecular charge transfer. This intra-molecular charge transfer state plays a key role in the highly efficient (∼95%) energy-transfer from fucoxanthin to chlorophyll a in the light-harvesting complexes from brown algae. In purple bacterial light-harvesting systems the efficiency of excitation energy-transfer from carotenoids to bacteriochlorophylls depends on the extent of conjugation of the carotenoids. In this study we were successful, for the first time, in incorporating fucoxanthin into a light-harvesting complex 1 from the purple photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodospirillum rubrum G9+ (a carotenoidless strain). Femtosecond pump-probe spectroscopy was applied to this reconstituted light-harvesting complex in order to determine the efficiency of excitation energy-transfer from fucoxanthin to bacteriochlorophyll a when they are bound to the light-harvesting 1 apo-proteins.

  2. Structural Symmetry in Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Forrest, Lucy R

    2015-01-01

    Symmetry is a common feature among natural systems, including protein structures. A strong propensity toward symmetric architectures has long been recognized for water-soluble proteins, and this propensity has been rationalized from an evolutionary standpoint. Proteins residing in cellular membranes, however, have traditionally been less amenable to structural studies, and thus the prevalence and significance of symmetry in this important class of molecules is not as well understood. In the past two decades, researchers have made great strides in this area, and these advances have provided exciting insights into the range of architectures adopted by membrane proteins. These structural studies have revealed a similarly strong bias toward symmetric arrangements, which were often unexpected and which occurred despite the restrictions imposed by the membrane environment on the possible symmetry groups. Moreover, membrane proteins disproportionately contain internal structural repeats resulting from duplication and fusion of smaller segments. This article discusses the types and origins of symmetry in membrane proteins and the implications of symmetry for protein function.

  3. Kinetic stability of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    González Flecha, F Luis

    2017-09-18

    Although membrane proteins constitute an important class of biomolecules involved in key cellular processes, study of the thermodynamic and kinetic stability of their structures is far behind that of soluble proteins. It is known that many membrane proteins become unstable when removed by detergent extraction from the lipid environment. In addition, most of them undergo irreversible denaturation, even under mild experimental conditions. This process was found to be associated with partial unfolding of the polypeptide chain exposing hydrophobic regions to water, and it was proposed that the formation of kinetically trapped conformations could be involved. In this review, we will describe some of the efforts toward understanding the irreversible inactivation of membrane proteins. Furthermore, its modulation by phospholipids, ligands, and temperature will be herein discussed.

  4. The interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with biological membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Johs, Alexander; Whited, A. M.

    2015-01-01

    The interactions of peripheral proteins with membrane surfaces are critical to many biological processes, including signaling, recognition, membrane trafficking, cell division and cell structure. On a molecular level, peripheral membrane proteins can modulate lipid composition, membrane dynamics and protein-protein interactions. Biochemical and biophysical studies have shown that these interactions are in fact highly complex, dominated by several different types of interactions, and have an interdependent effect on both the protein and membrane. Here we examine three major mechanisms underlying the interactions between peripheral membrane proteins and membranes: electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic interactions, and fatty acid modification of proteins. While experimental approaches continue to provide critical insights into specific interaction mechanisms, emerging bioinformatics resources and tools contribute to a systems-level picture of protein-lipid interactions. Through these recent advances, we begin to understand the pivotal role of protein-lipid interactions underlying complex biological functions at membrane interfaces.

  5. The interactions of peripheral membrane proteins with biological membranes

    DOE PAGES

    Johs, Alexander; Whited, A. M.

    2015-01-01

    The interactions of peripheral proteins with membrane surfaces are critical to many biological processes, including signaling, recognition, membrane trafficking, cell division and cell structure. On a molecular level, peripheral membrane proteins can modulate lipid composition, membrane dynamics and protein-protein interactions. Biochemical and biophysical studies have shown that these interactions are in fact highly complex, dominated by several different types of interactions, and have an interdependent effect on both the protein and membrane. Here we examine three major mechanisms underlying the interactions between peripheral membrane proteins and membranes: electrostatic interactions, hydrophobic interactions, and fatty acid modification of proteins. While experimental approachesmore » continue to provide critical insights into specific interaction mechanisms, emerging bioinformatics resources and tools contribute to a systems-level picture of protein-lipid interactions. Through these recent advances, we begin to understand the pivotal role of protein-lipid interactions underlying complex biological functions at membrane interfaces.« less

  6. Two Cyanobacterial Photoreceptors Regulate Photosynthetic Light Harvesting by Sensing Teal, Green, Yellow, and Red Light.

    PubMed

    Wiltbank, Lisa B; Kehoe, David M

    2016-02-09

    The genomes of many photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic bacteria encode numerous phytochrome superfamily photoreceptors whose functions and interactions are largely unknown. Cyanobacterial genomes encode particularly large numbers of phytochrome superfamily members called cyanobacteriochromes. These have diverse light color-sensing abilities, and their functions and interactions are just beginning to be understood. One of the best characterized of these functions is the regulation of photosynthetic light-harvesting antenna composition in the cyanobacterium Fremyella diplosiphon by the cyanobacteriochrome RcaE in response to red and green light, a process known as chromatic acclimation. We have identified a new cyanobacteriochrome named DpxA that maximally senses teal (absorption maximum, 494 nm) and yellow (absorption maximum, 568 nm) light and represses the accumulation of a key light-harvesting protein called phycoerythrin, which is also regulated by RcaE during chromatic acclimation. Like RcaE, DpxA is a two-component system kinase, although these two photoreceptors can influence phycoerythrin expression through different signaling pathways. The peak responsiveness of DpxA to teal and yellow light provides highly refined color discrimination in the green spectral region, which provides important wavelengths for photosynthetic light harvesting in cyanobacteria. These results redefine chromatic acclimation in cyanobacteria and demonstrate that cyanobacteriochromes can coordinately impart sophisticated light color sensing across the visible spectrum to regulate important photosynthetic acclimation processes. The large number of cyanobacteriochrome photoreceptors encoded by cyanobacterial genomes suggests that these organisms are capable of extremely complex light color sensing and responsiveness, yet little is known about their functions and interactions. Our work uncovers previously undescribed cooperation between two photoreceptors with very different light

  7. Thermodynamic competition between membrane protein oligomeric states

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahraman, Osman; Haselwandter, Christoph A.

    2016-10-01

    Self-assembly of protein monomers into distinct membrane protein oligomers provides a general mechanism for diversity in the molecular architectures, and resulting biological functions, of membrane proteins. We develop a general physical framework describing the thermodynamic competition between different oligomeric states of membrane proteins. Using the mechanosensitive channel of large conductance as a model system, we show how the dominant oligomeric states of membrane proteins emerge from the interplay of protein concentration in the cell membrane, protein-induced lipid bilayer deformations, and direct monomer-monomer interactions. Our results suggest general physical mechanisms and principles underlying regulation of protein function via control of membrane protein oligomeric state.

  8. Conformational dynamics of a membrane protein chaperone enables spatially regulated substrate capture and release

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Fu-Cheng; Kroon, Gerard; McAvoy, Camille Z.; Chi, Chris; Wright, Peter E.; Shan, Shu-ou

    2016-01-01

    Membrane protein biogenesis poses enormous challenges to cellular protein homeostasis and requires effective molecular chaperones. Compared with chaperones that promote soluble protein folding, membrane protein chaperones require tight spatiotemporal coordination of their substrate binding and release cycles. Here we define the chaperone cycle for cpSRP43, which protects the largest family of membrane proteins, the light harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins (LHCPs), during their delivery. Biochemical and NMR analyses demonstrate that cpSRP43 samples three distinct conformations. The stromal factor cpSRP54 drives cpSRP43 to the active state, allowing it to tightly bind substrate in the aqueous compartment. Bidentate interactions with the Alb3 translocase drive cpSRP43 to a partially inactive state, triggering selective release of LHCP’s transmembrane domains in a productive unloading complex at the membrane. Our work demonstrates how the intrinsic conformational dynamics of a chaperone enables spatially coordinated substrate capture and release, which may be general to other ATP-independent chaperone systems. PMID:26951662

  9. Theory of three-dimensional nanocrescent light harvesters.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Domínguez, Antonio I; Luo, Yu; Wiener, Aeneas; Pendry, J B; Maier, Stefan A

    2012-11-14

    The optical properties of three-dimensional crescent-shaped gold nanoparticles are studied using a transformation optics methodology. The polarization insensitive, highly efficient, and tunable light harvesting ability of singular nanocrescents is demonstrated. We extend our approach to more realistic blunt nanostructures, showing the robustness of their plasmonic performance against geometric imperfections. Finally, we provide analytical and numerical insights into the sensitivity of the device to radiative losses and nonlocal effects. Our theoretical findings reveal an underlying relation between structural bluntness and spatial dispersion in this particular nanoparticle configuration.

  10. SNARE proteins and 'membrane rafts'.

    PubMed

    Lang, Thorsten

    2007-12-15

    The original 'lipid raft' hypothesis proposed that lipid-platforms/rafts form in the exoplasmic plasmalemmal leaflet by tight clustering of sphingolipids and cholesterol. Their physical state, presumably similar to liquid-ordered phases in model membranes, would confer detergent resistance to rafts and enriched proteins therein. Based on this concept, detergent resistant membranes (DRMs) from solubilized cells were considered to reflect pre-existing 'lipid rafts' in live cells. To date, more than 200 proteins were found in DRMs including also members of the SNARE superfamily, which are small membrane proteins involved in intracellular fusion steps. Their raft association indicates that they are not uniformly distributed, and, indeed, microscopic studies revealed that SNAREs concentrate in submicrometre-sized, cholesterol-dependent clusters at which vesicles fuse. However, the idea that SNARE clusters are 'lipid rafts' was challenged, as they do not colocalize with raft markers, and SNAREs are excluded from liquid-ordered phases in model membranes. Independent from this disagreement, in recent years the solubilization criterion has been criticized for several reasons, calling for a more exact definition of rafts. At a recent consensus on a revised raft model, the term 'lipid rafts' was replaced by 'membrane rafts' that were defined as 'small (10-200 nm), heterogeneous, highly dynamic, sterol- and sphingolipid-enriched domains that compartmentalize cellular processes'. As a result, after dismissing the terms 'detergent resistant' and 'liquid-ordered', it now appears that SNARE clusters are bona fide 'membrane rafts'.

  11. Integral Light-Harvesting Complex Expression In Symbiodinium Within The Coral Acropora aspera Under Thermal Stress.

    PubMed

    Gierz, Sarah L; Gordon, Benjamin R; Leggat, William

    2016-04-27

    Coral reef success is largely dependent on the symbiosis between coral hosts and dinoflagellate symbionts belonging to the genus Symbiodinium. Elevated temperatures can result in the expulsion of Symbiodinium or loss of their photosynthetic pigments and is known as coral bleaching. It has been postulated that the expression of light-harvesting protein complexes (LHCs), which bind chlorophylls (chl) and carotenoids, are important in photobleaching. This study explored the effect a sixteen-day thermal stress (increasing daily from 25-34 °C) on integral LHC (chlorophyll a-chlorophyll c2-peridinin protein complex (acpPC)) gene expression in Symbiodinium within the coral Acropora aspera. Thermal stress leads to a decrease in Symbiodinium photosynthetic efficiency by day eight, while symbiont density was significantly lower on day sixteen. Over this time period, the gene expression of five Symbiodinium acpPC genes was quantified. Three acpPC genes exhibited up-regulated expression when corals were exposed to temperatures above 31.5 °C (acpPCSym_1:1, day sixteen; acpPCSym_15, day twelve; and (acpPCSym_18), day ten and day sixteen). In contrast, the expression of acpPCSym_5:1 and acpPCSym_10:1 was unchanged throughout the experiment. Interestingly, the three acpPC genes with increased expression cluster together in a phylogenetic analysis of light-harvesting complexes.

  12. Allosteric regulation of the light-harvesting system of photosystem II.

    PubMed

    Horton, P; Ruban, A V; Wentworth, M

    2000-10-29

    Non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence (NPQ) is symptomatic of the regulation of energy dissipation by the light-harvesting antenna of photosystem II (PS II). The kinetics of NPQ in both leaves and isolated chloroplasts are determined by the transthylakoid delta pH and the de-epoxidation state of the xanthophyll cycle. In order to understand the mechanism and regulation of NPQ we have adopted the approaches commonly used in the study of enzyme-catalysed reactions. Steady-state measurements suggest allosteric regulation of NPQ, involving control by the xanthophyll cycle carotenoids of a protonation-dependent conformational change that transforms the PS II antenna from an unquenched to a quenched state. The features of this model were confirmed using isolated light-harvesting proteins. Analysis of the rate of induction of quenching both in vitro and in vivo indicated a bimolecular second-order reaction; it is suggested that quenching arises from the reaction between two fluorescent domains, possibly within a single protein subunit. A universal model for this transition is presented based on simple thermodynamic principles governing reaction kinetics.

  13. Integral Light-Harvesting Complex Expression In Symbiodinium Within The Coral Acropora aspera Under Thermal Stress

    PubMed Central

    Gierz, Sarah L.; Gordon, Benjamin R.; Leggat, William

    2016-01-01

    Coral reef success is largely dependent on the symbiosis between coral hosts and dinoflagellate symbionts belonging to the genus Symbiodinium. Elevated temperatures can result in the expulsion of Symbiodinium or loss of their photosynthetic pigments and is known as coral bleaching. It has been postulated that the expression of light-harvesting protein complexes (LHCs), which bind chlorophylls (chl) and carotenoids, are important in photobleaching. This study explored the effect a sixteen-day thermal stress (increasing daily from 25–34 °C) on integral LHC (chlorophyll a-chlorophyll c2-peridinin protein complex (acpPC)) gene expression in Symbiodinium within the coral Acropora aspera. Thermal stress leads to a decrease in Symbiodinium photosynthetic efficiency by day eight, while symbiont density was significantly lower on day sixteen. Over this time period, the gene expression of five Symbiodinium acpPC genes was quantified. Three acpPC genes exhibited up-regulated expression when corals were exposed to temperatures above 31.5 °C (acpPCSym_1:1, day sixteen; acpPCSym_15, day twelve; and acpPCSym_18, day ten and day sixteen). In contrast, the expression of acpPCSym_5:1 and acpPCSym_10:1 was unchanged throughout the experiment. Interestingly, the three acpPC genes with increased expression cluster together in a phylogenetic analysis of light-harvesting complexes. PMID:27117333

  14. Integral Light-Harvesting Complex Expression In Symbiodinium Within The Coral Acropora aspera Under Thermal Stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gierz, Sarah L.; Gordon, Benjamin R.; Leggat, William

    2016-04-01

    Coral reef success is largely dependent on the symbiosis between coral hosts and dinoflagellate symbionts belonging to the genus Symbiodinium. Elevated temperatures can result in the expulsion of Symbiodinium or loss of their photosynthetic pigments and is known as coral bleaching. It has been postulated that the expression of light-harvesting protein complexes (LHCs), which bind chlorophylls (chl) and carotenoids, are important in photobleaching. This study explored the effect a sixteen-day thermal stress (increasing daily from 25-34 °C) on integral LHC (chlorophyll a-chlorophyll c2-peridinin protein complex (acpPC)) gene expression in Symbiodinium within the coral Acropora aspera. Thermal stress leads to a decrease in Symbiodinium photosynthetic efficiency by day eight, while symbiont density was significantly lower on day sixteen. Over this time period, the gene expression of five Symbiodinium acpPC genes was quantified. Three acpPC genes exhibited up-regulated expression when corals were exposed to temperatures above 31.5 °C (acpPCSym_1:1, day sixteen; acpPCSym_15, day twelve; and acpPCSym_18, day ten and day sixteen). In contrast, the expression of acpPCSym_5:1 and acpPCSym_10:1 was unchanged throughout the experiment. Interestingly, the three acpPC genes with increased expression cluster together in a phylogenetic analysis of light-harvesting complexes.

  15. The relationship between carotenoid biosynthesis and the assembly of the light-harvesting LH2 complex in Rhodobacter sphaeroides.

    PubMed Central

    Lang, H P; Hunter, C N

    1994-01-01

    Coloured carotenoids play some undefined role in the assembly of a functional light-harvesting 2 (LH2) complex in photosynthetic bacteria. We have used a series of transposon Tn5 insertion mutants disrupted at various stages of the carotenoid-biosynthetic pathway, together with an LH2 deletion/insertion mutant, to investigate this effect in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Mutants were initially characterized by low-temperature absorbance spectroscopy and ultrastructural analysis: Northern-blot analysis demonstrated normal pucBA transcripts for LH2 polypeptides in all the carotenoid mutants. Analysis of translation of the puc transcript and investigation of the fate of any resulting LH2 polypeptides by SDS/PAGE, Western-blot and pulse-chase experiments clearly demonstrated that, in the absence of coloured carotenoids, the LH2 alpha- and beta-polypeptides are synthesized but are rapidly turned over and do not become stably integrated into the membrane. Complementation of mutants with lesions in the crtB and crtI genes, encoding phytoene synthase and phytoene desaturase respectively, with the cloned R. sphaeroides crtI gene, resulted in restoration of carotenoid biosynthesis and stable assembly of the LH2 complex in the crtI mutant but not in the crtB mutant, despite the presence of the CrtI protein. Images Figure 1 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 8 PMID:8129720

  16. Green grasses as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells.

    PubMed

    Shanmugam, Vinoth; Manoharan, Subbaiah; Sharafali, A; Anandan, Sambandam; Murugan, Ramaswamy

    2015-01-25

    Chlorophylls, the major pigments presented in plants are responsible for the process of photosynthesis. The working principle of dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is analogous to natural photosynthesis in light-harvesting and charge separation. In a similar way, natural dyes extracted from three types of grasses viz. Hierochloe Odorata (HO), Torulinium Odoratum (TO) and Dactyloctenium Aegyptium (DA) were used as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) were used to characterize the dyes. The electron transport mechanism and internal resistance of the DSSCs were investigated by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The performance of the cells fabricated with the grass extract shows comparable efficiencies with the reported natural dyes. Among the three types of grasses, the DSSC fabricated with the dye extracted from Hierochloe Odorata (HO) exhibited the maximum efficiency. LC-MS investigations indicated that the dominant pigment present in HO dye was pheophytin a (Pheo a).

  17. Ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J Michael; Cogdell, Richard J; Mančal, Tomáš; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-03-15

    Energy relaxation in light-harvesting complexes has been extensively studied by various ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, the fastest processes being in the sub-100-fs range. At the same time, much slower dynamics have been observed in individual complexes by single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy (SMS). In this work, we use a pump-probe-type SMS technique to observe the ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes LH2 of purple bacteria. After excitation at 800 nm, the measured relaxation time distribution of multiple complexes has a peak at 95 fs and is asymmetric, with a tail at slower relaxation times. When tuning the excitation wavelength, the distribution changes in both its shape and position. The observed behavior agrees with what is to be expected from the LH2 excited states structure. As we show by a Redfield theory calculation of the relaxation times, the distribution shape corresponds to the expected effect of Gaussian disorder of the pigment transition energies. By repeatedly measuring few individual complexes for minutes, we find that complexes sample the relaxation time distribution on a timescale of seconds. Furthermore, by comparing the distribution from a single long-lived complex with the whole ensemble, we demonstrate that, regarding the relaxation times, the ensemble can be considered ergodic. Our findings thus agree with the commonly used notion of an ensemble of identical LH2 complexes experiencing slow random fluctuations.

  18. Ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes

    PubMed Central

    Malý, Pavel; Gruber, J. Michael; Cogdell, Richard J.; Mančal, Tomáš; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-01-01

    Energy relaxation in light-harvesting complexes has been extensively studied by various ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, the fastest processes being in the sub–100-fs range. At the same time, much slower dynamics have been observed in individual complexes by single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy (SMS). In this work, we use a pump–probe-type SMS technique to observe the ultrafast energy relaxation in single light-harvesting complexes LH2 of purple bacteria. After excitation at 800 nm, the measured relaxation time distribution of multiple complexes has a peak at 95 fs and is asymmetric, with a tail at slower relaxation times. When tuning the excitation wavelength, the distribution changes in both its shape and position. The observed behavior agrees with what is to be expected from the LH2 excited states structure. As we show by a Redfield theory calculation of the relaxation times, the distribution shape corresponds to the expected effect of Gaussian disorder of the pigment transition energies. By repeatedly measuring few individual complexes for minutes, we find that complexes sample the relaxation time distribution on a timescale of seconds. Furthermore, by comparing the distribution from a single long-lived complex with the whole ensemble, we demonstrate that, regarding the relaxation times, the ensemble can be considered ergodic. Our findings thus agree with the commonly used notion of an ensemble of identical LH2 complexes experiencing slow random fluctuations. PMID:26903650

  19. Green grasses as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanmugam, Vinoth; Manoharan, Subbaiah; Sharafali, A.; Anandan, Sambandam; Murugan, Ramaswamy

    2015-01-01

    Chlorophylls, the major pigments presented in plants are responsible for the process of photosynthesis. The working principle of dye sensitized solar cell (DSSC) is analogous to natural photosynthesis in light-harvesting and charge separation. In a similar way, natural dyes extracted from three types of grasses viz. Hierochloe Odorata (HO), Torulinium Odoratum (TO) and Dactyloctenium Aegyptium (DA) were used as light harvesters in dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). The UV-Vis absorption spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) were used to characterize the dyes. The electron transport mechanism and internal resistance of the DSSCs were investigated by the electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The performance of the cells fabricated with the grass extract shows comparable efficiencies with the reported natural dyes. Among the three types of grasses, the DSSC fabricated with the dye extracted from Hierochloe Odorata (HO) exhibited the maximum efficiency. LC-MS investigations indicated that the dominant pigment present in HO dye was pheophytin a (Pheo a).

  20. Molecular and Interfacial Calculations of Iron(II) Light Harvesters.

    PubMed

    Fredin, Lisa A; Wärnmark, Kenneth; Sundström, Villy; Persson, Petter

    2016-04-07

    Iron-carbene complexes show considerable promise as earth-abundant light-harvesters, and adsorption onto nanostructured TiO2 is a crucial step for developing solar energy applications. Intrinsic electron injection capabilities of such promising Fe(II) N-heterocyclic complexes (Fe-NHC) to TiO2 are calculated here, and found to correlate well with recent experimental findings of highly efficient interfacial injection. First, we examine the special bonding characteristics of Fe-NHC light harvesters. The excited-state surfaces are examined using density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT (TD-DFT) to explore relaxed excited-state properties. Finally, by relaxing an Fe-NHC adsorbed on a TiO2 nanocluster, we show favorable injection properties in terms of interfacial energy level alignment and electronic coupling suitable for efficient electron injection of excited electrons from the Fe complex into the TiO2 conduction band on ∼100 fs time scales.

  1. Desiccation enhances phosphorylation of PSII and affects the distribution of protein complexes in the thylakoid membrane.

    PubMed

    Gao, Shan; Gu, Wenhui; Xiong, Qian; Ge, Feng; Xie, Xiujun; Li, Jian; Chen, Weizhou; Pan, Guanghua; Wang, Guangce

    2015-03-01

    Desiccation has significant effects on photosynthetic processes in intertidal macro-algae. We studied an intertidal macro-alga, Ulva sp., which can tolerate desiccation, to investigate changes in photosynthetic performance and the components and structure of thylakoid membrane proteins in response to desiccation. Our results demonstrate that photosystem II (PSII) is more sensitive to desiccation than photosystem I (PSI) in Ulva sp. Comparative proteomics of the thylakoid membrane proteins at different levels of desiccation suggested that there were few changes in the content of proteins involved in photosynthesis during desiccation. Interestingly, we found that both the PSII subunit, PsbS (Photosystem II S subunit) (a four-helix protein in the LHC superfamily), and light-harvesting complex stress-related (LHCSR) proteins, which are required for non-photochemical quenching in land plants and algae, respectively, were present under both normal and desiccation conditions and both increased slightly during desiccation. In addition, the results of immunoblot analysis suggested that the phosphorylation of PSII and LHCII increases during desiccation. To investigate further, we separated out a supercomplex formed during desiccation by blue native-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and identified the components by mass spectrometry analysis. Our results show that phosphorylation of the complex increases slightly with decreased water content. All the results suggest that during the course of desiccation, few changes occur in the content of thylakoid membrane proteins, but a rearrangement of the protein complex occurs in the intertidal macro-alga Ulva sp. © 2014 Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society.

  2. Thin films and assemblies of photosensitive membrane proteins and colloidal nanocrystals for engineering of hybrid materials with advanced properties.

    PubMed

    Zaitsev, Sergei Yu; Solovyeva, Daria O; Nabiev, Igor

    2012-11-15

    The development and study of nano-bio hybrid materials engineered from membrane proteins (the key functional elements of various biomembranes) and nanoheterostructures (inorganic colloidal nanoparticles, transparent electrodes, and films) is a rapidly growing field at the interface of materials and life sciences. The mainspring of the development of bioinspired materials and devices is the fact that biological evolution has solved many problems similar to those that humans are attempting to solve in the field of light-harvesting and energy-transferring inorganic compounds. Along this way, bioelectronics and biophotonics have shown considerable promise. A number of proteins have been explored in terms of bioelectronic device applications, but bacteriorhodopsin (bR, a photosensitive membrane protein from purple membranes of the bacterium Halobacterium salinarum) and bacterial photosynthetic reaction centres have received the most attention. The energy harvesting in plants has a maximum efficiency of 5%, whereas bR, in the absence of a specific light-harvesting system, allows bacteria to utilize only 0.1-0.5% of the solar light. Recent nano-bioengineering approaches employing colloidal semiconductor and metal nanoparticles conjugated with biosystems permit the enhancement of the light-harvesting capacity of photosensitive proteins, thus providing a strong impetus to protein-based device optimisation. Fabrication of ultrathin and highly oriented films from biological membranes and photosensitive proteins is the key task for prospective bioelectronic and biophotonic applications. In this review, the main advances in techniques of preparation of such films are analyzed. Comparison of the techniques for obtaining thin films leads to the conclusion that the homogeneity and orientation of biomembrane fragments or proteins in these films depend on the method of their fabrication and increase in the following order: electrophoretic sedimentation < Langmuir-Blodgett and

  3. The proteolysis adaptor, NblA, is essential for degradation of the core pigment of the cyanobacterial light-harvesting complex.

    PubMed

    Sendersky, Eleonora; Kozer, Noga; Levi, Mali; Moizik, Michael; Garini, Yuval; Shav-Tal, Yaron; Schwarz, Rakefet

    2015-09-01

    The cyanobacterial light-harvesting complex, the phycobilisome, is degraded under nutrient limitation, allowing the cell to adjust light absorbance to its metabolic capacity. This large light-harvesting antenna comprises a core complex of the pigment allophycocyanin, and rod-shaped pigment assemblies emanating from the core. NblA, a low-molecular-weight protein, is essential for degradation of the phycobilisome. NblA mutants exhibit high absorbance of rod pigments under conditions that generally elicit phycobilisome degradation, implicating NblA in degradation of these pigments. However, the vast abundance of rod pigments and the substantial overlap between the absorbance spectra of rod and core pigments has made it difficult to directly associate NblA with proteolysis of the phycobilisome core. Furthermore, lack of allophycocyanin degradation in an NblA mutant may reflect a requirement for rod degradation preceding core degradation, and does not prove direct involvement of NblA in proteolysis of the core pigment. Therefore, in this study, we used a mutant lacking phycocyanin, the rod pigment of Synechococcus elongatusPCC7942, to examine whether NblA is required for allophycocyanin degradation. We demonstrate that NblA is essential for degradation of the core complex of the phycobilisome. Furthermore, fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy provided in situ evidence for the interaction of NblA with allophycocyanin, and indicated that NblA interacts with allophycocyanin complexes that are associated with the photosynthetic membranes. Based on these data, as well as previous observations indicating interaction of NblA with phycobilisomes attached to the photosynthetic membranes, we suggest a model for sequential phycobilisome disassembly by NblA.

  4. Induced chirality of the light-harvesting carotenoid salinixanthin and its interaction with the retinal of xanthorhodopsin.

    PubMed

    Balashov, Sergei P; Imasheva, Eleonora S; Lanyi, Janos K

    2006-09-12

    In xanthorhodopsin, a retinal protein-carotenoid complex of Salinibacter ruber, the carotenoid salinixanthin functions as a light-harvesting antenna in supplying additional excitation energy for retinal isomerization and proton transport. Another retinal protein, archaerhodopsin, has been shown to contain a carotenoid, bacterioruberin, but without an antenna function. We report here that the binding site confers a chiral geometry on salinixanthin in xanthorhodopsin and confirm that the same is true for bacterioruberin in archaerhodopsin. Cell membranes containing these rhodopsins exhibit CD spectra with sharp positive bands in the visible region where the carotenoids absorb, and in the case of xanthorhodopsin a negative band at 536 nm, as well as bands in the UV region. The carotenoid in ethanol has very weak optical activity in the visible region of the spectrum. Denaturation of the opsin upon deprotonation of the Schiff base at pH 12.5 eliminates the induced CD bands in both proteins. In one of these proteins, but not in the other, the carotenoid binding site depends entirely on the retinal. Hydrolysis of the retinal Schiff base of xanthorhodopsin with hydroxylamine eliminates the induced CD bands of salinixanthin. In contrast, hydrolysis of the Schiff base in archaerhodopsin does not abolish the CD bands of bacterioruberin. Thus, consistent with its antenna function, the carotenoid binding site interacts closely with the retinal only in xanthorhodopsin, and this interaction is the major source of the CD bands. In this protein, protonation of the counterion with a decrease in pH from 8 to 5 causes significant changes in the CD spectrum. The observed spectral features suggest that binding of salinixanthin in xanthorhodopsin involves the cyclohexenone ring of the carotenoid and its conformational heterogeneity is restricted.

  5. Isolation, size estimates, and spectral heterogeneity of an oligomeric series of light-harvesting 1 complexes from Rhodobacter sphaeroides.

    PubMed

    Westerhuis, Willem H J; Sturgis, James N; Ratcliffe, Emma C; Hunter, C Neil; Niederman, Robert A

    2002-07-09

    A series of light-harvesting 1 (LH1) complexes was isolated by lithium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis at 4 degrees C from Rhodobacter sphaeroides M21, which lacks the peripheral light-harvesting 2 (LH2) complex. This ladder of LH1 bands was also demonstrated in the wild type, partially superimposed upon a smaller number of LH2 complexes. An assessment of electrophoretic mobility vs acrylamide concentration, in which the reaction center LM particle and annular LH1 and LH2 complexes were used as standards of known structure, indicated that the LH1 gel bands 2 to 10 represent regular oligomers of an alpha beta heterodimeric unit, that vary in size from (alpha beta)(2-3) to (alpha beta)(10-11). The isolated LH1 complexes exhibited oligomeric state dependent optical properties, characterized by red shifts in near-IR absorption and emission maxima at 77 K of approximately 6 nm as aggregate sizes increased from approximately 3 to 7-8 alpha beta-heterodimers, accompanied by shifts in highly polarized fluorescence from the blue to the red side of the absorption band. This has been explained by the oligomerization of heterodimers to form a curvilinear array of excitonically coupled chromophores, with the anisotropic long-wavelength component, designated originally as B896, corresponding to low energy excitonic transitions arising from interactions within inhomogeneous BChl clusters [Westerhuis et al. (1999) J. Phys. Chem. B 103, 7733-7742]. Differences in electrophoretic profiles of LH1 bands between strains M21 and M2192, an LH1-only strain that also lacks PufX, further suggested that the more rapidly migrating bands represent arced fragments of the curvilinear array of LH1 complexes thought to exist as a large closed circular structure only in the latter strain. The electrophoretic banding pattern also indicated that the LH1 complex may be located at the peripheries of dimeric intramembrane particle arrays seen in freeze-fracture replicas of tubular M21

  6. Pigment structure in the FCP-like light-harvesting complex from Chromera velia.

    PubMed

    Llansola-Portoles, Manuel J; Uragami, Chiasa; Pascal, Andrew A; Bina, David; Litvin, Radek; Robert, Bruno

    2016-11-01

    Resonance Raman spectroscopy was used to evaluate pigment structure in the FCP-like light-harvesting complex of Chromera velia (Chromera light-harvesting complex or CLH). This antenna protein contains chlorophyll a, violaxanthin and a new isofucoxanthin-like carotenoid (called Ifx-l). We show that Ifx-l is present in two non-equivalent binding pockets with different conformations, having their (0,0) absorption maxima at 515 and 548nm respectively. In this complex, only one violaxanthin population absorbing at 486nm is observed. All the CLH-bound carotenoid molecules are in all-trans configuration, and among the two Ifx-l carotenoid molecules, the red one is twisted, as is the red-absorbing lutein in LHCII trimers. Analysis of the carbonyl stretching region for Chl a excitations indicates CLH binds up to seven Chl a molecules in five non-equivalent binding sites, in reasonable agreement with sequence analyses which have identified eight potential coordinating residues. The binding modes and conformations of CLH-bound pigments are discussed with respect to the known structures of LHCII and FCP.

  7. Quantum chemical insights in energy dissipation and carotenoid radical cation formation in light harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Wormit, Michael; Dreuw, Andreas

    2007-06-21

    Light harvesting complexes (LHCs) have been identified in all photosynthetic organisms. To understand their function in light harvesting and energy dissipation, detailed knowledge about possible excitation energy transfer (EET) and electron transfer (ET) processes in these pigment proteins is of prime importance. This again requires the study of electronically excited states of the involved pigment molecules, in LHCs of chlorophylls and carotenoids. This paper represents a critical review of recent quantum chemical calculations on EET and ET processes between pigment pairs relevant for the major LHCs of green plants (LHC-II) and of purple bacteria (LH2). The theoretical methodology for a meaningful investigation of such processes is described in detail, and benefits and limitations of standard methods are discussed. The current status of excited state calculations on chlorophylls and carotenoids is outlined. It is focused on the possibility of EET and ET in the context of chlorophyll fluorescence quenching in LHC-II and carotenoid radical cation formation in LH2. In the context of non-photochemical quenching of green plants, it is shown that replacement of the carotenoid violaxanthin by zeaxanthin in its binding pocket of LHC-II can not result in efficient quenching. In LH2, our computational results give strong evidence that the S(1) states of the carotenoids are involved in carotenoid cation formation. By comparison of theoretical findings with recent experimental data, a general mechanism for carotenoid radical cation formation is suggested.

  8. Strategies for the purification of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Smith, Sinead Marian

    2011-01-01

    Although membrane proteins account for 20-30% of the coding regions of all sequenced genomes and play crucial roles in many fundamental cell processes, there are relatively few membranes proteins with known 3D structure. This is likely due to technical challenges associated with membrane protein extraction, solubilisation, and purification. Membrane proteins are classified based on the level of interaction with membrane lipid bilayers, with peripheral membrane proteins associating non-covalently with the membrane, and integral membrane proteins associating more strongly by means of hydrophobic interactions. Generally speaking, peripheral membrane proteins can be purified by milder techniques than integral membrane proteins, whose extraction requires phospholipid bilayer disruption by detergents. Here, important criteria for strategies of membrane protein purification are addressed, with a focus on the initial stages of membrane protein solublilisation, where problems are most frequently encountered. Protocols are outlined for the successful extraction of peripheral membrane proteins, solubilisation of integral membrane proteins, and detergent removal which is important not only for retaining native protein stability and biological functions, but also for the efficiency of later purification techniques.

  9. Modeling coherent excitation energy transfer in photosynthetic light harvesting systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huo, Pengfei

    2011-12-01

    Recent non-linear spectroscopy experiments suggest the excitation energy transfer in some biological light harvesting systems initially occurs coherently. Treating such processes brings significant challenge for conventional theoretical tools that usually involve different approximations. In this dissertation, the recently developed Iterative Linearized Density Matrix (ILDM) propagation scheme, which is non-perturbative and non-Markovian is extended to study coherent excitation energy transfer in various light harvesting complexes. It is demonstrated that the ILDM approach can successfully describe the coherent beating of the site populations on model systems and gives quantitative agreement with both experimental results and the results of other theoretical methods have been developed recently to going beyond the usual approximations, thus providing a new reliable theoretical tool to study this phenomenon. This approach is used to investigate the excited energy transfer dynamics in various experimentally studied bacteria light harvesting complexes, such as Fenna-Matthews-Olsen (FMO) complex, Phycocyanin 645 (PC645). In these model calculations, quantitative agreement is found between computed de-coherence times and quantum beating pattens observed in the non-linear spectroscopy. As a result of these studies, it is concluded that the stochastic resonance behavior is important in determining the optimal throughput. To begin addressing possible mechanics for observed long de-coherence time, various models which include correlation between site energy fluctuations as well as correlation between site energy and inter-site coupling are developed. The influence of both types of correlation on the coherence and transfer rate is explored using with a two state system-bath hamiltonian parametrized to model the reaction center of Rhodobacter sphaeroides bacteria. To overcome the disadvantages of a fully reduced approach or a full propagation method, a brownian dynamics

  10. Reversible Changes in the Structural Features of Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Complex 2 by Removal and Reconstitution of B800 Bacteriochlorophyll a Pigments.

    PubMed

    Saga, Yoshitaka; Hirota, Keiya; Asakawa, Hitoshi; Takao, Kazufumi; Fukuma, Takeshi

    2017-07-11

    Light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) is an integral membrane protein in purple photosynthetic bacteria. This protein possesses two types of bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) a, termed B800 and B850, which exhibit lowest-energy absorption bands (Qy bands) around 800 and 850 nm. These BChl a pigments in the LH2 protein play crucial roles not only in photosynthetic functions but also in folding and maintaining its protein structure. We report herein the reversible structural changes in the LH2 protein derived from a purple photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodoblastus acidophilus, induced by the removal of B800 BChl a (denoted as B800-free LH2) and the reconstitution of exogenous BChl a. Atomic force microscopy observation clearly visualized the nonameric ring structure of the B800-free LH2 with almost the same diameter as the native LH2. Size exclusion chromatography measurements indicated a considerable decrease in the size of the protein induced by the removal of B800 BChl a. The protein size was almost recovered by the insertion of BChl a pigments into the B800 binding sites. The decrease in the LH2 size would mainly originate from the shrinkage of the B800 binding sites perpendicular to the macrocycle of B800 BChl a without deformation of the circular arrangement. The reversible changes in the LH2 structure induced by the removal and reconstitution of B800 BChl a will be helpful for understanding the structural principle and the folding mechanism of photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes.

  11. Dendrimer light-harvesting: intramolecular electrodynamics and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Andrews, David L; Bradshaw, David S; Jenkins, Robert D; Rodríguez, Justo

    2009-12-07

    In the development of highly efficient materials for harvesting solar energy, there is an increasing focus on purpose-built dendrimers and allied multi-chromophore systems. A proliferation of antenna chromophores is not the only factor determining the sought light-harvesting efficiency; the internal geometry and photophysics of these molecules are also crucially important. In particular, the mechanisms by means of which radiant energy is ultimately trapped depends on an intricate interplay of electronic, structural, energetic and symmetry properties. To better understand these processes a sound theoretical representation of the intramolecular electrodynamics is required. A suitable formalism, based on quantum electrodynamics, readily delivers physical insights into the necessary excitation channelling processes, and it affords a rigorous basis for modelling the intramolecular flow of energy.

  12. Light-harvesting synthetic nano- and micromotors: a review.

    PubMed

    Eskandarloo, Hamed; Kierulf, Arkaye; Abbaspourrad, Alireza

    2017-08-31

    Nano- and micromotors are machines that can be made to perform specialized tasks as they propel themselves in response to certain stimuli. While the design of these self-propelling nano- and micromotors remains challenging, they have nevertheless attracted considerable research due to their many promising applications. Most self-propelled nano- and micromotors are based on the conversion of chemical energy into mechanical movement. Recently, however, the development of motors that can be propelled by light as an external stimulus has received much attention. The reason being that light is a renewable energy source that does not require any physical connection to the motor, does not usually lead to any waste products, and is easy to control. This review highlights recent progress in the development of light-harvesting synthetic motors that can be efficiently propelled and accurately controlled by exposure to light, and gives an overview of their fabrication methods, propulsion mechanisms, and practical applications.

  13. Semiconductor Nanocrystals as Light Harvesters in Solar Cells

    PubMed Central

    Etgar, Lioz

    2013-01-01

    Photovoltaic cells use semiconductors to convert sunlight into electrical current and are regarded as a key technology for a sustainable energy supply. Quantum dot-based solar cells have shown great potential as next generation, high performance, low-cost photovoltaics due to the outstanding optoelectronic properties of quantum dots and their multiple exciton generation (MEG) capability. This review focuses on QDs as light harvesters in solar cells, including different structures of QD-based solar cells, such as QD heterojunction solar cells, QD-Schottky solar cells, QD-sensitized solar cells and the recent development in organic-inorganic perovskite heterojunction solar cells. Mechanisms, procedures, advantages, disadvantages and the latest results obtained in the field are described. To summarize, a future perspective is offered. PMID:28809318

  14. Controlling the efficiency of an artificial light-harvesting complex

    PubMed Central

    Savolainen, Janne; Fanciulli, Riccardo; Dijkhuizen, Niels; Moore, Ana L.; Hauer, Jürgen; Buckup, Tiago; Motzkus, Marcus; Herek, Jennifer L.

    2008-01-01

    Adaptive femtosecond pulse shaping in an evolutionary learning loop is applied to a bioinspired dyad molecule that closely mimics the early-time photophysics of the light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) photosynthetic antenna complex. Control over the branching ratio between the two competing pathways for energy flow, internal conversion (IC) and energy transfer (ET), is realized. We show that by pulse shaping it is possible to increase independently the relative yield of both channels, ET and IC. The optimization results are analyzed by using Fourier analysis, which gives direct insight to the mechanism featuring quantum interference of a low-frequency mode. The results from the closed-loop experiments are repeatable and robust and demonstrate the power of coherent control experiments as a spectroscopic tool (i.e., quantum-control spectroscopy) capable of revealing functionally relevant molecular properties that are hidden from conventional techniques. PMID:18509052

  15. Semiconductor Nanocrystals as Light Harvesters in Solar Cells.

    PubMed

    Etgar, Lioz

    2013-02-04

    Photovoltaic cells use semiconductors to convert sunlight into electrical current and are regarded as a key technology for a sustainable energy supply. Quantum dot-based solar cells have shown great potential as next generation, high performance, low-cost photovoltaics due to the outstanding optoelectronic properties of quantum dots and their multiple exciton generation (MEG) capability. This review focuses on QDs as light harvesters in solar cells, including different structures of QD-based solar cells, such as QD heterojunction solar cells, QD-Schottky solar cells, QD-sensitized solar cells and the recent development in organic-inorganic perovskite heterojunction solar cells. Mechanisms, procedures, advantages, disadvantages and the latest results obtained in the field are described. To summarize, a future perspective is offered.

  16. Artificial light-harvesting arrays for solar energy conversion.

    PubMed

    Harriman, Anthony

    2015-07-28

    Solar fuel production, the process whereby an energy-rich substance is produced using electrons provided by water under exposure to sunlight, requires the cooperative accumulation of multiple numbers of photons. Identifying the optimum reagents is a difficult challenge, even without imposing the restriction that these same materials must function as both sensitiser and catalyst. The blockade caused by an inadequate supply of photons at the catalytic sites might be resolved by making use of an artificial light-harvesting array whose sole purpose is to funnel photons of appropriate frequency to the active catalyst, which can now be a dark reagent. Here we consider several types of artificial photon collectors built from fluorescent modules interconnected via electronic energy transfer. Emphasis is placed on the materials aspects and on establishing the basic operating principles.

  17. Insights into the photoprotective switch of the major light-harvesting complex II (LHCII): a preserved core of arginine-glutamate interlocked helices complemented by adjustable loops.

    PubMed

    Sunku, Kiran; de Groot, Huub J M; Pandit, Anjali

    2013-07-05

    Light-harvesting antennae of the LHC family form transmembrane three-helix bundles of which two helices are interlocked by conserved arginine-glutamate (Arg-Glu) ion pairs that form ligation sites for chlorophylls. The antenna proteins of photosystem II have an intriguing dual function. In excess light, they can switch their conformation from a light-harvesting into a photoprotective state, in which the excess and harmful excitation energies are safely dissipated as heat. Here we applied magic angle spinning NMR and selective Arg isotope enrichment as a noninvasive method to analyze the Arg structures of the major light-harvesting complex II (LHCII). The conformations of the Arg residues that interlock helix A and B appear to be preserved in the light-harvesting and photoprotective state. Several Arg residues have very downfield-shifted proton NMR responses, indicating that they stabilize the complex by strong hydrogen bonds. For the Arg Cα chemical shifts, differences are observed between LHCII in the active, light-harvesting and in the photoprotective, quenched state. These differences are attributed to a conformational change of the Arg residue in the stromal loop region. We conclude that the interlocked helices of LHCII form a rigid core. Consequently, the LHCII conformational switch does not involve changes in A/B helix tilting but likely involves rearrangements of the loops and helical segments close to the stromal and lumenal ends.

  18. Proteomic analysis of integral plasma membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yingxin; Zhang, Wei; Kho, Yoonjung; Zhao, Yingming

    2004-04-01

    Efficient methods for profiling proteins integral to the plasma membrane are highly desirable for the identification of overexpressed proteins in disease cells. Such methods will aid in both understanding basic biological processes and discovering protein targets for the design of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. Avoiding contamination by subcellular organelles and cytosolic proteins is crucial to the successful proteomic analysis of integral plasma membrane proteins. Here we report a biotin-directed affinity purification (BDAP) method for the preparation of integral plasma membrane proteins, which involves (1) biotinylation of cell surface membrane proteins in viable cells, (2) affinity enrichment using streptavidin beads, and (3) depletion of plasma membrane-associated cytosolic proteins by harsh washes with high-salt and high-pH buffers. The integral plasma membrane proteins are then extracted and subjected to SDS-PAGE separation and HPLC/MS/MS for protein identification. We used the BDAP method to prepare integral plasma membrane proteins from a human lung cancer cell line. Western blotting analysis showed that the preparation was almost completely devoid of actin, a major cytosolic protein. Nano-HPLC/MS/MS analysis of only 30 microg of protein extracted from the affinity-enriched integral plasma membrane preparation led to the identification of 898 unique proteins, of which 781 were annotated with regard to their plasma membrane localization. Among the annotated proteins, at least 526 (67.3%) were integral plasma membrane proteins. Notable among them were 62 prenylated proteins and 45 Ras family proteins. To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive proteomic analysis of integral plasma membrane proteins in mammalian cells to date. Given the importance of integral membrane proteins for drug design, the described approach will expedite the characterization of plasma membrane subproteomes and the discovery of plasma membrane protein drug targets.

  19. The effectiveness of styrene-maleic acid (SMA) copolymers for solubilisation of integral membrane proteins from SMA-accessible and SMA-resistant membranes.

    PubMed

    Swainsbury, David J K; Scheidelaar, Stefan; Foster, Nicholas; van Grondelle, Rienk; Killian, J Antoinette; Jones, Michael R

    2017-10-01

    Solubilisation of biological lipid bilayer membranes for analysis of their protein complement has traditionally been carried out using detergents, but there is increasing interest in the use of amphiphilic copolymers such as styrene maleic acid (SMA) for the solubilisation, purification and characterisation of integral membrane proteins in the form of protein/lipid nanodiscs. Here we survey the effectiveness of various commercially-available formulations of the SMA copolymer in solubilising Rhodobacter sphaeroides reaction centres (RCs) from photosynthetic membranes. We find that formulations of SMA with a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of styrene to maleic acid are almost as effective as detergent in solubilising RCs, with the best solubilisation by short chain variants (<30kDa weight average molecular weight). The effectiveness of 10kDa 2:1 and 3:1 formulations of SMA to solubilise RCs gradually declined when genetically-encoded coiled-coil bundles were used to artificially tether normally monomeric RCs into dimeric, trimeric and tetrameric multimers. The ability of SMA to solubilise reaction centre-light harvesting 1 (RC-LH1) complexes from densely packed and highly ordered photosynthetic membranes was uniformly low, but could be increased through a variety of treatments to increase the lipid:protein ratio. However, proteins isolated from such membranes comprised clusters of complexes in small membrane patches rather than individual proteins. We conclude that short-chain 2:1 and 3:1 formulations of SMA are the most effective in solubilising integral membrane proteins, but that solubilisation efficiencies are strongly influenced by the size of the target protein and the density of packing of proteins in the membrane. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Membrane stiffness is modified by integral membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Fowler, Philip W; Hélie, Jean; Duncan, Anna; Chavent, Matthieu; Koldsø, Heidi; Sansom, Mark S P

    2016-09-20

    The ease with which a cell membrane can bend and deform is important for a wide range of biological functions. Peripheral proteins that induce curvature in membranes (e.g. BAR domains) have been studied for a number of years. Little is known, however, about the effect of integral membrane proteins on the stiffness of a membrane (characterised by the bending rigidity, Kc). We demonstrate by computer simulation that adding integral membrane proteins at physiological densities alters the stiffness of the membrane. First we establish that the coarse-grained MARTINI forcefield is able to accurately reproduce the bending rigidity of a small patch of 1500 phosphatidyl choline lipids by comparing the calculated value to both experiment and an atomistic simulation of the same system. This enables us to simulate the dynamics of large (ca. 50 000 lipids) patches of membrane using the MARTINI coarse-grained description. We find that altering the lipid composition changes the bending rigidity. Adding integral membrane proteins to lipid bilayers also changes the bending rigidity, whilst adding a simple peripheral membrane protein has no effect. Our results suggest that integral membrane proteins can have different effects, and in the case of the bacterial outer membrane protein, BtuB, the greater the density of protein, the larger the reduction in stiffness.

  1. Biopores/membrane proteins in synthetic polymer membranes.

    PubMed

    Garni, Martina; Thamboo, Sagana; Schoenenberger, Cora-Ann; Palivan, Cornelia G

    2017-04-01

    Mimicking cell membranes by simple models based on the reconstitution of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers represents a straightforward approach to understand biological function of these proteins. This biomimetic strategy has been extended to synthetic membranes that have advantages in terms of chemical and mechanical stability, thus providing more robust hybrid membranes. We present here how membrane proteins and biopores have been inserted both in the membrane of nanosized and microsized compartments, and in planar membranes under various conditions. Such bio-hybrid membranes have new properties (as for example, permeability to ions/molecules), and functionality depending on the specificity of the inserted biomolecules. Interestingly, membrane proteins can be functionally inserted in synthetic membranes provided these have appropriate properties to overcome the high hydrophobic mismatch between the size of the biomolecule and the membrane thickness. Functional insertion of membrane proteins and biopores in synthetic membranes of compartments or in planar membranes is possible by an appropriate selection of the amphiphilic copolymers, and conditions of the self-assembly process. These hybrid membranes have new properties and functionality based on the specificity of the biomolecules and the nature of the synthetic membranes. Bio-hybrid membranes represent new solutions for the development of nanoreactors, artificial organelles or active surfaces/membranes that, by further gaining in complexity and functionality, will promote translational applications. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipid order/lipid defects and lipid-control of protein activity edited by Dirk Schneider. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Comparison of the thermodynamic landscapes of unfolding and formation of the energy dissipative state in the isolated light harvesting complex II.

    PubMed

    Santabarbara, Stefano; Horton, Peter; Ruban, Alexander V

    2009-08-19

    In biochemistry and cell biology, understanding the molecular mechanisms by which physiological processes are regulated is regarded as an ultimate goal. In higher plants, one of the most widely investigated regulatory processes occurs in the light harvesting complexes (LHCII) of the chloroplast thylakoid membranes. Under limiting photon flux densities, LHCII harvests sunlight with high efficiency. When the intensity of incident radiation reaches levels close to the saturation of the photosynthesis, the efficiency of light harvesting is decreased by a process referred to as nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ), which enhances the singlet-excited state deactivation via nonradiative dissipative processes. Conformational rearrangements in LHCII are known to be crucial in promoting and controlling NPQ in vitro and in vivo. In this article, we address the thermodynamic nature of the conformational rearrangements promoting and controlling NPQ in isolated LHCII. A combined, linear reaction scheme in which the folded, quenched state represents a stable intermediate on the unfolding pathway was employed to describe the temperature dependence of the spectroscopic signatures associated with the chlorophyll fluorescence quenching and the loss of secondary structure motifs in LHCII. The thermodynamic model requires considering the temperature dependence of Gibbs free energy difference between the quenched and the unquenched states, as well as the unfolded and quenched states, of LHCII. Even though the same reaction scheme is adequate to describe the quenching and the unfolding processes in LHCII monomers and trimers, their thermodynamic characteristics were found to be markedly different. The results of the thermodynamic analysis shed light on the physiological importance of the trimeric state of LHCII in stabilizing the efficient light harvesting mode as well as preventing the quenched conformation of the protein from unfolding. Moreover, the transition to the quenched conformation

  3. Computational modeling of membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Leman, Julia Koehler; Ulmschneider, Martin B.; Gray, Jeffrey J.

    2014-01-01

    The determination of membrane protein (MP) structures has always trailed that of soluble proteins due to difficulties in their overexpression, reconstitution into membrane mimetics, and subsequent structure determination. The percentage of MP structures in the protein databank (PDB) has been at a constant 1-2% for the last decade. In contrast, over half of all drugs target MPs, only highlighting how little we understand about drug-specific effects in the human body. To reduce this gap, researchers have attempted to predict structural features of MPs even before the first structure was experimentally elucidated. In this review, we present current computational methods to predict MP structure, starting with secondary structure prediction, prediction of trans-membrane spans, and topology. Even though these methods generate reliable predictions, challenges such as predicting kinks or precise beginnings and ends of secondary structure elements are still waiting to be addressed. We describe recent developments in the prediction of 3D structures of both α-helical MPs as well as β-barrels using comparative modeling techniques, de novo methods, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The increase of MP structures has (1) facilitated comparative modeling due to availability of more and better templates, and (2) improved the statistics for knowledge-based scoring functions. Moreover, de novo methods have benefitted from the use of correlated mutations as restraints. Finally, we outline current advances that will likely shape the field in the forthcoming decade. PMID:25355688

  4. Dimeric carotenoid interaction in the light-harvesting antenna of purple phototrophic bacteria.

    PubMed

    Zurdo, J; Lozano, R M; Fernandez-Cabrera, C; Ramirez, J M

    1991-03-15

    The carotenoid content of intracytoplasmic membrane vesicles isolated from purple phototrophic bacteria was reduced to a variable extent by mild extraction with light petroleum. Using preparations obtained from Rhodobacter capsulatus strains that contained the Light Harvesting System I (LHI) complex as the only major photosynthetic holochrome, it was shown that the visible circular dichroism of the carotenoids increased with the square of the membrane carotenoid content, as expected from being caused by dimeric exciton interaction. No chirality resulting from twists of the individual planar chromophore was detected. Therefore the contribution to carotenoid optical activity of non-degenerate interactions with bacteriochlorophyll or the apoprotein does not appear to be significant. The broadening of the absorption band of the bound pigment, caused by the splitting of the monomer transition, was demonstrated in membrane vesicles of both Rb, capsulatus and Rhodospirillum rubrum as a decrease of the fine structure of the band. Furthermore, the dimeric organization of the carotenoid pigments in the bacterial LHI complex accounted for the observed quantitative relationship between the fine structure of the band and the carotenoid content of the membrane.

  5. Dimeric carotenoid interaction in the light-harvesting antenna of purple phototrophic bacteria.

    PubMed Central

    Zurdo, J; Lozano, R M; Fernandez-Cabrera, C; Ramirez, J M

    1991-01-01

    The carotenoid content of intracytoplasmic membrane vesicles isolated from purple phototrophic bacteria was reduced to a variable extent by mild extraction with light petroleum. Using preparations obtained from Rhodobacter capsulatus strains that contained the Light Harvesting System I (LHI) complex as the only major photosynthetic holochrome, it was shown that the visible circular dichroism of the carotenoids increased with the square of the membrane carotenoid content, as expected from being caused by dimeric exciton interaction. No chirality resulting from twists of the individual planar chromophore was detected. Therefore the contribution to carotenoid optical activity of non-degenerate interactions with bacteriochlorophyll or the apoprotein does not appear to be significant. The broadening of the absorption band of the bound pigment, caused by the splitting of the monomer transition, was demonstrated in membrane vesicles of both Rb, capsulatus and Rhodospirillum rubrum as a decrease of the fine structure of the band. Furthermore, the dimeric organization of the carotenoid pigments in the bacterial LHI complex accounted for the observed quantitative relationship between the fine structure of the band and the carotenoid content of the membrane. PMID:1901490

  6. Characterization of the Major Light-Harvesting Complexes (LHCBM) of the Green Alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

    PubMed Central

    Natali, Alberto; Croce, Roberta

    2015-01-01

    Nine genes (LHCBM1-9) encode the major light-harvesting system of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Transcriptomic and proteomic analyses have shown that those genes are all expressed albeit in different amounts and some of them only in certain conditions. However, little is known about the properties and specific functions of the individual gene products because they have never been isolated. Here we have purified several complexes from native membranes and/or we have reconstituted them in vitro with pigments extracted from C. reinhardtii. It is shown that LHCBM1 and -M2/7 represent more than half of the LHCBM population in the membrane. LHCBM2/7 forms homotrimers while LHCBM1 seems to be present in heterotrimers. Trimers containing only type I LHCBM (M3/4/6/8/9) were also observed. Despite their different roles, all complexes have very similar properties in terms of pigment content, organization, stability, absorption, fluorescence and excited-state lifetimes. Thus the involvement of LHCBM1 in non-photochemical quenching is suggested to be due to specific interactions with other components of the membrane and not to the inherent quenching properties of the complex. Similarly, the overexpression of LHCBM9 during sulfur deprivation can be explained by its low sulfur content as compared with the other LHCBMs. Considering the highly conserved biochemical and spectroscopic properties, the major difference between the complexes may be in their capacity to interact with other components of the thylakoid membrane. PMID:25723534

  7. Cell-free system for synthesizing membrane proteins cell free method for synthesizing membrane proteins

    DOEpatents

    Laible, Philip D; Hanson, Deborah K

    2013-06-04

    The invention provides an in vitro method for producing proteins, membrane proteins, membrane-associated proteins, and soluble proteins that interact with membrane-associated proteins for assembly into an oligomeric complex or that require association with a membrane for proper folding. The method comprises, supplying intracytoplasmic membranes from organisms; modifying protein composition of intracytoplasmic membranes from organism by modifying DNA to delete genes encoding functions of the organism not associated with the formation of the intracytoplasmic membranes; generating appropriate DNA or RNA templates that encode the target protein; and mixing the intracytoplasmic membranes with the template and a transcription/translation-competent cellular extract to cause simultaneous production of the membrane proteins and encapsulation of the membrane proteins within the intracytoplasmic membranes.

  8. Crystal structure of archaeal photolyase from Sulfolobus tokodaii with two FAD molecules: implication of a novel light-harvesting cofactor.

    PubMed

    Fujihashi, Masahiro; Numoto, Nobutaka; Kobayashi, Yukiko; Mizushima, Akira; Tsujimura, Masanari; Nakamura, Akira; Kawarabayasi, Yutaka; Miki, Kunio

    2007-01-26

    UV exposure of DNA molecules induces serious DNA lesions. The cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyase repairs CPD-type - lesions by using the energy of visible light. Two chromophores for different roles have been found in this enzyme family; one catalyzes the CPD repair reaction and the other works as an antenna pigment that harvests photon energy. The catalytic cofactor of all known photolyases is FAD, whereas several light-harvesting cofactors are found. Currently, 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate (MTHF), 8-hydroxy-5-deaza-riboflavin (8-HDF) and FMN are the known light-harvesting cofactors, and some photolyases lack the chromophore. Three crystal structures of photolyases from Escherichia coli (Ec-photolyase), Anacystis nidulans (An-photolyase), and Thermus thermophilus (Tt-photolyase) have been determined; however, no archaeal photolyase structure is available. A similarity search of archaeal genomic data indicated the presence of a homologous gene, ST0889, on Sulfolobus tokodaii strain7. An enzymatic assay reveals that ST0889 encodes photolyase from S. tokodaii (St-photolyase). We have determined the crystal structure of the St-photolyase protein to confirm its structural features and to investigate the mechanism of the archaeal DNA repair system with light energy. The crystal structure of the St-photolyase is superimposed very well on the three known photolyases including the catalytic cofactor FAD. Surprisingly, another FAD molecule is found at the position of the light-harvesting cofactor. This second FAD molecule is well accommodated in the crystal structure, suggesting that FAD works as a novel light-harvesting cofactor of photolyase. In addition, two of the four CPD recognition residues in the crystal structure of An-photolyase are not found in St-photolyase, which might utilize a different mechanism to recognize the CPD from that of An-photolyase.

  9. Membrane shape modulates transmembrane protein distribution

    PubMed Central

    Aimon, Sophie; Callan-Jones, Andrew; Berthaud, Alice; Pinot, Mathieu; Toombes, Gilman E. S.; Bassereau, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Summary Although membrane shape varies greatly throughout the cell, the contribution of membrane curvature to transmembrane protein targeting is unknown due to the numerous sorting mechanisms taking place concurrently in cells. To isolate the effect of membrane shape, cellsized Giant Unilamellar Vesicles (GUVs) containing either the potassium channel, KvAP, or water channel, AQP0, were used to form membrane nanotubes with controlled radii. While the AQP0 concentrations in flat and curved membranes were indistinguishable, KvAP was enriched in the tubes, with greater enrichment in more highly curved membranes. FRAP measurements showed that both proteins could freely diffuse through the neck between the tube and GUV, and the effect of each protein on membrane shape and stiffness was characterized using a thermodynamic sorting model. This study establishes the importance of membrane shape for targeting transmembrane proteins, and provides a method for determining the effective shape and flexibility of membrane proteins. PMID:24480645

  10. Realistic and verifiable coherent control of excitonic states in a light-harvesting complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoyer, Stephan; Caruso, Filippo; Montangero, Simone; Sarovar, Mohan; Calarco, Tommaso; Plenio, Martin B.; Whaley, K. Birgitta

    2014-04-01

    We explore the feasibility of the coherent control of excitonic dynamics in light-harvesting complexes, analyzing the limits imposed by the open nature of these quantum systems. We establish feasible targets for phase and phase/amplitude control of the electronically excited state populations in the Fenna-Mathews-Olson (FMO) complex and analyze the robustness of this control with respect to orientational and energetic disorder, as well as the decoherence arising from coupling to the protein environment. We further present two possible routes to verification of the control target, with simulations for the FMO complex showing that steering of the excited state is experimentally verifiable either by extending excitonic coherence or by producing novel states in a pump-probe setup. Our results provide a first step toward coherent control of these complex biological quantum systems in an ultrafast spectroscopy setup.

  11. Modeling Electronic-Nuclear Interactions for Excitation Energy Transfer Processes in Light-Harvesting Complexes.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mi Kyung; Coker, David F

    2016-08-18

    An accurate approach for computing intermolecular and intrachromophore contributions to spectral densities to describe the electronic-nuclear interactions relevant for modeling excitation energy transfer processes in light harvesting systems is presented. The approach is based on molecular dynamics (MD) calculations of classical correlation functions of long-range contributions to excitation energy fluctuations and a separate harmonic analysis and single-point gradient quantum calculations for electron-intrachromophore vibrational couplings. A simple model is also presented that enables detailed analysis of the shortcomings of standard MD-based excitation energy fluctuation correlation function approaches. The method introduced here avoids these problems, and its reliability is demonstrated in accurate predictions for bacteriochlorophyll molecules in the Fenna-Matthews-Olson pigment-protein complex, where excellent agreement with experimental spectral densities is found. This efficient approach can provide instantaneous spectral densities for treating the influence of fluctuations in environmental dissipation on fast electronic relaxation.

  12. On improving the performance of nonphotochemical quenching in CP29 light-harvesting antenna complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berman, Gennady P.; Nesterov, Alexander I.; Sayre, Richard T.; Still, Susanne

    2016-03-01

    We model and simulate the performance of charge-transfer in nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) in the CP29 light-harvesting antenna-complex associated with photosystem II (PSII). The model consists of five discrete excitonic energy states and two sinks, responsible for the potentially damaging processes and charge-transfer channels, respectively. We demonstrate that by varying (i) the parameters of the chlorophyll-based dimer, (ii) the resonant properties of the protein-solvent environment interaction, and (iii) the energy transfer rates to the sinks, one can significantly improve the performance of the NPQ. Our analysis suggests strategies for improving the performance of the NPQ in response to environmental changes, and may stimulate experimental verification.

  13. Quantum Coherent Excitation Energy Transfer by Carotenoids in Photosynthetic Light Harvesting.

    PubMed

    Roscioli, Jerome D; Ghosh, Soumen; LaFountain, Amy M; Frank, Harry A; Beck, Warren F

    2017-10-06

    It remains an open question whether quantum coherence and molecular excitons created by delocalization of electronic excited states are essential features of the mechanisms that enable efficient light capture and excitation energy transfer to reaction centers in photosynthetic organisms. The peridinin-chlorophyll a protein from marine dinoflagellates is an example of a light-harvesting system with tightly clustered antenna chromophores in which quantum coherence has long been suspected, but unusually it features the carotenoid peridinin as the principal light absorber for mid-visible photons. We report that broad-band two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy indeed reveals the initial presence of exciton relaxation pathways that enable transfer of excitation from peridinin to chlorophyll a in <20 fs, but the quantum coherence that permits this is very short-lived. Strongly coupled excited-state vibrational distortions of the peridinins trigger a dynamic transition of the electronic structure of the system and a rapid conversion to incoherent energy transfer mechanisms.

  14. On improving the performance of nonphotochemical quenching in CP29 light-harvesting antenna complex

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, Gennady Petrovich; Nesterov, Alexander I.; Sayre, Richard Thomas; Still, Susanne

    2016-02-02

    In this study, we model and simulate the performance of charge-transfer in nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) in the CP29 light-harvesting antenna-complex associated with photosystem II (PSII). The model consists of five discrete excitonic energy states and two sinks, responsible for the potentially damaging processes and charge-transfer channels, respectively. We demonstrate that by varying (i) the parameters of the chlorophyll-based dimer, (ii) the resonant properties of the protein-solvent environment interaction, and (iii) the energy transfer rates to the sinks, one can significantly improve the performance of the NPQ. In conclusion, our analysis suggests strategies for improving the performance of the NPQ in response to environmental changes, and may stimulate experimental verification.

  15. On improving the performance of nonphotochemical quenching in CP29 light-harvesting antenna complex

    DOE PAGES

    Berman, Gennady Petrovich; Nesterov, Alexander I.; Sayre, Richard Thomas; ...

    2016-02-02

    In this study, we model and simulate the performance of charge-transfer in nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) in the CP29 light-harvesting antenna-complex associated with photosystem II (PSII). The model consists of five discrete excitonic energy states and two sinks, responsible for the potentially damaging processes and charge-transfer channels, respectively. We demonstrate that by varying (i) the parameters of the chlorophyll-based dimer, (ii) the resonant properties of the protein-solvent environment interaction, and (iii) the energy transfer rates to the sinks, one can significantly improve the performance of the NPQ. In conclusion, our analysis suggests strategies for improving the performance of the NPQ inmore » response to environmental changes, and may stimulate experimental verification.« less

  16. Consequences of Decreased Light Harvesting Capability on Photosystem II Function in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803

    PubMed Central

    Nagarajan, Aparna; Page, Lawrence E.; Liberton, Michelle; Pakrasi, Himadri B.

    2014-01-01

    Cyanobacteria use large pigment-protein complexes called phycobilisomes to harvest light energy primarily for photosystem II (PSII). We used a series of mutants with partial to complete reduction of phycobilisomes to examine the effects of antenna truncation on photosystem function in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. The antenna mutants CB, CK, and PAL expressed increasing levels of functional PSII centers to compensate for the loss of phycobilisomes, with a concomitant decrease in photosystem I (PSI). This increased PSII titer led to progressively higher oxygen evolution rates on a per chlorophyll basis. The mutants also exhibited impaired S-state transition profiles for oxygen evolution. Additionally, P700+ re-reduction rates were impacted by antenna reduction. Thus, a decrease in antenna size resulted in overall physiological changes in light harvesting and delivery to PSII as well as changes in downstream electron transfer to PSI. PMID:25513759

  17. Heat stress induces an aggregation of the light-harvesting complex of photosystem II in spinach plants.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yunlai; Wen, Xiaogang; Lu, Qingtao; Yang, Zhipan; Cheng, Zhukuan; Lu, Congming

    2007-02-01

    Whole spinach (Spinacia oleracea) plants were subjected to heat stress (25 degrees C-50 degrees C) in the dark for 30 min. At temperatures higher than 35 degrees C, CO2 assimilation rate decreased significantly. The maximal efficiency of photosystem II (PSII) photochemistry remained unchanged until 45 degrees C and decreased only slightly at 50 degrees C. Nonphotochemical quenching increased significantly either in the absence or presence of dithiothreitol. There was an appearance of the characteristic band at around 698 nm in 77 K fluorescence emission spectra of leaves. Native green gel of thylakoid membranes isolated immediately from heat-stressed leaves showed that many pigment-protein complexes remained aggregated in the stacking gel. The analyses of sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and immunoblotting demonstrated that the aggregates were composed of the main light-harvesting complex of PSII (LHCIIb). To characterize the aggregates, isolated PSII core complexes were incubated at 25 degrees C to 50 degrees C in the dark for 10 min. At temperatures over 35 degrees C, many pigment-protein complexes remained aggregated in the stacking gel of native green gel, and immunoblotting analyses showed that the aggregates were composed of LHCIIb. In addition, isolated LHCII was also incubated at 25 degrees C to 50 degrees C in the dark for 10 min. LHCII remained aggregated in the stacking gel of native green gel at temperatures over 35 degrees C. Massive aggregation of LHCII was clearly observed by using microscope images, which was accompanied by a significant increase in fluorescence quenching. There was a linear relationship between the formation of LHCII aggregates and nonphotochemical quenching in vivo. The results in this study suggest that LHCII aggregates may represent a protective mechanism to dissipate excess excitation energy in heat-stressed plants.

  18. Enhanced membrane protein expression by engineering increased intracellular membrane production

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Membrane protein research is frequently hampered by the low natural abundance of these proteins in cells and typically relies on recombinant gene expression. Different expression systems, like mammalian cells, insect cells, bacteria and yeast are being used, but very few research efforts have been directed towards specific host cell customization for enhanced expression of membrane proteins. Here we show that by increasing the intracellular membrane production by interfering with a key enzymatic step of lipid synthesis, enhanced expression of membrane proteins in yeast is achieved. Results We engineered the oleotrophic yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica, by deleting the phosphatidic acid phosphatase, PAH1, which led to massive proliferation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes. For all eight tested representatives of different integral membrane protein families, we obtained enhanced protein accumulation levels and in some cases enhanced proteolytic integrity in the ∆pah1 strain. We analysed the adenosine A2AR G-protein coupled receptor case in more detail and found that concomitant induction of the unfolded protein response in the ∆pah1 strain enhanced the specific ligand binding activity of the receptor. These data indicate an improved quality control mechanism for membrane proteins accumulating in yeast cells with proliferated ER. Conclusions We conclude that redirecting the metabolic flux of fatty acids away from triacylglycerol- and sterylester-storage towards membrane phospholipid synthesis by PAH1 gene inactivation, provides a valuable approach to enhance eukaryotic membrane protein production. Complementary to this improvement in membrane protein quantity, UPR co-induction further enhances the quality of the membrane protein in terms of its proper folding and biological activity. Importantly, since these pathways are conserved in all eukaryotes, it will be of interest to investigate similar engineering approaches in other cell types of

  19. Influence of phospholipid composition on self-assembly and energy-transfer efficiency in networks of light-harvesting 2 complexes.

    PubMed

    Sumino, Ayumi; Dewa, Takehisa; Noji, Tomoyasu; Nakano, Yuki; Watanabe, Natsuko; Hildner, Richard; Bösch, Nils; Köhler, Jürgen; Nango, Mamoru

    2013-09-12

    In the photosynthetic membrane of purple bacteria networks of light-harvesting 2 (LH2) complexes capture the sunlight and transfer the excitation energy. In order to investigate the mutual relationship between the supramolecular organization of the pigment-protein complexes and their biological function, the LH2 complexes were reconstituted into three types of phospholipid membranes, consisting of L-α-phosphatidylglycerol (PG), L-α-phosphatidylcholine (PC), and L-α-phosphatidylethanolamine (PE)/PG/cardiolipin (CL). Atomic force microscopy (AFM) revealed that the type of phospholipids had a crucial influence on the clustering tendency of the LH2 complexes increased from PG over PC to PE/PG/CL, where the LH2 complexes formed large, densely packed clusters. Time-resolved spectroscopy uncovered a strong quenching of the LH2 fluorescence that is ascribed to singlet-singlet and singlet-triplet annihilation by an efficient energy transfer between the LH2 complexes in the artificial membrane systems. Quantitative analysis reveals that the intercomplex energy transfer efficiency varies strongly as a function of the morphology of the nanostructure, namely in the order PE/PG/CL > PC > PG, which is in line with the clustering tendency of LH2 observed by AFM. These results suggest a strong influence of the phospholipids on the self-assembly of LH2 complexes into networks and concomitantly on the intercomplex energy transfer efficiency.

  20. Structural Implications of Hydrogen-Bond Energetics in Membrane Proteins Revealed by High-Pressure Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Freiberg, Arvi; Kangur, Liina; Olsen, John D.; Hunter, C. Neil

    2012-01-01

    The light-harvesting 1 (LH1) integral membrane complex of Rhodobacter sphaeroides provides a convenient model system in which to examine the poorly understood role of hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) as stabilizing factors in membrane protein complexes. We used noncovalently bound arrays of bacteriochlorophyll chromophores within native and genetically modified variants of LH1 complexes to monitor local changes in the chromophore binding sites induced by externally applied hydrostatic pressure. Whereas membrane-bound complexes demonstrated very high resilience to pressures reaching 2.1 GPa, characteristic discontinuous shifts and broadenings of the absorption spectra were observed around 1 GPa for detergent-solubilized proteins, in similarity to those observed when specific (α or β) H-bonds between the chromophores and the surrounding protein were selectively removed by mutagenesis. These pressure effects, which were reversible upon decompression, allowed us to estimate the rupture energies of H-bonds to the chromophores in LH1 complexes. A quasi-independent, additive role of H-bonds in the α- and β-sublattices in reinforcing the wild-type LH1 complex was established. A comparison of a reaction-center-deficient LH1 complex with complexes containing reaction centers also demonstrated a stabilizing effect of the reaction center. This study thus provides important insights into the design principles of natural photosynthetic complexes. PMID:23283234

  1. Membrane Structure: Lipid-Protein Interactions in Microsomal Membranes*

    PubMed Central

    Trump, Benjamin F.; Duttera, Sue M.; Byrne, William L.; Arstila, Antti U.

    1970-01-01

    The relationships of phospholipid to membrane structure and function were examined in hepatic microsomes. Findings indicate that normal microsomal membrane structure is dependent on lipid-protein interactions and that it correlates closely with glucose-6-phosphatase activity. Modification of most phospholipid with phospholipase-C is associated with widening of the membrane which can be reversed following readdition of phospholipid. Images PMID:4317915

  2. Membrane proteins: always an insoluble problem?

    PubMed Central

    Rawlings, Andrea E.

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins play crucial roles in cellular processes and are often important pharmacological drug targets. The hydrophobic properties of these proteins make full structural and functional characterization challenging because of the need to use detergents or other solubilizing agents when extracting them from their native lipid membranes. To aid membrane protein research, new methodologies are required to allow these proteins to be expressed and purified cheaply, easily, in high yield and to provide water soluble proteins for subsequent study. This mini review focuses on the relatively new area of water soluble membrane proteins and in particular two innovative approaches: the redesign of membrane proteins to yield water soluble variants and how adding solubilizing fusion proteins can help to overcome these challenges. This review also looks at naturally occurring membrane proteins, which are able to exist as stable, functional, water soluble assemblies with no alteration to their native sequence. PMID:27284043

  3. Membrane tension and peripheral protein density mediate membrane shape transitions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Zheng; Baumgart, Tobias

    2015-01-01

    Endocytosis is a ubiquitous eukaryotic membrane budding, vesiculation and internalization process fulfilling numerous roles including compensation of membrane area increase after bursts of exocytosis. The mechanism of the coupling between these two processes to enable homeostasis is not well understood. Recently, an ultrafast endocytosis (UFE) pathway was revealed with a speed significantly exceeding classical clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). Membrane tension reduction is a potential mechanism by which endocytosis can be rapidly activated at remote sites. Here, we provide experimental evidence for a mechanism whereby membrane tension reduction initiates membrane budding and tubulation mediated by endocytic proteins, such as endophilin A1. We find that shape instabilities occur at well-defined membrane tensions and surface densities of endophilin. From our data, we obtain a membrane shape stability diagram that shows remarkable consistency with a quantitative model. This model applies to all laterally diffusive curvature-coupling proteins and therefore a wide range of endocytic proteins.

  4. Optimal light harvesting in 2D semiconductor heterostructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Zhesheng; Biscaras, Johan; Shukla, Abhay

    2017-06-01

    Optoelectronics with two dimensional (2D) heterostructures combining transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) and other semiconductors in hybrid stacks is potentially promising because of the possibility of fabricating devices with high efficiency and new properties. Ultrafast charge transfer across the interface and long lifetime of carriers makes the vertical geometry attractive with respect to traditional bulk heterostructures. In such ultrathin structures, the multiple boundaries and the thickness of each material play a key role in the interaction of light with the device and can strongly influence the device performance. In this article we study light harvesting in 2D InSe/MoS2 semiconductor heterostructures by measuring Raman enhancement or attenuation as a function of layer thicknesses. Measurements are precisely reproduced by the calculation of the light emission, and the field distribution inside the heterostructure. Optimizing layer thickness and material interfaces has a significant effect on the light distribution in such 2D heterostructures with layer thickness in the region of a few tens of nanometers, providing a means to enhance the performance of emerging 2D semiconductor-heterostructure optoelectronics.

  5. Optimal light harvesting structures at optical and infrared frequencies.

    PubMed

    Villate-Guío, F; López-Tejeira, F; García-Vidal, F J; Martín-Moreno, L; de León-Pérez, F

    2012-11-05

    One-dimensional light harvesting structures with a realistic geometry nano-patterned on an opaque metallic film are optimized to render high transmission efficiencies at optical and infrared frequencies. Simple design rules are developed for the particular case of a slit-groove array with a given number of grooves that are symmetrically distributed with respect to a central slit. These rules take advantage of the hybridization of Fabry-Perot modes in the slit and surface modes of the corrugated metal surface. Same design rules apply for optical and infrared frequencies. The parameter space of the groove array is also examined with a conjugate gradient optimization algorithm that used as a seed the geometries optimized following physical intuition. Both uniform and nonuniform groove arrays are considered. The largest transmission enhancement, with respect to a uniform array, is obtained for a chirped groove profile. Such relative enhancement is a function of the wavelength. It decreases from 39 % in the optical part of the spectrum to 15 % at the long wavelength infrared.

  6. Detection of Proteins on Blot Membranes.

    PubMed

    Goldman, Aaron; Harper, Sandra; Speicher, David W

    2016-11-01

    Staining of blot membranes enables the visualization of bound proteins. Proteins are usually transferred to blot membranes by electroblotting, by direct spotting of protein solutions, or by contact blots. Staining allows the efficiency of transfer to the membrane to be monitored. This unit describes protocols for staining proteins after electroblotting from polyacrylamide gels to blot membranes such as polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF), nitrocellulose, or nylon membranes. The same methods can be used if proteins are directly spotted, either manually or using robotics. Protocols are included for seven general protein stains (amido black, Coomassie blue, Ponceau S, colloidal gold, colloidal silver, India ink, and MemCode) and three fluorescent protein stains (fluorescamine, IAEDANS, and SYPRO Ruby). Also included is an in-depth discussion of the different blot membrane types and the compatibility of different protein stains with downstream applications, such as immunoblotting or N-terminal Edman sequencing. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  7. Malate synthase a membrane protein

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, K.D.; Turley, R.B.; Hermerath, C.A.; Carrapico, F.; Trelease, R.N.

    1987-04-01

    Malate synthase (MS) is generally regarded as a peripheral membrane protein, and believed by some to be ontogenetically associated with ER. However, immuno- and cyto-chemical in situ localizations show MS throughout the matrix of cotton (and cucumber) glyoxysomes, not specifically near their boundary membranes, nor in ER. Only a maximum of 50% MS can be solubilized from cotton glyoxysomes with 1% Triton X-100, 2mM Zwittergen 14, or 10mM DOC +/- salts. Cotton MS does not incorporate /sup 3/H-glucosamine in vivo, nor does it react with Con A on columns or blots. Cotton MS banded with ER in sucrose gradients (20-40%) in Tricine after 3h, but not after 22h in Tricine or Hepes, or after 3h in Hepes or K-phosphate. Collectively the authors data are inconsistent with physiologically meaningful MS-membrane associations in ER or glyoxysomes. It appears that experimentally-induced aggregates of MS migrate in ER gradients and occur in isolated glyoxysomes. These data indicate that ER is not involved in synthesis or modification of cottonseed MS prior to its import into the glyoxysomal matrix.

  8. Protein-Induced Membrane Curvature Alters Local Membrane Tension

    PubMed Central

    Rangamani, Padmini; Mandadap, Kranthi K.; Oster, George

    2014-01-01

    Adsorption of proteins onto membranes can alter the local membrane curvature. This phenomenon has been observed in biological processes such as endocytosis, tubulation, and vesiculation. However, it is not clear how the local surface properties of the membrane, such as membrane tension, change in response to protein adsorption. In this article, we show that the partial differential equations arising from classical elastic model of lipid membranes, which account for simultaneous changes in shape and membrane tension due to protein adsorption in a local region, cannot be solved for nonaxisymmetric geometries using straightforward numerical techniques; instead, a viscous-elastic formulation is necessary to fully describe the system. Therefore, we develop a viscous-elastic model for inhomogeneous membranes of the Helfrich type. Using the newly available viscous-elastic model, we find that the lipids flow to accommodate changes in membrane curvature during protein adsorption. We show that, at the end of protein adsorption process, the system sustains a residual local tension to balance the difference between the actual mean curvature and the imposed spontaneous curvature. We also show that this change in membrane tension can have a functional impact such as altered response to pulling forces in the presence of proteins. PMID:25099814

  9. A nanoscale bio-inspired light-harvesting system developed from self-assembled alkyl-functionalized metallochlorin nano-aggregates.

    PubMed

    Ocakoglu, Kasim; Joya, Khurram S; Harputlu, Ersan; Tarnowska, Anna; Gryko, Daniel T

    2014-08-21

    Self-assembled supramolecular organization of nano-structured biomimetic light-harvesting modules inside solid-state nano-templates can be exploited to develop excellent light-harvesting materials for artificial photosynthetic devices. We present here a hybrid light-harvesting system mimicking the chlorosomal structures of the natural photosynthetic system using synthetic zinc chlorin units (ZnChl-C6, ZnChl-C12 and ZnChl-C18) that are self-aggregated inside the anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nano-channel membranes. AAO nano-templates were modified with a TiO2 matrix and functionalized with long hydrophobic chains to facilitate the formation of supramolecular Zn-chlorin aggregates. The transparent Zn-chlorin nano-aggregates inside the alkyl-TiO2 modified AAO nano-channels have a diameter of ∼120 nm in a 60 μm length channel. UV-Vis studies and fluorescence emission spectra further confirm the formation of the supramolecular ZnChl aggregates from monomer molecules inside the alkyl-functionalized nano-channels. Our results prove that the novel and unique method can be used to produce efficient and stable light-harvesting assemblies for effective solar energy capture through transparent and stable nano-channel ceramic materials modified with bio-mimetic molecular self-assembled nano-aggregates.

  10. Internal packing of helical membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Eilers, Markus; Shekar, Srinivasan C.; Shieh, Ted; Smith, Steven O.; Fleming, Patrick J.

    2000-01-01

    Helix packing is important in the folding, stability, and association of membrane proteins. Packing analysis of the helical portions of 7 integral membrane proteins and 37 soluble proteins show that the helices in membrane proteins have higher packing values (0.431) than in soluble proteins (0.405). The highest packing values in integral membrane proteins originate from small hydrophobic (G and A) and small hydroxyl-containing (S and T) amino acids, whereas in soluble proteins large hydrophobic and aromatic residues have the highest packing values. The highest packing values for membrane proteins are found in the transmembrane helix–helix interfaces. Glycine and alanine have the highest occurrence among the buried amino acids in membrane proteins, whereas leucine and alanine are the most common buried residue in soluble proteins. These observations are consistent with a shorter axial separation between helices in membrane proteins. The tight helix packing revealed in this analysis contributes to membrane protein stability and likely compensates for the lack of the hydrophobic effect as a driving force for helix–helix association in membranes. PMID:10823938

  11. The light-harvesting function of carotenoids in the cyanobacterial stress-inducible IsiA complex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berera, Rudi; van Stokkum, Ivo H. M.; Kennis, John T. M.; Grondelle, Rienk van; Dekker, Jan P.

    2010-07-01

    We present a spectroscopic investigation of the light-harvesting role of carotenoids in aggregates of the IsiA pigment-protein complex of the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803. The results show that carotenoids in IsiA transfer energy on the sub-100 fs timescale from the S 2 state to chlorophyll to about the same extent as in the related pigment-protein complexes CP43 and CP47. Selective excitation at the red edge of the S 2 absorption of the carotenoids shows that echinenone is more efficient in energy transfer to chlorophyll (37%) when compared to the other carotenoid species in the system (22%).

  12. Chromatic adaptation of photosynthetic membranes.

    PubMed

    Scheuring, Simon; Sturgis, James N

    2005-07-15

    Many biological membranes adapt in response to environmental conditions. We investigated how the composition and architecture of photosynthetic membranes of a bacterium change in response to light, using atomic force microscopy. Despite large modifications in the membrane composition, the local environment of core complexes remained unaltered, whereas specialized paracrystalline light-harvesting antenna domains grew under low-light conditions. Thus, the protein mixture in the membrane shows eutectic behavior and can be mimicked by a simple model. Such structural adaptation ensures efficient photon capture under low-light conditions and prevents photodamage under high-light conditions.

  13. Artificial membranes for membrane protein purification, functionality and structure studies.

    PubMed

    Parmar, Mayuriben J; Lousa, Carine De Marcos; Muench, Stephen P; Goldman, Adrian; Postis, Vincent L G

    2016-06-15

    Membrane proteins represent one of the most important targets for pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, technical limitations have long been a major hindrance in our understanding of the function and structure of such proteins. Recent years have seen the refinement of classical approaches and the emergence of new technologies that have resulted in a significant step forward in the field of membrane protein research. This review summarizes some of the current techniques used for studying membrane proteins, with overall advantages and drawbacks for each method. © 2016 The Author(s). published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  14. Solid State NMR and Protein-Protein Interactions in Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Yimin; Cross, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Solid state NMR spectroscopy has evolved rapidly in recent years into an excellent tool for the characterization of membrane proteins and their complexes. In the past few years it has also become clear that the structure of membrane proteins, especially helical membrane proteins is determined, in part, by the membrane environment. Therefore, the modeling of this environment by a liquid crystalline lipid bilayer for solid state NMR has generated a unique tool for the characterization of native conformational states, local and global dynamics, and high resolution structure for these proteins. Protein-protein interactions can also benefit from this solid state NMR capability to characterize membrane proteins in a native-like environment. These complexes take the form of oligomeric structures and hetero-protein interactions both with water soluble proteins and other membrane proteins. PMID:24034903

  15. Functionalizing Microporous Membranes for Protein Purification and Protein Digestion.

    PubMed

    Dong, Jinlan; Bruening, Merlin L

    2015-01-01

    This review examines advances in the functionalization of microporous membranes for protein purification and the development of protease-containing membranes for controlled protein digestion prior to mass spectrometry analysis. Recent studies confirm that membranes are superior to bead-based columns for rapid protein capture, presumably because convective mass transport in membrane pores rapidly brings proteins to binding sites. Modification of porous membranes with functional polymeric films or TiO₂ nanoparticles yields materials that selectively capture species ranging from phosphopeptides to His-tagged proteins, and protein-binding capacities often exceed those of commercial beads. Thin membranes also provide a convenient framework for creating enzyme-containing reactors that afford control over residence times. With millisecond residence times, reactors with immobilized proteases limit protein digestion to increase sequence coverage in mass spectrometry analysis and facilitate elucidation of protein structures. This review emphasizes the advantages of membrane-based techniques and concludes with some challenges for their practical application.

  16. Functionalizing Microporous Membranes for Protein Purification and Protein Digestion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Jinlan; Bruening, Merlin L.

    2015-07-01

    This review examines advances in the functionalization of microporous membranes for protein purification and the development of protease-containing membranes for controlled protein digestion prior to mass spectrometry analysis. Recent studies confirm that membranes are superior to bead-based columns for rapid protein capture, presumably because convective mass transport in membrane pores rapidly brings proteins to binding sites. Modification of porous membranes with functional polymeric films or TiO2 nanoparticles yields materials that selectively capture species ranging from phosphopeptides to His-tagged proteins, and protein-binding capacities often exceed those of commercial beads. Thin membranes also provide a convenient framework for creating enzyme-containing reactors that afford control over residence times. With millisecond residence times, reactors with immobilized proteases limit protein digestion to increase sequence coverage in mass spectrometry analysis and facilitate elucidation of protein structures. This review emphasizes the advantages of membrane-based techniques and concludes with some challenges for their practical application.

  17. Information for targeting to the chloroplastic inner envelope membrane is contained in the mature region of the maize Bt1-encoded protein

    SciTech Connect

    Li, H.M.; Sullivan, T.D.; Keegstra, K.

    1992-09-15

    Based on the protein sequence deduced from a cDNA clone, it has been proposed that the maize Bt1 locus encodes an amyloplast membrane metabolite translocator protein. The present work provides further evidence for this hypothesis by showing that the gene product of Bt1 could be imported into chloroplasts in vitro and processed to lower molecular weight mature proteins. More importantly, the imported mature proteins were localized to the inner envelope membrane, where metabolite tranlocators are located in plastids. In addition, the location of information for targeting to the inner membrane was investigated by constructing and analyzing the import of chimeric precursor proteins. A chimeric protein with the transit peptide of the precursor to the small subunit of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase fused to the mature region of the Bt1-encoded protein was targeted to the inner envelope membrane of chloroplasts. Moreover, a chimeric protein with the transit peptide of the Bt1-encoded protein fused to the mature protein of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b binding protein was targeted to the thylakoid. These results indicate that the transit peptide of the Bt1-encoded protein functions primarily as a stromal targeting sequence. The information for targeting to the chloroplastic inner envelope membrane is contained in the mature region of the protein.

  18. Surface-Cross-Linked Micelles as Multifunctionalized Organic Nanoparticles for Controlled Release, Light Harvesting, and Catalysis

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Surfactant micelles are dynamic entities with a rapid exchange of monomers. By “clicking” tripropargylammonium-containing surfactants with diazide cross-linkers, we obtained surface-cross-linked micelles (SCMs) that could be multifunctionalized for different applications. They triggered membrane fusion through tunable electrostatic interactions with lipid bilayers. Antenna chromophores could be installed on them to create artificial light-harvesting complexes with efficient energy migration among tens to hundreds of chromophores. When cleavable cross-linkers were used, the SCMs could break apart in response to redox or pH signals, ejecting entrapped contents quickly as a result of built-in electrostatic stress. They served as caged surfactants whose surface activity was turned on by environmental stimuli. They crossed cell membranes readily. Encapsulated fluorophores showed enhanced photophysical properties including improved quantum yields and greatly expanded Stokes shifts. Catalytic groups could be installed on the surface or in the interior, covalently attached or physically entrapped. As enzyme mimics, the SCMs enabled rational engineering of the microenvironment around the catalysts to afford activity and selectivity not possible with conventional catalysts. PMID:27181610

  19. Protein Homeostasis at the Plasma Membrane

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The plasma membrane (PM) and endocytic protein quality control (QC) in conjunction with the endosomal sorting machinery either repairs or targets conformationally damaged membrane proteins for lysosomal/vacuolar degradation. Here, we provide an overview of emerging aspects of the underlying mechanisms of PM QC that fulfill a critical role in preserving cellular protein homeostasis in health and diseases. PMID:24985330

  20. Tuning microbial hosts for membrane protein production

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    The last four years have brought exciting progress in membrane protein research. Finally those many efforts that have been put into expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins are coming to fruition and enable to solve an ever-growing number of high resolution structures. In the past, many skilful optimization steps were required to achieve sufficient expression of functional membrane proteins. Optimization was performed individually for every membrane protein, but provided insight about commonly encountered bottlenecks and, more importantly, general guidelines how to alleviate cellular limitations during microbial membrane protein expression. Lately, system-wide analyses are emerging as powerful means to decipher cellular bottlenecks during heterologous protein production and their use in microbial membrane protein expression has grown in popularity during the past months. This review covers the most prominent solutions and pitfalls in expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins using microbial hosts (prokaryotes, yeasts), highlights skilful applications of our basic understanding to improve membrane protein production. Omics technologies provide new concepts to engineer microbial hosts for membrane protein production. PMID:20040113

  1. Strong antenna-enhanced fluorescence of a single light-harvesting complex shows photon antibunching

    PubMed Central

    Wientjes, Emilie; Renger, Jan; Curto, Alberto G.; Cogdell, Richard; van Hulst, Niek F.

    2014-01-01

    The nature of the highly efficient energy transfer in photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes is a subject of intense research. Unfortunately, the low fluorescence efficiency and limited photostability hampers the study of individual light-harvesting complexes at ambient conditions. Here we demonstrate an over 500-fold fluorescence enhancement of light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) at the single-molecule level by coupling to a gold nanoantenna. The resonant antenna produces an excitation enhancement of circa 100 times and a fluorescence lifetime shortening to ~\

  2. Site-Directed Spin-Labeling Study of the Light-Harvesting Complex CP29

    PubMed Central

    Kavalenka, Aleh A.; Spruijt, Ruud B.; Wolfs, Cor J.A.M.; Štrancar, Janez; Croce, Roberta; Hemminga, Marcus A.; van Amerongen, Herbert

    2009-01-01

    The topology of the long N-terminal domain (∼100 amino-acid residues) of the photosynthetic Lhc CP29 was studied using electron spin resonance. Wild-type protein containing a single cysteine at position 108 and nine single-cysteine mutants were produced, allowing to label different parts of the domain with a nitroxide spin label. In all cases, the apoproteins were either solubilized in detergent or they were reconstituted with their native pigments (holoproteins) in vitro. The spin-label electron spin resonance spectra were analyzed in terms of a multicomponent spectral simulation approach, based on hybrid evolutionary optimization and solution condensation. These results permit to trace the structural organization of the long N-terminal domain of CP29. Amino-acid residues 97 and 108 are located in the transmembrane pigment-containing protein body of the protein. Positions 65, 81, and 90 are located in a flexible loop that is proposed to extend out of the protein from the stromal surface. This loop also contains a phosphorylation site at Thr81, suggesting that the flexibility of this loop might play a role in the regulatory mechanisms of the light-harvesting process. Positions 4, 33, 40, and 56 are found to be located in a relatively rigid environment, close to the transmembrane protein body. On the other hand, position 15 is located in a flexible region, relatively far away from the transmembrane domain. PMID:19413967

  3. Conformational switching explains the intrinsic multifunctionality of plant light-harvesting complexes

    PubMed Central

    Krüger, Tjaart P. J.; Wientjes, Emilie; Croce, Roberta; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2011-01-01

    The light-harvesting complexes of photosystem I and II (Lhcas and Lhcbs) of plants display a high structural homology and similar pigment content and organization. Yet, the spectroscopic properties of these complexes, and accordingly their functionality, differ substantially. This difference is primarily due to the charge-transfer (CT) character of a chlorophyll dimer in all Lhcas, which mixes with the excitonic states of these complexes, whereas this CT character is generally absent in Lhcbs. By means of single-molecule spectroscopy near room temperature, we demonstrate that the presence or absence of such a CT state in Lhcas and Lhcbs can occasionally be reversed; i.e., these complexes are able to interconvert conformationally to quasi-stable spectral states that resemble the Lhcs of the other photosystem. The high structural similarity of all the Lhca and Lhcb proteins suggests that the stable conformational states that give rise to the mixed CT-excitonic state are similar for all these proteins, and similarly for the conformations that involve no CT state. This indicates that the specific functions related to Lhca and Lhcb complexes are realized by different stable conformations of a single generic protein structure. We propose that this functionality is modulated and controlled by the protein environment. PMID:21808044

  4. Effects of positional disorder on optical absorption spectra of light-harvesting antenna complexes in photosynthetic bacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukai, Koichiro; Abe, Shuji

    2001-03-01

    We study theoretically the influence of both diagonal and off-diagonal disorder on the absorption spectra of the light-harvesting antenna complex LH2 consisting of two circular aggregates, B850 and B800, of bacteriochlorophyll pigments in photosynthetic purple bacteria. Off-diagonal disorder, i.e., randomness in excitonic couplings between molecules, is introduced by a model of disorder in the position of each pigment molecule embedded in proteins. We demonstrate that a large contribution of positional disorder provides a natural explanation for the experimental fact that the excitonic B850 absorption peak is broader than that of monomeric B800 in spite of motional narrowing.

  5. Low-Bandgap Thiophene Dendrimers for Improved Light Harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Rupert, B. L.; Mitchell, W. J.; Ferguson, A. J.; Kose, M. E.; Rance, W. L.; Rumbles, G.; Ginley, D. S.; Shaheen, S. E.; Kopidakis, N.

    2009-01-01

    This article follows our previous work on the synthesis and characterization of pi-conjugated dendrimers for use in organic solar cells. Here we discuss five new thiophene-based dendrimers that were synthesized in order to study the relationship between their chemical structures and electronic properties. Three of these dendrimers incorporate acetylene spacers, included to relieve steric strain, between the thiophene arms and phenyl cores used in previous studies. Only a small effect on the electronic properties is observed upon inclusion of the acetylene spacer in the three-arm dendrimer, 3G1-2S-Ac. In contrast, a decrease in the bandgap is observed for the four-arm dendrimer, 4G1-2S-Ac, due to a reduction of interactions between the arms in the more sterically congested 1,2,4,5-arrangement around the phenyl core, resulting in delocalization of the exciton through the phenyl core. Incorporation of electron-withdrawing cyano groups on the phenyl core of the three-arm dendrimer, 3G1-2S-CN, resulted in a very large ({approx}0.5 eV) decrease in the bandgap, due to stabilization of the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital, and the low energy absorption band in this material is attributed to a transition with significant intramolecular charge-transfer character. The electronic properties of three- and four-arm dendrimers with electron-donating dibutylaniline moieties attached to the end of the thiophene dendron, 3G1-2S-N and 4G1-2S-N respectively, are almost identical, indicating that they are dominated by the arms, with no through-core communication allowed, even for the para-linked arms of 4G1-2S-N. However, there is a significant increase in the molar absorptivity of these materials, concomitant with significant broadening of the absorption spectrum, which is an important attribute in light-harvesting applications.

  6. Enhancing light-harvesting power with coherent vibrational interactions: A quantum heat engine picture

    SciTech Connect

    Killoran, N.; Huelga, S. F.; Plenio, M. B.

    2015-10-21

    Recent evidence suggests that quantum effects may have functional importance in biological light-harvesting systems. Along with delocalized electronic excitations, it is now suspected that quantum coherent interactions with certain near-resonant vibrations may contribute to light-harvesting performance. However, the actual quantum advantage offered by such coherent vibrational interactions has not yet been established. We investigate a quantum design principle, whereby coherent exchange of single energy quanta between electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom can enhance a light-harvesting system’s power above what is possible by thermal mechanisms alone. We present a prototype quantum heat engine which cleanly illustrates this quantum design principle and quantifies its quantum advantage using thermodynamic measures of performance. We also demonstrate the principle’s relevance in parameter regimes connected to natural light-harvesting structures.

  7. Enhancing light-harvesting power with coherent vibrational interactions: A quantum heat engine picture.

    PubMed

    Killoran, N; Huelga, S F; Plenio, M B

    2015-10-21

    Recent evidence suggests that quantum effects may have functional importance in biological light-harvesting systems. Along with delocalized electronic excitations, it is now suspected that quantum coherent interactions with certain near-resonant vibrations may contribute to light-harvesting performance. However, the actual quantum advantage offered by such coherent vibrational interactions has not yet been established. We investigate a quantum design principle, whereby coherent exchange of single energy quanta between electronic and vibrational degrees of freedom can enhance a light-harvesting system's power above what is possible by thermal mechanisms alone. We present a prototype quantum heat engine which cleanly illustrates this quantum design principle and quantifies its quantum advantage using thermodynamic measures of performance. We also demonstrate the principle's relevance in parameter regimes connected to natural light-harvesting structures.

  8. PHOTOSYSTEM II PROTEIN33, a Protein Conserved in the Plastid Lineage, Is Associated with the Chloroplast Thylakoid Membrane and Provides Stability to Photosystem II Supercomplexes in Arabidopsis1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Fristedt, Rikard; Herdean, Andrei; Blaby-Haas, Crysten E.; Mamedov, Fikret; Lundin, Björn

    2015-01-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) is a multiprotein complex that catalyzes the light-driven water-splitting reactions of oxygenic photosynthesis. Light absorption by PSII leads to the production of excited states and reactive oxygen species that can cause damage to this complex. Here, we describe Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) At1g71500, which encodes a previously uncharacterized protein that is a PSII auxiliary core protein and hence is named PHOTOSYSTEM II PROTEIN33 (PSB33). We present evidence that PSB33 functions in the maintenance of PSII-light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) supercomplex organization. PSB33 encodes a protein with a chloroplast transit peptide and one transmembrane segment. In silico analysis of PSB33 revealed a light-harvesting complex-binding motif within the transmembrane segment and a large surface-exposed head domain. Biochemical analysis of PSII complexes further indicates that PSB33 is an integral membrane protein located in the vicinity of LHCII and the PSII CP43 reaction center protein. Phenotypic characterization of mutants lacking PSB33 revealed reduced amounts of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes, very low state transition, and a lower capacity for nonphotochemical quenching, leading to increased photosensitivity in the mutant plants under light stress. Taken together, these results suggest a role for PSB33 in regulating and optimizing photosynthesis in response to changing light levels. PMID:25511433

  9. An NMR comparison of the light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) in active and photoprotective states reveals subtle changes in the chlorophyll a ground-state electronic structures.

    PubMed

    Pandit, Anjali; Reus, Michael; Morosinotto, Tomas; Bassi, Roberto; Holzwarth, Alfred R; de Groot, Huub J M

    2013-06-01

    To protect the photosynthetic apparatus against photo-damage in high sunlight, the photosynthetic antenna of oxygenic organisms can switch from a light-harvesting to a photoprotective mode through the process of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). There is growing evidence that light-harvesting proteins of photosystem II participate in photoprotection by a built-in capacity to switch their conformation between light-harvesting and energy-dissipating states. Here we applied high-resolution Magic-Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance on uniformly (13)C-enriched major light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in active or quenched states. Our results reveal that the switch into a dissipative state is accompanied by subtle changes in the chlorophyll (Chl) a ground-state electronic structures that affect their NMR responses, particularly for the macrocycle (13)C4, (13)C5 and (13)C6 carbon atoms. Inspection of the LHCII X-ray structures shows that of the Chl molecules in the terminal emitter domain, where excited-state energy accumulates prior to further transfer or dissipation, the C4, 5 and 6 atoms are in closest proximity to lutein; supporting quenching mechanisms that involve altered Chl-lutein interactions in the dissipative state. In addition the observed changes could represent altered interactions between Chla and neoxanthin, which alters its configuration under NPQ conditions. The Chls appear to have increased dynamics in unquenched, detergent-solubilized LHCII. Our work demonstrates that solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance is applicable to investigate high-resolution structural details of light-harvesting proteins in varied functional conditions, and represents a valuable tool to address their molecular plasticity associated with photoprotection. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. [Membrane protein characterization by photoactivatable localization microscopy].

    PubMed

    Huang, Li; Fang, Weihuan; Yu, Ying; Song, Houhui

    2012-11-01

    The on-site labeling and localization tracking of membrane proteins in pathogenic bacteria are tedious work. In order to develop a novel protein labeling technology at super resolution level (nanometer scale) using the photoactivatable localization microscopy (PALM), the chimeric protein of the outer membrane protein A (OmpA) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the photoactivatable mEos2m protein were expressed in the non-pathogenic Mycobacterium smegmatis. The recombinant bacteria were fixed on slide, activated by 405 nm laser and subject to PALM imaging to capture photons released by the fusion protein. Meanwhile, colony and cell morphology were visualized under regular fluorescent stereomicroscope and upright fluorescent microscope to characterize fluorescence conversion and protein localization. The fusion proteins formed a "belt"-like structure on cell membrane of M. smegmatis under PALM, providing direct evidence of on-site imaging of membrane proteins. Expression of fusion protein did not compromise the localization properties of OmpA. Thus, mEos2m could be used as a labeling probe to track localizations of non-oligomer oriented membrane proteins. This indicates non-pathogenic M. smegmatis could be served as a model strain to characterize the function and localization of the proteins derived from pathogenic M. tuberculosis. This is the first report using PALM to characterize localization of membrane proteins.

  11. Evidence for coherent mixing of excited and charge-transfer states in the major plant light-harvesting antenna, LHCII.

    PubMed

    Ramanan, Charusheela; Ferretti, Marco; van Roon, Henny; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2017-08-30

    LHCII, the major light harvesting antenna from plants, plays a dual role in photosynthesis. In low light it is a light-harvester, while in high light it is a quencher that protects the organism from photodamage. The switching mechanism between these two orthogonal conditions is mediated by protein dynamic disorder and photoprotective energy dissipation. The latter in particular is thought to occur in part via spectroscopically 'dark' states. We searched for such states in LHCII trimers from spinach, at both room temperature and at 77 K. Using 2D electronic spectroscopy, we explored coherent interactions between chlorophylls absorbing on the low-energy side of LHCII, which is the region that is responsible for both light-harvesting and photoprotection. 2D beating frequency maps allow us to identify four frequencies with strong excitonic character. In particular, our results show the presence of a low-lying state that is coupled to a low-energy excitonic state. We assign this to a mixed excitonic-charge transfer state involving the state with charge separation within the Chl a603-b609 heterodimer, borrowing some dipole strength from the Chl a602-a603 excited states. Such a state may play a role in photoprotection, in conjunction with specific and environmentally controlled realizations of protein dynamic disorder. Our identification and assignment of the coherences observed in the 2D frequency maps suggests that the structure of exciton states as well as a mixing of the excited and charge-transfer states is affected by coupling of these states to resonant vibrations in LHCII.

  12. STAY-GREEN and Chlorophyll Catabolic Enzymes Interact at Light-Harvesting Complex II for Chlorophyll Detoxification during Leaf Senescence in Arabidopsis[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Sakuraba, Yasuhito; Schelbert, Silvia; Park, So-Yon; Han, Su-Hyun; Lee, Byoung-Doo; Andrès, Céline Besagni; Kessler, Felix; Hörtensteiner, Stefan; Paek, Nam-Chon

    2012-01-01

    During leaf senescence, plants degrade chlorophyll to colorless linear tetrapyrroles that are stored in the vacuole of senescing cells. The early steps of chlorophyll breakdown occur in plastids. To date, five chlorophyll catabolic enzymes (CCEs), NONYELLOW COLORING1 (NYC1), NYC1-LIKE, pheophytinase, pheophorbide a oxygenase (PAO), and red chlorophyll catabolite reductase, have been identified; these enzymes catalyze the stepwise degradation of chlorophyll to a fluorescent intermediate, pFCC, which is then exported from the plastid. In addition, STAY-GREEN (SGR), Mendel’s green cotyledon gene encoding a chloroplast protein, is required for the initiation of chlorophyll breakdown in plastids. Senescence-induced SGR binds to light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), but its exact role remains elusive. Here, we show that all five CCEs also specifically interact with LHCII. In addition, SGR and CCEs interact directly or indirectly with each other at LHCII, and SGR is essential for recruiting CCEs in senescing chloroplasts. PAO, which had been attributed to the inner envelope, is found to localize in the thylakoid membrane. These data indicate a predominant role for the SGR-CCE-LHCII protein interaction in the breakdown of LHCII-located chlorophyll, likely to allow metabolic channeling of phototoxic chlorophyll breakdown intermediates upstream of nontoxic pFCC. PMID:22366162

  13. Metal-organic framework materials for light-harvesting and energy transfer.

    PubMed

    So, Monica C; Wiederrecht, Gary P; Mondloch, Joseph E; Hupp, Joseph T; Farha, Omar K

    2015-02-28

    A critical review of the emerging field of MOFs for photon collection and subsequent energy transfer is presented. Discussed are examples involving MOFs for (a) light harvesting, using (i) MOF-quantum dots and molecular chromophores, (ii) chromophoric MOFs, and (iii) MOFs with light-harvesting properties, and (b) energy transfer, specifically via the (i) Förster energy transfer and (ii) Dexter exchange mechanism.

  14. Membrane topology of transmembrane proteins: determinants and experimental tools.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hunsang; Kim, Hyun

    2014-10-17

    Membrane topology refers to the two-dimensional structural information of a membrane protein that indicates the number of transmembrane (TM) segments and the orientation of soluble domains relative to the plane of the membrane. Since membrane proteins are co-translationally translocated across and inserted into the membrane, the TM segments orient themselves properly in an early stage of membrane protein biogenesis. Each membrane protein must contain some topogenic signals, but the translocation components and the membrane environment also influence the membrane topology of proteins. We discuss the factors that affect membrane protein orientation and have listed available experimental tools that can be used in determining membrane protein topology.

  15. Predictions of Protein-Protein Interfaces within Membrane Protein Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Asadabadi, Ebrahim Barzegari; Abdolmaleki, Parviz

    2013-01-01

    Background Prediction of interaction sites within the membrane protein complexes using the sequence data is of a great importance, because it would find applications in modification of molecules transport through membrane, signaling pathways and drug targets of many diseases. Nevertheless, it has gained little attention from the protein structural bioinformatics community. Methods In this study, a wide variety of prediction and classification tools were applied to distinguish the residues at the interfaces of membrane proteins from those not in the interfaces. Results The tuned SVM model achieved the high accuracy of 86.95% and the AUC of 0.812 which outperforms the results of the only previous similar study. Nevertheless, prediction performances obtained using most employed models cannot be used in applied fields and needs more effort to improve. Conclusion Considering the variety of the applied tools in this study, the present investigation could be a good starting point to develop more efficient tools to predict the membrane protein interaction site residues. PMID:23919118

  16. Membrane Protein Structure Determination in Membrana

    PubMed Central

    DING, YI; YAO, YONG; MARASSI, FRANCESCA M.

    2014-01-01

    CONSPECTUS The two principal components of biological membranes, the lipid bilayer and the proteins integrated within it, have coevolved for specific functions that mediate the interactions of cells with their environment. Molecular structures can provide very significant insights about protein function. In the case of membrane proteins, the physical and chemical properties of lipids and proteins are highly interdependent; therefore structure determination should include the membrane environment. Considering the membrane alongside the protein eliminates the possibility that crystal contacts or detergent molecules could distort protein structure, dynamics, and function and enables ligand binding studies to be performed in a natural setting. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy is compatible with three-dimensional structure determination of membrane proteins in phospholipid bilayer membranes under physiological conditions and has played an important role in elucidating the physical and chemical properties of biological membranes, providing key information about the structure and dynamics of the phospholipid components. Recently, developments in the recombinant expression of membrane proteins, sample preparation, pulse sequences for high-resolution spectroscopy, radio frequency probes, high-field magnets, and computational methods have enabled a number of membrane protein structures to be determined in lipid bilayer membranes. In this Account, we illustrate solid-state NMR methods with examples from two bacterial outer membrane proteins (OmpX and Ail) that form integral membrane β-barrels. The ability to measure orientation-dependent frequencies in the solid-state NMR spectra of membrane-embedded proteins provides the foundation for a powerful approach to structure determination based primarily on orientation restraints. Orientation restraints are particularly useful for NMR structural studies of membrane proteins because they provide information about both three

  17. Membrane protein structure determination in membrana.

    PubMed

    Ding, Yi; Yao, Yong; Marassi, Francesca M

    2013-09-17

    The two principal components of biological membranes, the lipid bilayer and the proteins integrated within it, have coevolved for specific functions that mediate the interactions of cells with their environment. Molecular structures can provide very significant insights about protein function. In the case of membrane proteins, the physical and chemical properties of lipids and proteins are highly interdependent; therefore structure determination should include the membrane environment. Considering the membrane alongside the protein eliminates the possibility that crystal contacts or detergent molecules could distort protein structure, dynamics, and function and enables ligand binding studies to be performed in a natural setting. Solid-state NMR spectroscopy is compatible with three-dimensional structure determination of membrane proteins in phospholipid bilayer membranes under physiological conditions and has played an important role in elucidating the physical and chemical properties of biological membranes, providing key information about the structure and dynamics of the phospholipid components. Recently, developments in the recombinant expression of membrane proteins, sample preparation, pulse sequences for high-resolution spectroscopy, radio frequency probes, high-field magnets, and computational methods have enabled a number of membrane protein structures to be determined in lipid bilayer membranes. In this Account, we illustrate solid-state NMR methods with examples from two bacterial outer membrane proteins (OmpX and Ail) that form integral membrane β-barrels. The ability to measure orientation-dependent frequencies in the solid-state NMR spectra of membrane-embedded proteins provides the foundation for a powerful approach to structure determination based primarily on orientation restraints. Orientation restraints are particularly useful for NMR structural studies of membrane proteins because they provide information about both three-dimensional structure

  18. Protein Solvation in Membranes and at Water-Membrane Interfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Chipot, Christophe; Wilson, Michael A.

    2002-01-01

    Different salvation properties of water and membranes mediate a host of biologically important processes, such as folding, insertion into a lipid bilayer, associations and functions of membrane proteins. These processes will be discussed in several examples involving synthetic and natural peptides. In particular, a mechanism by which a helical peptide becomes inserted into a model membrane will be described. Further, the molecular mechanism of recognition and association of protein helical segments in membranes will be discussed. These processes are crucial for proper functioning of a cell. A membrane-spanning domain of glycophorin A, which exists as a helical dimer, serves as the model system. For this system, the free energy of dissociation of the helices is being determined for both the wild type and a mutant, in which dimerization is disrupted.

  19. Xanthophyll-induced aggregation of LHCII as a switch between light-harvesting and energy dissipation systems.

    PubMed

    Gruszecki, Wieslaw I; Grudzinski, Wojciech; Gospodarek, Małgorzata; Patyra, Magdalena; Maksymiec, Waldemar

    2006-11-01

    The xanthophyll cycle pigments, violaxanthin and zeaxanthin, present outside the light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes of Photosystem II (LHCII) considerably enhance specific aggregation of proteins as revealed by analysis of the 77 K chlorophyll a fluorescence emission spectra. Analysis of the infrared absorption spectra in the Amide I region shows that the aggregation is associated with formation of intermolecular hydrogen bonding between the alpha helices of neighboring complexes. The aggregation gives rise to new electronic energy levels, in the Soret region (530 nm) and corresponding to the Q spectral region (691 nm), as revealed by analysis of the resonance light scattering spectra. New electronic energy levels are interpreted in terms of exciton coupling of protein-bound photosynthetic pigments. The energy of the Q excitonic level of chlorophyll is not high enough to drive the light reactions of Photosystem II but better suited to transfer excitation energy to Photosystem I, which creates favourable energetic conditions for the state I-state II transition. The lack of fluorescence emission from this energy level, at physiological temperatures, is indicative of either very high thermal energy conversion rate or efficient excitation quenching by carotenoids. Chlorophyll a fluorescence was quenched up to 61% and 34% in the zeaxanthin- and violaxanthin-containing samples, respectively, as compared to pure LHCII. Enhanced aggregation of LHCII, observed in the presence of the xanthophyll cycle pigments, is discussed in terms of the switch between light-harvesting and energy dissipation systems.

  20. Light stress photodynamics of chlorophyll-binding proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana thylakoid membranes revealed by high-resolution mass spectrometric studies.

    PubMed

    Galetskiy, D N; Lohscheider, J N; Kononikhin, A S; Kharybin, O N; Popov, I A; Adamska, I; Nikolaev, E N

    2011-01-01

    In higher plants the light energy is captured by the photosynthetic pigments that are bound to photosystem I and II and their light-harvesting complex (LHC) subunits. In this study, we examined the photodynamic changes within chlorophyll-protein complexes in the thylakoid membrane of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves adapted to low light and subsequently exposed to light stress. Chlorophyll-protein complexes were isolated using sucrose density gradient centrifugation and blue-native polyacrylamid gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE). Proteome analysis was performed using SDS-PAGE, HPLC and high resolution mass spectrometry. We identified several rarely expressed and stress-induced chlorophyll-binding proteins, showed changes in localization of early light-induced protein family and LHC protein family members between different photosynthetic complexes and assembled/disassembled subcomplexes under light stress conditions and discuss their role in a variety of light stress-related processes.

  1. Crystallization of Membrane protein under Microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henning, C.; Frank, J.; Laubender, G.; Fromme, P.

    2002-01-01

    Proteins are biological molecules which catalyse all essential reactions of cells. The knowledge on the structure of these molecular machines is necessary for the understanding of their function. Many diseases are caused by defects of membrane proteins. In order to develop new medical therapies the construction principle of the proteins must be known. The main difficulty in the determination of the structure of these membrane protein complexes is the crystallisation. Membrane proteins are normally not soluble in water and have therefore to be solubilised from the membranes by use of detergents. The whole protein-detergent micelle must be crystallised to maintain the functional integrity of the protein complexes. These difficulties are the reasons for the fact that crystals of membrane proteins are difficult to grow and most of them are badly ordered, being not appropriate for X-ray structure analysis. The crystallisation of proteins under microgravity leads to the growth of better-ordered crystals by reduction of nucleation rate and the undisturbed growth of the hovering seeds by the absence of sedimentation and convection. The successful crystallistation of a membrane protein under microgravity has been performed during the space shuttle missions USML2 and STS95 in the Space Shuttle with Photosystem I as model protein. Photosystem I is a large membrane protein complex which catalyses one of the first and fundamental steps in oxygen photosynthesis. The crystals of Photosystem I, grown under microgravity were twenty times larger than all Photosystem I crystals which have been grown on earth. They were the basis for the determination of an improved X-ray structure of Photo- system I. These experiments opened the way for the structure enlightenment of more membrane proteins on the basis of microgravity experiments. On board of the International Space Station ideal conditions for the crystallisation of proteins under zero gravity are existing.

  2. IFITM Proteins Restrict Viral Membrane Hemifusion

    PubMed Central

    Golfetto, Ottavia; Bungart, Brittani; Li, Minghua; Ding, Shilei; He, Yuxian; Liang, Chen; Lee, James C.; Gratton, Enrico; Cohen, Fredric S.; Liu, Shan-Lu

    2013-01-01

    The interferon-inducible transmembrane (IFITM) protein family represents a new class of cellular restriction factors that block early stages of viral replication; the underlying mechanism is currently not known. Here we provide evidence that IFITM proteins restrict membrane fusion induced by representatives of all three classes of viral membrane fusion proteins. IFITM1 profoundly suppressed syncytia formation and cell-cell fusion induced by almost all viral fusion proteins examined; IFITM2 and IFITM3 also strongly inhibited their fusion, with efficiency somewhat dependent on cell types. Furthermore, treatment of cells with IFN also markedly inhibited viral membrane fusion and entry. By using the Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus envelope and influenza A virus hemagglutinin as models for study, we showed that IFITM-mediated restriction on membrane fusion is not at the steps of receptor- and/or low pH-mediated triggering; instead, the creation of hemifusion was essentially blocked by IFITMs. Chlorpromazine (CPZ), a chemical known to promote the transition from hemifusion to full fusion, was unable to rescue the IFITM-mediated restriction on fusion. In contrast, oleic acid (OA), a lipid analog that generates negative spontaneous curvature and thereby promotes hemifusion, virtually overcame the restriction. To explore the possible effect of IFITM proteins on membrane molecular order and fluidity, we performed fluorescence labeling with Laurdan, in conjunction with two-photon laser scanning and fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM). We observed that the generalized polarizations (GPs) and fluorescence lifetimes of cell membranes expressing IFITM proteins were greatly enhanced, indicating higher molecularly ordered and less fluidized membranes. Collectively, our data demonstrated that IFITM proteins suppress viral membrane fusion before the creation of hemifusion, and suggested that they may do so by reducing membrane fluidity and conferring a positive spontaneous

  3. Single amino acids in the lumenal loop domain influence the stability of the major light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b complex.

    PubMed

    Mick, Vera; Eggert, Kristina; Heinemann, Bo; Geister, Sonja; Paulsen, Harald

    2004-05-11

    The major light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCIIb) is one of the most abundant integral membrane proteins. It greatly enhances the efficiency of photosynthesis in green plants by binding a large number of accessory pigments that absorb light energy and conduct it toward the photosynthetic reaction centers. Most of these pigments are associated with the three transmembrane and one amphiphilic alpha helices of the protein. Less is known about the significance of the loop domains connecting the alpha helices for pigment binding. Therefore, we randomly exchanged single amino acids in the lumenal loop domain of the bacterially expressed apoprotein Lhcb1 and then reconstituted the mutant protein with pigments in vitro. The resulting collection of mutated recombinant LHCIIb versions was screened by using a 96-well-format plate-based procedure described previously [Heinemann, B., and Paulsen, H. (1999) Biochemistry 38, 14088-14093], enabling us to test several thousand mutants for their ability to form stable pigment-protein complexes in vitro. At least one-third of the positions in the loop domain turned out to be sensitive targets; i.e., their exchange abolished formation of LHCIIb in vitro. This confirms our earlier notion that the LHCIIb loop domains contribute more specifically to complex formation and/or stabilization than by merely connecting the alpha helices. Among the target sites, glycines and hydrophilic amino acids are more prominently represented than hydrophobic ones. Specifically, the exchange of any of the three acidic amino acids in the lumenal loop abolishes reconstitution of stable pigment-protein complexes, suggesting that ionic interactions with other protein domains are important for correct protein folding or complex stabilization. One hydrophobic amino acid, tryptophan in position 97, has been hit repeatedly in independent mutation experiments. From the LHCIIb structure and previous mutational analyses, we propose a stabilizing

  4. Spectroscopic elucidation of uncoupled transition energies in the major photosynthetic light-harvesting complex, LHCII

    PubMed Central

    Schlau-Cohen, Gabriela S.; Calhoun, Tessa R.; Ginsberg, Naomi S.; Ballottari, Matteo; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R.

    2010-01-01

    Electrostatic couplings between chromophores in photosynthetic pigment–protein complexes, and interactions of pigments with the surrounding protein environment, produce a complicated energy landscape of delocalized excited states. The resultant electronic structure absorbs light and gives rise to energy transfer steps that direct the excitation toward a site of charge separation with near unity quantum efficiency. Knowledge of the transition energies of the uncoupled chromophores is required to describe how the wave functions of the individual pigments combine to form this manifold of delocalized excited states that effectively harvests light energy. In an investigation of the major light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHCII), we develop a method based on polarized 2D electronic spectroscopy to experimentally access the energies of the S0–S1 transitions in the chromophore site basis. Rotating the linear polarization of the incident laser pulses reveals previously hidden off-diagonal features. We exploit the polarization dependence of energy transfer peaks to find the angles between the excited state transition dipole moments. We show that these angles provide a spectroscopic method to directly inform on the relationship between the delocalized excitons and the individual chlorophylls through the site energies of the uncoupled chromophores. PMID:20622154

  5. A predictor of membrane class: Discriminating alpha-helical and beta-barrel membrane proteins from non-membranous proteins.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Paul D; Toseland, Christopher P; Attwood, Teresa K; Flower, Darren R

    2006-10-07

    Accurate protein structure prediction remains an active objective of research in bioinformatics. Membrane proteins comprise approximately 20% of most genomes. They are, however, poorly tractable targets of experimental structure determination. Their analysis using bioinformatics thus makes an important contribution to their on-going study. Using a method based on Bayesian Networks, which provides a flexible and powerful framework for statistical inference, we have addressed the alignment-free discrimination of membrane from non-membrane proteins. The method successfully identifies prokaryotic and eukaryotic alpha-helical membrane proteins at 94.4% accuracy, beta-barrel proteins at 72.4% accuracy, and distinguishes assorted non-membranous proteins with 85.9% accuracy. The method here is an important potential advance in the computational analysis of membrane protein structure. It represents a useful tool for the characterisation of membrane proteins with a wide variety of potential applications.

  6. Membrane Protein Crystallization Using Laser Irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Murakami, Satoshi; Niino, Ai; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Yamaguchi, Akihito; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-10-01

    We demonstrate the crystallization of a membrane protein using femtosecond laser irradiation. This method, which we call the laser irradiated growth technique (LIGHT), is useful for producing AcrB crystals in a solution of low supersaturation range. LIGHT is characterized by reduced nucleation times. This feature is important for crystallizing membrane proteins because of their labile properties when solubilized as protein-detergent micelles. Using LIGHT, high-quality crystals of a membrane transporter protein, AcrB, were obtained. The resulting crystals were found to be of sufficiently high resolution for X-ray diffraction. The results reported here indicate that LIGHT is a powerful tool for membrane protein crystallization, as well as for the growth of soluble proteins.

  7. Insight into the Structure of Light Harvesting Complex II and its Stabilization in Detergent Solution

    SciTech Connect

    Cardoso, Mateus B; Smolensky, Dmitriy; Heller, William T; O'Neill, Hugh Michael

    2009-01-01

    The structure of spinach light-harvesting complex II (LHC II), stabilized in a solution of the detergent n-octyl-{beta}-d-glucoside (BOG), was investigated by small-angle neutron scattering (SANS). Physicochemical characterization of the isolated complex indicated that it was pure (>95%) and also in its native trimeric state. SANS with contrast variation was used to investigate the properties of the protein-detergent complex at three different H{sub 2}O/D{sub 2}O contrast match points, enabling the scattering properties of the protein and detergent to be investigated independently. The topological shape of LHC II, determined using ab initio shape restoration methods from the SANS data at the contrast match point of BOG, was consistent with the X-ray crystallographic structure of LHC II (Liu et al. Nature 2004 428, 287-292). The interactions of the protein and detergent were investigated at the contrast match point for the protein and also in 100% D{sub 2}O. The data suggested that BOG micelle structure was altered by its interaction with LHC II, but large aggregate structures were not formed. Indirect Fourier transform analysis of the LHC II/BOG scattering curves showed that the increase in the maximum dimension of the protein-detergent complex was consistent with the presence of a monolayer of detergent surrounding the protein. A model of the LHC II/BOG complex was generated to interpret the measurements made in 100% D{sub 2}O. This model adequately reproduced the overall size of the LHC II/BOG complex, but demonstrated that the detergent does not have a highly regular shape that surrounds the hydrophobic periphery of LHC II. In addition to demonstrating that natively structured LHC II can be produced for functional characterization and for use in artificial solar energy applications, the analysis and modeling approaches described here can be used for characterizing detergent-associated {alpha}-helical transmembrane proteins.

  8. Functional dynamics of cell surface membrane proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nishida, Noritaka; Osawa, Masanori; Takeuchi, Koh; Imai, Shunsuke; Stampoulis, Pavlos; Kofuku, Yutaka; Ueda, Takumi; Shimada, Ichio

    2014-04-01

    Cell surface receptors are integral membrane proteins that receive external stimuli, and transmit signals across plasma membranes. In the conventional view of receptor activation, ligand binding to the extracellular side of the receptor induces conformational changes, which convert the structure of the receptor into an active conformation. However, recent NMR studies of cell surface membrane proteins have revealed that their structures are more dynamic than previously envisioned, and they fluctuate between multiple conformations in an equilibrium on various timescales. In addition, NMR analyses, along with biochemical and cell biological experiments indicated that such dynamical properties are critical for the proper functions of the receptors. In this review, we will describe several NMR studies that revealed direct linkage between the structural dynamics and the functions of the cell surface membrane proteins, such as G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), ion channels, membrane transporters, and cell adhesion molecules.

  9. Lateral proton transfer between the membrane and a membrane protein.

    PubMed

    Ojemyr, Linda; Sandén, Tor; Widengren, Jerker; Brzezinski, Peter

    2009-03-17

    Proton transport across biological membranes is a key step of the energy conservation machinery in living organisms, and it has been proposed that the membrane itself plays an important role in this process. In the present study we have investigated the effect of incorporation of a proton transporter, cytochrome c oxidase, into a membrane on the protonation kinetics of a fluorescent pH-sensitive probe attached at the surface of the protein. The results show that proton transfer to the probe was slightly accelerated upon attachment at the protein surface (approximately 7 x 1010 s(-1) M(-1), compared to the expected value of (1-2) x 10(10) s(-1) M(-1)), which is presumably due to the presence of acidic/His groups in the vicinity. Upon incorporation of the protein into small unilamellar phospholipid vesicles the rate increased by more than a factor of 400 to approximately 3 x 10(13) s(-1) M(-1), which indicates that the protein-attached probe is in rapid protonic contact with the membrane surface. The results indicate that the membrane acts to accelerate proton uptake by the membrane-bound proton transporter.

  10. Inherently tunable electrostatic assembly of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Liang, Hongjun; Whited, Gregg; Nguyen, Chi; Okerlund, Adam; Stucky, Galen D

    2008-01-01

    Membrane proteins are a class of nanoscopic entities that control the matter, energy, and information transport across cellular boundaries. Electrostatic interactions are shown to direct the rapid co-assembly of proteorhodopsin (PR) and lipids into long-range crystalline arrays. The roles of inherent charge variations on lipid membranes and PR variants with different compositions are examined by tuning recombinant PR variants with different extramembrane domain sizes and charged amino acid substitutions, lipid membrane compositions, and lipid-to-PR stoichiometric ratios. Rational control of this predominantly electrostatic assembly for PR crystallization is demonstrated, and the same principles should be applicable to the assembly and crystallization of other integral membrane proteins.

  11. Membrane injury by pore-forming proteins.

    PubMed

    Bischofberger, Mirko; Gonzalez, Manuel R; van der Goot, F Gisou

    2009-08-01

    The plasma membrane defines the boundary of every living cell, and its integrity is essential for life. The plasma membrane may, however, be challenged by mechanical stress or pore-forming proteins produced by the organism itself or invading pathogens. We will here review recent findings about pore-forming proteins from different organisms, highlighting their structural and functional similarities, and describe the mechanisms that lead to membrane repair, since remarkably, cells can repair breaches in their plasma membrane of up to 10,000 microm(2).

  12. Active Nuclear Import of Membrane Proteins Revisited

    PubMed Central

    Laba, Justyna K.; Steen, Anton; Popken, Petra; Chernova, Alina; Poolman, Bert; Veenhoff, Liesbeth M.

    2015-01-01

    It is poorly understood how membrane proteins destined for the inner nuclear membrane pass the crowded environment of the Nuclear Pore Complex (NPC). For the Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteins Src1/Heh1 and Heh2, a transport mechanism was proposed where the transmembrane domains diffuse through the membrane while the extralumenal domains encoding a nuclear localization signal (NLS) and intrinsically disordered linker (L) are accompanied by transport factors and travel through the NPC. Here, we validate the proposed mechanism and explore and discuss alternative interpretations of the data. First, to disprove an interpretation where the membrane proteins become membrane embedded only after nuclear import, we present biochemical and localization data to support that the previously used, as well as newly designed reporter proteins are membrane-embedded irrespective of the presence of the sorting signals, the specific transmembrane domain (multipass or tail anchored), independent of GET, and also under conditions that the proteins are trapped in the NPC. Second, using the recently established size limit for passive diffusion of membrane proteins in yeast, and using an improved assay, we confirm active import of polytopic membrane protein with extralumenal soluble domains larger than those that can pass by diffusion on similar timescales. This reinforces that NLS-L dependent active transport is distinct from passive diffusion. Thirdly, we revisit the proposed route through the center of the NPC and conclude that the previously used trapping assay is, unfortunately, poorly suited to address the route through the NPC, and the route thus remains unresolved. Apart from the uncertainty about the route through the NPC, the data confirm active, transport factor dependent, nuclear transport of membrane-embedded mono- and polytopic membrane proteins in baker’s yeast. PMID:26473931

  13. Solving structure in the CP29 light harvesting complex with polarization-phased 2D electronic spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Ginsberg, Naomi S.; Davis, Jeffrey A.; Ballottari, Matteo; Cheng, Yuan-Chung; Bassi, Roberto; Fleming, Graham R.

    2011-01-01

    The CP29 light harvesting complex from green plants is a pigment-protein complex believed to collect, conduct, and quench electronic excitation energy in photosynthesis. We have spectroscopically determined the relative angle between electronic transition dipole moments of its chlorophyll excitation energy transfer pairs in their local protein environments without relying on simulations or an X-ray crystal structure. To do so, we measure a basis set of polarized 2D electronic spectra and isolate their absorptive components on account of the tensor relation between the light polarization sequences used to obtain them. This broadly applicable advance further enhances the acuity of polarized 2D electronic spectroscopy and provides a general means to initiate or feed back on the structural modeling of electronically-coupled chromophores in condensed phase systems, tightening the inferred relations between the spatial and electronic landscapes of ultrafast energy flow. We also discuss the pigment composition of CP29 in the context of light harvesting, energy channeling, and photoprotection within photosystem II. PMID:21321222

  14. Membrane Protein Structure Determination Using Crystallography and Lipidic Mesophases - Recent Advances and Successes

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Martin; Li, Dianfan; Dukkipati, Abhiram

    2012-01-01

    The crystal structure of the β2-adrenergic receptor in complex with an agonist and its cognate G protein has just recently been solved. It is now possible to explore in molecular detail the means by which this paradigmatic transmembrane receptor binds agonist, communicates the impulse or signalling event across the membrane and sets in motion a series of G protein-directed intracellular responses. The structure was determined using crystals of the ternary complex grown in a rationally designed lipidic mesophase by the so-called in meso method. The method is proving to be particularly useful in the G protein-coupled receptor field where the structures of thirteen distinct receptor types have been solved in the past five years. In addition to receptors, the method has proven useful with a wide variety of integral membrane protein classes that include bacterial and eukaryotic rhodopsins, a light harvesting complex II (LHII), photosynthetic reaction centers, cytochrome oxidases, β-barrels, an exchanger, and an integral membrane peptide. This attests to the versatility and range of the method and supports the view that the in meso method should be included in the arsenal of the serious membrane structural biologist. For this to happen however, the reluctance in adopting it attributable, in part, to the anticipated difficulties associated with handling the sticky, viscous cubic mesophase in which crystals grow must be overcome. Harvesting and collecting diffraction data with the mesophase-grown crystals is also viewed with some trepidation. It is acknowledged that there are challenges associated with the method. Over the years, we have endeavored to establish how the method works at a molecular level and to make it user-friendly. To these ends, tools for handling the mesophase in the pico- to nano-liter volume range have been developed for highly efficient crystallization screening in manual and robotic modes. Methods have been implemented for evaluating the functional

  15. Membrane protein architects: the role of the BAM complex in outer membrane protein assembly.

    PubMed

    Knowles, Timothy J; Scott-Tucker, Anthony; Overduin, Michael; Henderson, Ian R

    2009-03-01

    The folding of transmembrane proteins into the outer membrane presents formidable challenges to Gram-negative bacteria. These proteins must migrate from the cytoplasm, through the inner membrane and into the periplasm, before being recognized by the beta-barrel assembly machinery, which mediates efficient insertion of folded beta-barrels into the outer membrane. Recent discoveries of component structures and accessory interactions of this complex are yielding insights into how cells fold membrane proteins. Here, we discuss how these structures illuminate the mechanisms responsible for the biogenesis of outer membrane proteins.

  16. Optical Signatures of Quantum Delocalization over Extended Domains in Photosynthetic Membranes.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Christopher A; Caycedo-Soler, Felipe; Huelga, Susana F; Plenio, Martin B

    2015-08-27

    The prospect of coherent dynamics and excitonic delocalization across several light-harvesting structures in photosynthetic membranes is of considerable interest, but challenging to explore experimentally. Here we demonstrate theoretically that the excitonic delocalization across extended domains involving several light-harvesting complexes can lead to unambiguous signatures in the optical response, specifically, linear absorption spectra. We characterize, under experimentally established conditions of molecular assembly and protein-induced inhomogeneities, the optical absorption in these arrays from polarized and unpolarized excitation, and demonstrate that it can be used as a diagnostic tool to determine the resonance coupling between iso-energetic light-harvesting structures. The knowledge of these couplings would then provide further insight into the dynamical properties of transfer, such as facilitating the accurate determination of Förster rates.

  17. Helical Membrane Protein Conformations and their Environment

    PubMed Central

    Cross, Timothy A.; Murray, Dylan T.; Watts, Anthony

    2013-01-01

    Evidence that membrane proteins respond conformationally and functionally to their environment is gaining pace. Structural models, by necessity, have been characterized in preparations where the protein has been removed from its native environment. Different structural methods have used various membrane mimetics that have recently included lipid bilayers as a more native-like environment. Structural tools applied to lipid bilayer-embedded integral proteins are informing us about important generic characteristics of how membrane proteins respond to the lipid environment as compared with their response to other non-lipid environments. Here, we review the current status of the field, with specific reference to observations of some well-studied α-helical membrane proteins, as a starting point to aid the development of possible generic principals for model refinement. PMID:23996195

  18. Thermostabilisation of membrane proteins for structural studies

    PubMed Central

    Magnani, Francesca; Serrano-Vega, Maria J.; Shibata, Yoko; Abdul-Hussein, Saba; Lebon, Guillaume; Miller-Gallacher, Jennifer; Singhal, Ankita; Strege, Annette; Thomas, Jennifer A.; Tate, Christopher G.

    2017-01-01

    The thermostability of an integral membrane protein in detergent solution is a key parameter that dictates the likelihood of obtaining well-diffracting crystals suitable for structure determination. However, many mammalian membrane proteins are too unstable for crystallisation. We developed a thermostabilisation strategy based on systematic mutagenesis coupled to a radioligand-binding thermostability assay that can be applied to receptors, ion channels and transporters. It takes approximately 6-12 months to thermostabilise a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) containing 300 amino acid residues. The resulting thermostabilised membrane proteins are more easily crystallised and result in high-quality structures. This methodology has facilitated structure-based drug design applied to GPCRs, because it is possible to determine multiple structures of the thermostabilised receptors bound to low affinity ligands. Protocols and advice are given on how to develop thermostability assays for membrane proteins and how to combine mutations to make an optimally stable mutant suitable for structural studies. PMID:27466713

  19. Polyene antibiotic that inhibits membrane transport proteins.

    PubMed

    te Welscher, Yvonne Maria; van Leeuwen, Martin Richard; de Kruijff, Ben; Dijksterhuis, Jan; Breukink, Eefjan

    2012-07-10

    The limited therapeutic arsenal and the increase in reports of fungal resistance to multiple antifungal agents have made fungal infections a major therapeutic challenge. The polyene antibiotics are the only group of antifungal antibiotics that directly target the plasma membrane via a specific interaction with the main fungal sterol, ergosterol, often resulting in membrane permeabilization. In contrast to other polyene antibiotics that form pores in the membrane, the mode of action of natamycin has remained obscure but is not related to membrane permeabilization. Here, we demonstrate that natamycin inhibits growth of yeasts and fungi via the immediate inhibition of amino acid and glucose transport across the plasma membrane. This is attributable to ergosterol-specific and reversible inhibition of membrane transport proteins. It is proposed that ergosterol-dependent inhibition of membrane proteins is a general mode of action of all the polyene antibiotics, of which some have been shown additionally to permeabilize the plasma membrane. Our results imply that sterol-protein interactions are fundamentally important for protein function even for those proteins that are not known to reside in sterol-rich domains.

  20. Solid-state NMR and Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Opella, Stanley J.

    2015-01-01

    The native environment for a membrane protein is a phospholipid bilayer. Because the protein is immobilized on NMR timescales by the interactions within a bilayer membrane, solid-state NMR methods are essential to obtain high-resolution spectra. Approaches have been developed for both unoriented and oriented samples, however, they all rest on the foundation of the most fundamental aspects solid-state NMR, and the chemical shift and homo- and hetero-nuclear dipole-dipole interactions. Solid-state NMR has advanced sufficiently to enable the structures of membrane proteins to be determined under near-native conditions in phospholipid bilayers. PMID:25681966

  1. Solid-state NMR and membrane proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opella, Stanley J.

    2015-04-01

    The native environment for a membrane protein is a phospholipid bilayer. Because the protein is immobilized on NMR timescales by the interactions within a bilayer membrane, solid-state NMR methods are essential to obtain high-resolution spectra. Approaches have been developed for both unoriented and oriented samples, however, they all rest on the foundation of the most fundamental aspects of solid-state NMR, and the chemical shift and homo- and hetero-nuclear dipole-dipole interactions. Solid-state NMR has advanced sufficiently to enable the structures of membrane proteins to be determined under near-native conditions in phospholipid bilayers.

  2. Efficient estimation of energy transfer efficiency in light-harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Shabani, A; Mohseni, M; Rabitz, H; Lloyd, S

    2012-07-01

    The fundamental physical mechanisms of energy transfer in photosynthetic complexes is not yet fully understood. In particular, the degree of efficiency or sensitivity of these systems for energy transfer is not known given their realistic with surrounding photonic and phononic environments. One major problem in studying light-harvesting complexes has been the lack of an efficient method for simulation of their dynamics in biological environments. To this end, here we revisit the second order time-convolution (TC2) master equation and examine its reliability beyond extreme Markovian and perturbative limits. In particular, we present a derivation of TC2 without making the usual weak system-bath coupling assumption. Using this equation, we explore the long-time behavior of exciton dynamics of Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) portein complex. Moreover, we introduce a constructive error analysis to estimate the accuracy of TC2 equation in calculating energy transfer efficiency, exhibiting reliable performance for system-bath interactions with weak and intermediate memory and strength. Furthermore, we numerically show that energy transfer efficiency is optimal and robust for the FMO protein complex of green sulfur bacteria with respect to variations in reorganization energy and bath correlation time scales.

  3. Ultrafast spectroscopy of trimeric light-harvesting complex II from higher plants

    SciTech Connect

    Connelly, J.P.; Mueller, G.M.; Hucke, M.; Gatzen, G.; Holzwarth, A.R.; Mullineaux, C.W.; Ruban, A.V.; Horton, P.

    1997-03-06

    Time-resolved femtosecond transient absorption measurements have been carried out at room temperature on light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein complex of photosystem II (LHC II) trimers prepared from spinach. Exciting in the chlorophyll (Chl) b region at 650 nm with very low intensity, virtually annihilation-free two-color transient absorption measurement of the kinetics over 100 ps, between 645 and 690 nm, yield global lifetimes of 175 fs, 625 fs, and 5 ps and a long component (>=790 ps) where the three fastest lifetimes reflect Chl b to Chl a energy transfer. On the basis of these results and recent electron diffraction structural data, a preliminary three-pool Ch a, three-pool Chl b kinetic model is proposed. The possible influence of variable xanthophyll composition on quenching in LHC II preparations isolated from light- and dark-adapted leaves has been investigated using time-resolved picosecond fluorescence at room temperature. Global lifetimes of 5 ps and 3.6 ns, the lifetimes of the terminal LHC II excited state, were obtained. No discernable quenching effect due to the presence of zeaxanthin was observed. 38 refs., 6 figs., 3 tabs.

  4. Expression and purification of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Kubicek, Jan; Block, Helena; Maertens, Barbara; Spriestersbach, Anne; Labahn, Jörg

    2014-01-01

    Approximately 30% of a genome encodes for membrane proteins. They are one of the most important classes of proteins in that they can receive, differentiate, and transmit intra- and intercellular signals. Some examples of classes of membrane proteins include cell-adhesion molecules, translocases, and receptors in signaling pathways. Defects in membrane proteins may be involved in a number of serious disorders such as neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's) and diabetes. Furthermore, membrane proteins provide natural entry and anchoring points for the molecular agents of infectious diseases. Thus, membrane proteins constitute ~50% of known and novel drug targets. Progress in this area is slowed by the requirement to develop methods and procedures for expression and isolation that are tailored to characteristic properties of membrane proteins. A set of standard protocols for the isolation of the targets in quantities that allow for the characterization of their individual properties for further optimization is required. The standard protocols given below represent a workable starting point. If optimization of yields is desired, a variation of conditions as outlined in the theory section is recommended.

  5. Protein profiles of hatchery egg shell membrane

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Background: Eggshells, which consist largely of calcareous outer shell and shell membranes, constitute a significant part of poultry hatchery waste. The shell membranes (ESM) not only contain proteins that originate from egg whites but also from the developing embryos and different contaminants of m...

  6. Construction and Structural Analysis of Tethered Lipid Bilayer Containing Photosynthetic Antenna Proteins for Functional Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Sumino, Ayumi; Dewa, Takehisa; Takeuchi, Toshikazu; Sugiura, Ryuta; Sasaki, Nobuaki; Misawa, Nobuo; Tero, Ryugo; Urisu, Tsuneo; Gardiner, Alastair T.; Cogdell, Richard J.; Hashimoto, Hideki; Nango, Mamoru

    2011-07-11

    The construction and structural analysis of a tethered planar lipid bilayer containing bacterial photosynthetic membrane proteins, light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2), and light-harvesting core complex (LH1-RC) is described and establishes this system as an experimental platform for their functional analysis. The planar lipid bilayer containing LH2 and/or LH1-RC complexes was successfully formed on an avidin-immobilized coverglass via an avidin-biotin linkage. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) showed that a smooth continuous membrane was formed there. Lateral diffusion of these membrane proteins, observed by a fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAY), is discussed in terms of the membrane architecture. Energy transfer from LH2 to LH1-RC within the tethered membrane architecture. Energy transfer from LH2 to LH1-RC within the tethered membrane was observed by steady-state fluorescence spectroscopy, indicating that the tethered membrane can mimic the natural situation.

  7. Detergents in Membrane Protein Purification and Crystallisation.

    PubMed

    Anandan, Anandhi; Vrielink, Alice

    2016-01-01

    Detergents play a significant role in structural and functional characterisation of integral membrane proteins (IMPs). IMPs reside in the biological membranes and exhibit a great variation in their structural and physical properties. For in vitro biophysical studies, structural and functional analyses, IMPs need to be extracted from the membrane lipid bilayer environment in which they are found and purified to homogeneity while maintaining a folded and functionally active state. Detergents are capable of successfully solubilising and extracting the IMPs from the membrane bilayers. A number of detergents with varying structure and physicochemical properties are commercially available and can be applied for this purpose. Nevertheless, it is important to choose a detergent that is not only able to extract the membrane protein but also provide an optimal environment while retaining the correct structural and physical properties of the protein molecule. Choosing the best detergent for this task can be made possible by understanding the physical and chemical properties of the different detergents and their interaction with the IMPs. In addition, understanding the mechanism of membrane solubilisation and protein extraction along with crystallisation requirements, if crystallographic studies are going to be undertaken, can help in choosing the best detergent for the purpose. This chapter aims to present the fundamental properties of detergents and highlight information relevant to IMP crystallisation. The first section of the chapter reviews the physicochemical properties of detergents and parameters essential for predicting their behaviour in solution. The second section covers the interaction of detergents with the biologic membranes and proteins followed by their role in membrane protein crystallisation. The last section will briefly cover the types of detergent and their properties focusing on custom designed detergents for membrane protein studies.

  8. The secretory carrier membrane protein family: structure and membrane topology.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, C; Singleton, D; Rauch, M; Jayasinghe, S; Cafiso, D; Castle, D

    2000-09-01

    Secretory carrier membrane proteins (SCAMPs) are integral membrane proteins found in secretory and endocytic carriers implicated to function in membrane trafficking. Using expressed sequence tag database and library screens and DNA sequencing, we have characterized several new SCAMPs spanning the plant and animal kingdoms and have defined a broadly conserved protein family. No obvious fungal homologue has been identified, however. We have found that SCAMPs share several structural motifs. These include NPF repeats, a leucine heptad repeat enriched in charged residues, and a proline-rich SH3-like and/or WW domain-binding site in the N-terminal domain, which is followed by a membrane core containing four putative transmembrane spans and three amphiphilic segments that are the most highly conserved structural elements. All SCAMPs are 32-38 kDa except mammalian SCAMP4, which is approximately 25 kDa and lacks most of the N-terminal hydrophilic domain of other SCAMPs. SCAMP4 is authentic as determined by Northern and Western blotting, suggesting that this portion of the larger SCAMPs encodes the functional domain. Focusing on SCAMP1, we have characterized its structure further by limited proteolysis and Western blotting with the use of isolated secretory granules as a uniformly oriented source of antigen and by topology mapping through expression of alkaline phosphatase gene fusions in Escherichia coli. Results show that SCAMP1 is degraded sequentially from the N terminus and then the C terminus, yielding an approximately 20-kDa membrane core that contains four transmembrane spans. Using synthetic peptides corresponding to the three conserved amphiphilic segments of the membrane core, we have demonstrated their binding to phospholipid membranes and shown by circular dichroism spectroscopy that the central amphiphilic segment linking transmembrane spans 2 and 3 is alpha-helical. In the intact protein, these segments are likely to reside in the cytoplasm-facing membrane

  9. Mass Spectrometry of Intact Membrane Protein Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Laganowsky, Arthur; Reading, Eamonn; Hopper, Jonathan T.S.; Robinson, Carol V.

    2014-01-01

    Mass spectrometry of intact soluble protein complexes has emerged as a powerful technique to study the stoichiometry, structure-function and dynamics of protein assemblies. Recent developments have extended this technique to the study of membrane protein complexes where it has already revealed subunit stoichiometries and specific phospholipid interactions. Here, we describe a protocol for mass spectrometry of membrane protein complexes. The protocol begins with preparation of the membrane protein complex enabling not only the direct assessment of stoichiometry, delipidation, and quality of the target complex, but also evaluation of the purification strategy. A detailed list of compatible non-ionic detergents is included, along with a protocol for screening detergents to find an optimal one for mass spectrometry, biochemical and structural studies. This protocol also covers the preparation of lipids for protein-lipid binding studies and includes detailed settings for a Q-ToF mass spectrometer after introduction of complexes from gold-coated nanoflow capillaries. PMID:23471109

  10. Protein engineering methods applied to membrane protein targets.

    PubMed

    Lluis, M W; Godfroy, J I; Yin, H

    2013-02-01

    Genes encoding membrane proteins have been estimated to comprise as much as 30% of the human genome. Among these membrane, proteins are a large number of signaling receptors, transporters, ion channels and enzymes that are vital to cellular regulation, metabolism and homeostasis. While many membrane proteins are considered high-priority targets for drug design, there is a dearth of structural and biochemical information on them. This lack of information stems from the inherent insolubility and instability of transmembrane domains, which prevents easy obtainment of high-resolution crystals to specifically study structure-function relationships. In part, this lack of structures has greatly impeded our understanding in the field of membrane proteins. One method that can be used to enhance our understanding is directed evolution, a molecular biology method that mimics natural selection to engineer proteins that have specific phenotypes. It is a powerful technique that has considerable success with globular proteins, notably the engineering of protein therapeutics. With respect to transmembrane protein targets, this tool may be underutilized. Another powerful tool to investigate membrane protein structure-function relationships is computational modeling. This review will discuss these protein engineering methods and their tremendous potential in the study of membrane proteins.

  11. Protein profiles of hatchery egg shell membrane.

    PubMed

    Rath, N C; Liyanage, R; Makkar, S K; Lay, J O

    2016-01-01

    Eggshells which consist largely of calcareous outer shell and shell membranes, constitute a significant part of poultry hatchery waste. The shell membranes (ESM) not only contain proteins that originate from egg whites but also from the developing embryos and different contaminants of microbial and environmental origins. As feed supplements, during post hatch growth, the hatchery egg shell membranes (HESM) have shown potential for imparting resistance of chickens to endotoxin stress and exert positive health effects. Considering that these effects are mediated by the bioactive proteins and peptides present in the membrane, the objective of the study was to identify the protein profiles of hatchery eggshell membranes (HESM). Hatchery egg shell membranes were extracted with acidified methanol and a guanidine hydrochloride buffer then subjected to reduction/alkylation, and trypsin digestion. The methanol extract was additionally analyzed by matrix assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). The tryptic digests were analyzed by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) to identify the proteins. Our results showed the presence of several proteins that are inherent and abundant in egg white such as, ovalbumin, ovotransferrin, ovocleidin-116, and lysozyme, and several proteins associated with cytoskeletal, cell signaling, antimicrobial, and catalytic functions involving carbohydrate, nucleic acid, and protein metabolisms. There were some blood derived proteins most likely originating from the embryos and several other proteins identified with different aerobic, anaerobic, gram positive, gram negative, soil, and marine bacterial species some commensals and others zoonotic. The variety of bioactive proteins, particularly the cell signaling and enzymatic proteins along with the diverse microbial proteins, make the HESM suitable for nutritional and biological application to improve post hatch immunity of poultry.

  12. A nanoscale bio-inspired light-harvesting system developed from self-assembled alkyl-functionalized metallochlorin nano-aggregates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ocakoglu, Kasim; Joya, Khurram S.; Harputlu, Ersan; Tarnowska, Anna; Gryko, Daniel T.

    2014-07-01

    Self-assembled supramolecular organization of nano-structured biomimetic light-harvesting modules inside solid-state nano-templates can be exploited to develop excellent light-harvesting materials for artificial photosynthetic devices. We present here a hybrid light-harvesting system mimicking the chlorosomal structures of the natural photosynthetic system using synthetic zinc chlorin units (ZnChl-C6, ZnChl-C12 and ZnChl-C18) that are self-aggregated inside the anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nano-channel membranes. AAO nano-templates were modified with a TiO2 matrix and functionalized with long hydrophobic chains to facilitate the formation of supramolecular Zn-chlorin aggregates. The transparent Zn-chlorin nano-aggregates inside the alkyl-TiO2 modified AAO nano-channels have a diameter of ~120 nm in a 60 μm length channel. UV-Vis studies and fluorescence emission spectra further confirm the formation of the supramolecular ZnChl aggregates from monomer molecules inside the alkyl-functionalized nano-channels. Our results prove that the novel and unique method can be used to produce efficient and stable light-harvesting assemblies for effective solar energy capture through transparent and stable nano-channel ceramic materials modified with bio-mimetic molecular self-assembled nano-aggregates.Self-assembled supramolecular organization of nano-structured biomimetic light-harvesting modules inside solid-state nano-templates can be exploited to develop excellent light-harvesting materials for artificial photosynthetic devices. We present here a hybrid light-harvesting system mimicking the chlorosomal structures of the natural photosynthetic system using synthetic zinc chlorin units (ZnChl-C6, ZnChl-C12 and ZnChl-C18) that are self-aggregated inside the anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) nano-channel membranes. AAO nano-templates were modified with a TiO2 matrix and functionalized with long hydrophobic chains to facilitate the formation of supramolecular Zn-chlorin aggregates. The

  13. Tuning Escherichia coli for membrane protein overexpression.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Samuel; Klepsch, Mirjam M; Schlegel, Susan; Appel, Ansgar; Draheim, Roger; Tarry, Michael; Högbom, Martin; van Wijk, Klaas J; Slotboom, Dirk J; Persson, Jan O; de Gier, Jan-Willem

    2008-09-23

    A simple generic method for optimizing membrane protein overexpression in Escherichia coli is still lacking. We have studied the physiological response of the widely used "Walker strains" C41(DE3) and C43(DE3), which are derived from BL21(DE3), to membrane protein overexpression. For unknown reasons, overexpression of many membrane proteins in these strains is hardly toxic, often resulting in high overexpression yields. By using a combination of physiological, proteomic, and genetic techniques we have shown that mutations in the lacUV5 promoter governing expression of T7 RNA polymerase are key to the improved membrane protein overexpression characteristics of the Walker strains. Based on this observation, we have engineered a derivative strain of E. coli BL21(DE3), termed Lemo21(DE3), in which the activity of the T7 RNA polymerase can be precisely controlled by its natural inhibitor T7 lysozyme (T7Lys). Lemo21(DE3) is tunable for membrane protein overexpression and conveniently allows optimizing overexpression of any given membrane protein by using only a single strain rather than a multitude of different strains. The generality and simplicity of our approach make it ideal for high-throughput applications.

  14. Tuning Escherichia coli for membrane protein overexpression

    PubMed Central

    Wagner, Samuel; Klepsch, Mirjam M.; Schlegel, Susan; Appel, Ansgar; Draheim, Roger; Tarry, Michael; Högbom, Martin; van Wijk, Klaas J.; Slotboom, Dirk J.; Persson, Jan O.; de Gier, Jan-Willem

    2008-01-01

    A simple generic method for optimizing membrane protein overexpression in Escherichia coli is still lacking. We have studied the physiological response of the widely used “Walker strains” C41(DE3) and C43(DE3), which are derived from BL21(DE3), to membrane protein overexpression. For unknown reasons, overexpression of many membrane proteins in these strains is hardly toxic, often resulting in high overexpression yields. By using a combination of physiological, proteomic, and genetic techniques we have shown that mutations in the lacUV5 promoter governing expression of T7 RNA polymerase are key to the improved membrane protein overexpression characteristics of the Walker strains. Based on this observation, we have engineered a derivative strain of E. coli BL21(DE3), termed Lemo21(DE3), in which the activity of the T7 RNA polymerase can be precisely controlled by its natural inhibitor T7 lysozyme (T7Lys). Lemo21(DE3) is tunable for membrane protein overexpression and conveniently allows optimizing overexpression of any given membrane protein by using only a single strain rather than a multitude of different strains. The generality and simplicity of our approach make it ideal for high-throughput applications. PMID:18796603

  15. Mixed-organic-cation perovskite photovoltaics for enhanced solar-light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Pellet, Norman; Gao, Peng; Gregori, Giuliano; Yang, Tae-Youl; Nazeeruddin, Mohammad K; Maier, Joachim; Grätzel, Michael

    2014-03-17

    Hybrid organic-inorganic lead halide perovskite APbX3 pigments, such as methylammonium lead iodide, have recently emerged as excellent light harvesters in solid-state mesoscopic solar cells. An important target for the further improvement of the performance of perovskite-based photovoltaics is to extend their optical-absorption onset further into the red to enhance solar-light harvesting. Herein, we show that this goal can be reached by using a mixture of formamidinium (HN=CHNH3 (+), FA) and methylammonium (CH3 NH3 (+), MA) cations in the A position of the APbI3 perovskite structure. This combination leads to an enhanced short-circuit current and thus superior devices to those based on only CH3 NH3 (+). This concept has not been applied previously in perovskite-based solar cells. It shows great potential as a versatile tool to tune the structural, electrical, and optoelectronic properties of the light-harvesting materials.

  16. Self-assembled fluorescent hexaazatriphenylenes that act as a light-harvesting antenna.

    PubMed

    Ishi-i, Tsutomu; Murakami, Koh-ichi; Imai, Yusuke; Mataka, Shuntaro

    2006-07-21

    In this paper we report the self-assembling nature of fluorescent hexaazatriphenylenes (HATs) 6a-d with six alkyl/alkoxy-chain-containing biphenyl groups and their application to light-harvesting antennae. In a nonpolar solvent and the film state, the HAT derivatives form one-dimensional aggregates with an H-type parallel stacking mode, which were analyzed by 1H NMR, UV-vis, and steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. When HAT derivative 7 with six perylenediimide moieties is incorporated into the one-dimensional aggregates, an efficient energy transfer takes place from the self-assembled HAT moiety as a light-harvesting antenna to the perylenediimide moiety as an energy acceptor. Further, when HAT derivative 8 with six triphenylamino moieties is newly added to the light-harvesting system, an intermolecular electron transfer occurs subsequently between the electron-accepting perylenediimide molecule and the electron-donating triphenylamino molecule.

  17. Self diffusion and spectral modifications of a membrane protein, the Rubrivivax gelatinosus LH2 complex, incorporated into a monoolein cubic phase.

    PubMed Central

    Tsapis, N; Reiss-Husson, F; Ober, R; Genest, M; Hodges, R S; Urbach, W

    2001-01-01

    The light-harvesting complex LH2 from a purple bacterium, Rubrivivax gelatinosus, has been incorporated into the Q230 cubic phase of monoolein. We measured the self-diffusion of LH2 in detergent solution and in the cubic phase by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. We investigated also the absorption and fluorescence properties of this oligomeric membrane protein in the cubic phase, in comparison with its beta-octyl glucoside solution. In these experiments, native LH2 and LH2 labeled by a fluorescent marker were used. The results indicate that the inclusion of LH2 into the cubic phase induced modifications in the carotenoid and B800 binding sites. Despite these significant perturbations, the protein seems to keep an oligomeric structure. The relevance of these observations for the possible crystallization of this protein in the cubic phase is discussed. PMID:11509374

  18. Ponticulin is an atypical membrane protein

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    We have cloned and sequenced ponticulin, a 17,000-dalton integral membrane glycoprotein that binds F-actin and nucleates actin assembly. A single copy gene encodes a developmentally regulated message that is high during growth and early development, but drops precipitously during cell streaming at approximately 8 h of development. The deduced amino acid sequence predicts a protein with a cleaved NH2-terminal signal sequence and a COOH-terminal glycosyl anchor. These predictions are supported by amino acid sequencing of mature ponticulin and metabolic labeling with glycosyl anchor components. Although no alpha- helical membrane-spanning domains are apparent, several hydrophobic and/or sided beta-strands, each long enough to traverse the membrane, are predicted. Although its location on the primary sequence is unclear, an intracellular domain is indicated by the existence of a discontinuous epitope that is accessible to antibody in plasma membranes and permeabilized cells, but not in intact cells. Such a cytoplasmically oriented domain also is required for the demonstrated role of ponticulin in binding actin to the plasma membrane in vivo and in vitro (Hitt, A. L., J. H. Hartwig, and E. J. Luna. 1994. Ponticulin is the major high affinity link between the plasma membrane and the cortical actin network in Dictyostelium. J. Cell Biol. 126:1433-1444). Thus, ponticulin apparently represents a new category of integral membrane proteins that consists of proteins with both a glycosyl anchor and membrane-spanning peptide domain(s). PMID:8089175

  19. Extension of Light-Harvesting Ability of Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Complex 2 (LH2) through Ultrafast Energy Transfer from Covalently Attached Artificial Chromophores.

    PubMed

    Yoneda, Yusuke; Noji, Tomoyasu; Katayama, Tetsuro; Mizutani, Naoto; Komori, Daisuke; Nango, Mamoru; Miyasaka, Hiroshi; Itoh, Shigeru; Nagasawa, Yutaka; Dewa, Takehisa

    2015-10-14

    Introducing appropriate artificial components into natural biological systems could enrich the original functionality. To expand the available wavelength range of photosynthetic bacterial light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2 from Rhodopseudomonas acidophila 10050), artificial fluorescent dye (Alexa Fluor 647: A647) was covalently attached to N- and C-terminal Lys residues in LH2 α-polypeptides with a molar ratio of A647/LH2 ≃ 9/1. Fluorescence and transient absorption spectroscopies revealed that intracomplex energy transfer from A647 to intrinsic chromophores of LH2 (B850) occurs in a multiexponential manner, with time constants varying from 440 fs to 23 ps through direct and B800-mediated indirect pathways. Kinetic analyses suggested that B800 chromophores mediate faster energy transfer, and the mechanism was interpretable in terms of Förster theory. This study demonstrates that a simple attachment of external chromophores with a flexible linkage can enhance the light harvesting activity of LH2 without affecting inherent functions of energy transfer, and can achieve energy transfer in the subpicosecond range. Addition of external chromophores, thus, represents a useful methodology for construction of advanced hybrid light-harvesting systems that afford solar energy in the broad spectrum.

  20. Why we need to know the structure of phosphorylated chloroplast light-harvesting complex II.

    PubMed

    Allen, John F

    2017-09-01

    In oxygenic photosynthesis there are two 'light states' - adaptations of the photosynthetic apparatus to spectral composition that otherwise favours either photosystem I or photosystem II. In chloroplasts of green plants the transition to light state 2 depends on phosphorylation of apoproteins of a membrane-intrinsic antenna, the chlorophyll-a/b-binding, light-harvesting complex II (LHC II), and on the resulting redistribution of absorbed excitation energy from photosystem II to photosystem I. The transition to light state 1 reverses these events and requires a phospho-LHC II phosphatase. Current structures of LHC II reveal little about possible steric effects of phosphorylation. The surface-exposed N-terminal domain of an LHC II polypeptide contains its phosphorylation site and is disordered in its unphosphorylated form. A molecular recognition hypothesis proposes that state transitions are a consequence of movement of LHC II between binding sites on photosystems I and II. In state 1, LHC II forms part of the antenna of photosystem II. In state 2, a unique but as yet unidentified 3-D structure of phospho-LHC II may attach it instead to photosystem I. One possibility is that the LHC II N-terminus becomes ordered upon phosphorylation, adopting a local alpha-helical secondary structure that initiates changes in LHC II tertiary and quaternary structure that sever contact with photosystem II while securing contact with photosystem I. In order to understand redistribution of absorbed excitation energy in photosynthesis we need to know the structure of LHC II in its phosphorylated form, and in its complex with photosystem I. © 2017 The Authors. Physiologia Plantarum published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society.

  1. Overexpression of membrane proteins using Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Bornert, Olivier; Alkhalfioui, Fatima; Logez, Christel; Wagner, Renaud

    2012-02-01

    Among the small number of expression systems validated for the mass production of eukaryotic membrane proteins (EMPs), the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris stands as one of the most efficient hosts. This system has been used to produce crystallization-grade proteins for a variety of EMPs, from which high-resolution 3D structures have been determined. This unit describes a set of guidelines and instructions to overexpress membrane proteins using the P. pastoris system. Using a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) as a model EMP, these protocols illustrate the necessary steps, starting with the design of the DNA sequence to be expressed, through the preparation and analysis of samples containing the corresponding membrane protein of interest. In addition, recommendations are given on a series of experimental parameters that can be optimized to substantially improve the amount and/or the functionality of the expressed EMPs.

  2. Protein quality control at the plasma membrane

    PubMed Central

    Okiyoneda, Tsukasa; Apaja, Pirjo M.; Lukacs, Gergely L.

    2011-01-01

    Cellular proteostasis (or protein homeostasis) depends on the timely folding and disposal of conformationally damaged polypeptides during their life span at all subcellular locations. This process is particularly important for membrane proteins confined to the cell surface with critical regulatory role in cellular homoeostasis and intercellular communication. Accumulating evidences indicate that membrane proteins exported from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are subjected to peripheral quality control (QC) along the late secretory and endocytic pathways, as well as at the plasma membrane (PM). Recently identified components of the PM QC recognition and effector mechanisms responsible for ubiquitination and lysosomal degradation of conformationally damaged PM proteins uncovered striking similarities to and differences from that of the ER QC machinery. Possible implications of the peripheral protein QC activity in phenotypic modulation of conformational diseases are also outlined. PMID:21571517

  3. Protein quality control at the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Okiyoneda, Tsukasa; Apaja, Pirjo M; Lukacs, Gergely L

    2011-08-01

    Cellular proteostasis (or protein homeostasis) depends on the timely folding and disposal of conformationally damaged polypeptides during their life span at all subcellular locations. This process is particularly important for membrane proteins confined to the cell surface with crucial regulatory role in cellular homoeostasis and intercellular communication. Accumulating evidences indicate that membrane proteins exported from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are subjected to peripheral quality control (QC) along the late secretory and endocytic pathways, as well as at the plasma membrane (PM). Recently identified components of the PM QC recognition and effector mechanisms responsible for ubiquitination and lysosomal degradation of conformationally damaged PM proteins uncovered striking similarities to and differences from that of the ER QC machinery. Possible implications of the peripheral protein QC activity in phenotypic modulation of conformational diseases are also outlined. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Electrophysiological characterization of membrane transport proteins.

    PubMed

    Grewer, Christof; Gameiro, Armanda; Mager, Thomas; Fendler, Klaus

    2013-01-01

    Active transport in biological membranes has been traditionally studied using a variety of biochemical and biophysical techniques, including electrophysiology. This review focuses on aspects of electrophysiological methods that make them particularly suited for the investigation of transporter function. Two major approaches to electrical recording of transporter activity are discussed: (a) artificial planar lipid membranes, such as the black lipid membrane and solid supported membrane, which are useful for studies on bacterial transporters and transporters of intracellular compartments, and (b) patch clamp and voltage clamp techniques, which investigate transporters in native cellular membranes. The analytical power of these methods is highlighted by several examples of mechanistic studies of specific membrane proteins, including cytochrome c oxidase, NhaA Na(+)/H(+) exchanger, ClC-7 H(+)/Cl(-) exchanger, glutamate transporters, and neutral amino acid transporters. These examples reveal the wealth of mechanistic information that can be obtained when electrophysiological methods are used in combination with rapid perturbation approaches.

  5. Quantification of Detergents Complexed with Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Chaptal, Vincent; Delolme, Frédéric; Kilburg, Arnaud; Magnard, Sandrine; Montigny, Cédric; Picard, Martin; Prier, Charlène; Monticelli, Luca; Bornert, Olivier; Agez, Morgane; Ravaud, Stéphanie; Orelle, Cédric; Wagner, Renaud; Jawhari, Anass; Broutin, Isabelle; Pebay-Peyroula, Eva; Jault, Jean-Michel; Kaback, H. Ronald; le Maire, Marc; Falson, Pierre

    2017-01-01

    Most membrane proteins studies require the use of detergents, but because of the lack of a general, accurate and rapid method to quantify them, many uncertainties remain that hamper proper functional and structural data analyses. To solve this problem, we propose a method based on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) that allows quantification of pure or mixed detergents in complex with membrane proteins. We validated the method with a wide variety of detergents and membrane proteins. We automated the process, thereby allowing routine quantification for a broad spectrum of usage. As a first illustration, we show how to obtain information of the amount of detergent in complex with a membrane protein, essential for liposome or nanodiscs reconstitutions. Thanks to the method, we also show how to reliably and easily estimate the detergent corona diameter and select the smallest size, critical for favoring protein-protein contacts and triggering/promoting membrane protein crystallization, and to visualize the detergent belt for Cryo-EM studies. PMID:28176812

  6. Self-assembled photosynthesis-inspired light harvesting material and solar cells containing the same

    DOEpatents

    Lindsey, Jonathan S.; Chinnasamy, Muthiah; Fan, Dazhong

    2009-12-15

    A solar cell is described that comprises: (a) a semiconductor charge separation material; (b) at least one electrode connected to the charge separation material; and (c) a light-harvesting film on the charge separation material, the light-harvesting film comprising non-covalently coupled, self-assembled units of porphyrinic macrocycles. The porphyrinic macrocycles preferably comprise: (i) an intramolecularly coordinated metal; (ii) a first coordinating substituent; and (iii) a second coordinating substituent opposite the first coordinating substituent. The porphyrinic macrocycles can be assembled by repeating intermolecular coordination complexes of the metal, the first coordinating substituent and the second coordinating substituent.

  7. Conformation of Membrane Proteins: Bacteriorhodopsin

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-12-09

    2-0-methoxypolyethylene glycol-N-hydroxy succinimyl carbonate. (MeO-PEG-SC). MeO- PEG-SC was coupled with the purple membrane (PM) of Halobacterium ...transient intermediate with an absorbance maximum of 480-510 nm was also found. RESULTS 1. The growth of the Halobacterium halobium was optimized (e.g

  8. Elucidation of structure-function relationships in plant major light-harvesting complex (LHC II) by nonlinear spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Lokstein, Heiko; Betke, Alexander; Krikunova, Maria; Teuchner, Klaus; Voigt, Bernd

    2012-03-01

    Conventional linear and time-resolved spectroscopic techniques are often not appropriate to elucidate specific pigment-pigment interactions in light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes (LHCs). Nonlinear (laser-) spectroscopic techniques, including nonlinear polarization spectroscopy in the frequency domain (NLPF) as well as step-wise (resonant) and simultaneous (non-resonant) two-photon excitation spectroscopies may be advantageous in this regard. Nonlinear spectroscopies have been used to elucidate substructure(s) of very complex spectra, including analyses of strong excitonic couplings between chlorophylls and of interactions between (bacterio)chlorophylls and "optically dark" states of carotenoids in LHCs, including the major antenna complex of higher plants, LHC II. This article shortly reviews our previous study and outlines perspectives regarding the application of selected nonlinear laser-spectroscopic techniques to disentangle structure-function relationships in LHCs and other pigment-protein complexes.

  9. Unified analysis of ensemble and single-complex optical spectral data from light-harvesting complex-2 chromoproteins for gaining deeper insight into bacterial photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pajusalu, Mihkel; Kunz, Ralf; Rätsep, Margus; Timpmann, Kõu; Köhler, Jürgen; Freiberg, Arvi

    2015-11-01

    Bacterial light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes are very efficient at converting photons into excitons and transferring them to reaction centers, where the energy is stored in a chemical form. Optical properties of the complexes are known to change significantly in time and also vary from one complex to another; therefore, a detailed understanding of the variations on the level of single complexes and how they accumulate into effects that can be seen on the macroscopic scale is required. While experimental and theoretical methods exist to study the spectral properties of light-harvesting complexes on both individual complex and bulk ensemble levels, they have been developed largely independently of each other. To fill this gap, we simultaneously analyze experimental low-temperature single-complex and bulk ensemble optical spectra of the light-harvesting complex-2 (LH2) chromoproteins from the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas acidophila in order to find a unique theoretical model consistent with both experimental situations. The model, which satisfies most of the observations, combines strong exciton-phonon coupling with significant disorder, characteristic of the proteins. We establish a detailed disorder model that, in addition to containing a C2-symmetrical modulation of the site energies, distinguishes between static intercomplex and slow conformational intracomplex disorders. The model evaluations also verify that, despite best efforts, the single-LH2-complex measurements performed so far may be biased toward complexes with higher Huang-Rhys factors.

  10. Unified analysis of ensemble and single-complex optical spectral data from light-harvesting complex-2 chromoproteins for gaining deeper insight into bacterial photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Pajusalu, Mihkel; Kunz, Ralf; Rätsep, Margus; Timpmann, Kõu; Köhler, Jürgen; Freiberg, Arvi

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes are very efficient at converting photons into excitons and transferring them to reaction centers, where the energy is stored in a chemical form. Optical properties of the complexes are known to change significantly in time and also vary from one complex to another; therefore, a detailed understanding of the variations on the level of single complexes and how they accumulate into effects that can be seen on the macroscopic scale is required. While experimental and theoretical methods exist to study the spectral properties of light-harvesting complexes on both individual complex and bulk ensemble levels, they have been developed largely independently of each other. To fill this gap, we simultaneously analyze experimental low-temperature single-complex and bulk ensemble optical spectra of the light-harvesting complex-2 (LH2) chromoproteins from the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodopseudomonas acidophila in order to find a unique theoretical model consistent with both experimental situations. The model, which satisfies most of the observations, combines strong exciton-phonon coupling with significant disorder, characteristic of the proteins. We establish a detailed disorder model that, in addition to containing a C_{2}-symmetrical modulation of the site energies, distinguishes between static intercomplex and slow conformational intracomplex disorders. The model evaluations also verify that, despite best efforts, the single-LH2-complex measurements performed so far may be biased toward complexes with higher Huang-Rhys factors.

  11. Intrinsically disordered proteins drive membrane curvature

    PubMed Central

    Busch, David J.; Houser, Justin R.; Hayden, Carl C.; Sherman, Michael B.; Lafer, Eileen M.; Stachowiak, Jeanne C.

    2015-01-01

    Assembly of highly curved membrane structures is essential to cellular physiology. The prevailing view has been that proteins with curvature-promoting structural motifs, such as wedge-like amphipathic helices and crescent-shaped BAR domains, are required for bending membranes. Here we report that intrinsically disordered domains of the endocytic adaptor proteins, Epsin1 and AP180 are highly potent drivers of membrane curvature. This result is unexpected since intrinsically disordered domains lack a well-defined three-dimensional structure. However, in vitro measurements of membrane curvature and protein diffusivity demonstrate that the large hydrodynamic radii of these domains generate steric pressure that drives membrane bending. When disordered adaptor domains are expressed as transmembrane cargo in mammalian cells, they are excluded from clathrin-coated pits. We propose that a balance of steric pressure on the two surfaces of the membrane drives this exclusion. These results provide quantitative evidence for the influence of steric pressure on the content and assembly of curved cellular membrane structures. PMID:26204806

  12. Intrinsically disordered proteins drive membrane curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Busch, David J.; Houser, Justin R.; Hayden, Carl C.; Sherman, Michael B.; Lafer, Eileen M.; Stachowiak, Jeanne C.

    2015-07-01

    Assembly of highly curved membrane structures is essential to cellular physiology. The prevailing view has been that proteins with curvature-promoting structural motifs, such as wedge-like amphipathic helices and crescent-shaped BAR domains, are required for bending membranes. Here we report that intrinsically disordered domains of the endocytic adaptor proteins, Epsin1 and AP180 are highly potent drivers of membrane curvature. This result is unexpected since intrinsically disordered domains lack a well-defined three-dimensional structure. However, in vitro measurements of membrane curvature and protein diffusivity demonstrate that the large hydrodynamic radii of these domains generate steric pressure that drives membrane bending. When disordered adaptor domains are expressed as transmembrane cargo in mammalian cells, they are excluded from clathrin-coated pits. We propose that a balance of steric pressure on the two surfaces of the membrane drives this exclusion. These results provide quantitative evidence for the influence of steric pressure on the content and assembly of curved cellular membrane structures.

  13. Intrinsically disordered proteins drive membrane curvature.

    PubMed

    Busch, David J; Houser, Justin R; Hayden, Carl C; Sherman, Michael B; Lafer, Eileen M; Stachowiak, Jeanne C

    2015-07-24

    Assembly of highly curved membrane structures is essential to cellular physiology. The prevailing view has been that proteins with curvature-promoting structural motifs, such as wedge-like amphipathic helices and crescent-shaped BAR domains, are required for bending membranes. Here we report that intrinsically disordered domains of the endocytic adaptor proteins, Epsin1 and AP180 are highly potent drivers of membrane curvature. This result is unexpected since intrinsically disordered domains lack a well-defined three-dimensional structure. However, in vitro measurements of membrane curvature and protein diffusivity demonstrate that the large hydrodynamic radii of these domains generate steric pressure that drives membrane bending. When disordered adaptor domains are expressed as transmembrane cargo in mammalian cells, they are excluded from clathrin-coated pits. We propose that a balance of steric pressure on the two surfaces of the membrane drives this exclusion. These results provide quantitative evidence for the influence of steric pressure on the content and assembly of curved cellular membrane structures.

  14. Protein transfer to membranes upon shape deformation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagis, L. M. C.; Bijl, E.; Antono, L.; de Ruijter, N. C. A.; van Valenberg, H.

    2013-05-01

    Red blood cells, milk fat droplets, or liposomes all have interfaces consisting of lipid membranes. These particles show significant shape deformations as a result of flow. Here we show that these shape deformations can induce adsorption of proteins to the membrane. Red blood cell deformability is an important factor in several diseases involving obstructions of the microcirculatory system, and deformation induced protein adsorption will alter the rigidity of their membranes. Deformation induced protein transfer will also affect adsorption of cells onto implant surfaces, and the performance of liposome based controlled release systems. Quantitative models describing this phenomenon in biomaterials do not exist. Using a simple quantitative model, we provide new insight in this phenomenon. We present data that show convincingly that for cells or droplets with diameters upwards of a few micrometers, shape deformations induce adsorption of proteins at their interface even at moderate flow rates.

  15. Protein separation using an electrically tunable membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jou, Ining; Melnikov, Dmitriy; Gracheva, Maria

    Separation of small proteins by charge with a solid-state porous membrane requires control over the protein's movement. Semiconductor membrane has this ability due to the electrically tunable electric potential profile inside the nanopore. In this work we investigate the possibility to separate the solution of two similar sized proteins by charge. As an example, we consider two small globular proteins abundant in humans: insulin (negatively charged) and ubiquitin (neutral). We find that the localized electric field inside the pore either attracts or repels the charged protein to or from the pore wall which affects the delay time before a successful translocation of the protein through the nanopore. However, the motion of the uncharged ubiquitin is unaffected. The difference in the delay time (and hence the separation) can be further increased by the application of the electrolyte bias which induces an electroosmotic flow in the pore. NSF DMR and CBET Grant No. 1352218.

  16. Crystallization of Membrane Proteins by Vapor Diffusion

    PubMed Central

    Delmar, Jared A.; Bolla, Jani Reddy; Su, Chih-Chia; Yu, Edward W.

    2016-01-01

    X-ray crystallography remains the most robust method to determine protein structure at the atomic level. However, the bottlenecks of protein expression and purification often discourage further study. In this chapter, we address the most common problems encountered at these stages. Based on our experiences in expressing and purifying antimicrobial efflux proteins, we explain how a pure and homogenous protein sample can be successfully crystallized by the vapor diffusion method. We present our current protocols and methodologies for this technique. Case studies show step-by-step how we have overcome problems related to expression and diffraction, eventually producing high quality membrane protein crystals for structural determinations. It is our hope that a rational approach can be made of the often anecdotal process of membrane protein crystallization. PMID:25950974

  17. Protein aggregation in a membrane environment.

    PubMed

    Gorbenko, Galyna; Trusova, Valeriya

    2011-01-01

    Biological membranes are featured by a remarkable ability to modulate a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. Of these, protein aggregation is currently receiving the greatest attention, as one type of the ordered protein aggregates, amyloid fibrils, proved to be involved in molecular etiology of a number of fatal diseases. It has been hypothesized that nucleation of amyloid fibrils and toxic action of their precursors is mediated by lipid-protein interactions. Lipid bilayer provides a variety of environments in which aggregated state of polypeptide chain appears to be more thermodynamically favorable than its monomeric form. The major factors responsible for the enhanced self-association propensity of membrane-bound proteins include (i) structural transition of polypeptide chain into aggregation-prone conformation; (ii) protein crowding in a lipid phase; (iii) particular aggregation-favoring orientation and bilayer embedment of the protein molecules. All these factors are considered in the present review with an emphasis being put on the role of electrostatic, hydrophobic, and hydrogen-bonding phenomena in initiating and modulating the protein aggregation on a membrane template. Likewise, we survey the advanced experimental techniques employed for detection and structural characterization of the aggregated species in membrane systems.

  18. Fluorescence spectroscopy of protein oligomerization in membranes.

    PubMed

    Gorbenko, Galyna P

    2011-05-01

    Fluorescence spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools for characterization of a multitude of biological processes. Of these, the phenomenon of protein oligomerization attracts especial interest due to its crucial role in the formation of fibrillar protein aggregates (amyloid fibrils) involved in ethiology of so-called protein misfolding diseases. It is becoming increasingly substantiated that protein fibrillization in vivo can be initiated and modulated at membrane-water interface. All steps of membrane-assisted fibrillogenesis, viz., protein adsorption onto lipid bilayer, structural transition of polypeptide chain into a highly aggregation-prone partially folded conformation, assembly of oligomeric nucleus from membrane-bound monomeric species and fiber elongation can be monitored with a mighty family of fluorescence-based techniques. Furthermore, the mechanisms behind cytotoxicity of prefibrillar protein oligomers are highly amenable to fluorescence analysis. The applications of fluorescence spectroscopy to monitoring protein oligomerization in a membrane environment are exemplified and some problems encountered in such kinds of studies are highlighted.

  19. Breaking the barriers in membrane protein crystallography.

    PubMed

    Kang, Hae Joo; Lee, Chiara; Drew, David

    2013-03-01

    As we appreciate the importance of stabilising membrane proteins, the barriers towards their structure determination are being broken down. This change in mindset comes hand-in-hand with more effort placed on developing methods focused at screening for membrane proteins which are naturally stable in detergent solution or improving those that are not so. In practice, however, it is not easy to decide the best strategy to monitor and improve detergent stability, requiring a decision-making process that can be even more difficult for those new to the field. In this review we outline the importance of membrane protein stability with discussions of the stabilisation strategies applied in context with the use of crystallisation scaffolds and the different types of crystallisation methods themselves. Where possible we also highlight areas that we think could push this field forward with emerging technologies, such as X-ray free electron lasers (X-feL), which could have a big impact on the membrane protein structural biology community. We hope this review will serve as a useful guide for those striving to solve structures of both pro- and eukaryotic membrane proteins.

  20. Studying the Effect of Light Quality on the Size of the Photosystem II Light Harvesting Complex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muhoz, Romualdo; Quiles, Maria J.

    2003-01-01

    In this article the effect of light quality on the size of the photosystem II (PSII) light harvesting complex (LHCII) is studied by measuring the chlorophyll fluorescence emitted by leaf sections of oat ("Avena sativa," var. Prevision) plants previously treated with either white light or with light filtered through blue, green, red or farred…

  1. Construction of Light-Harvesting Polymeric Vesicles in Aqueous Solution with Spatially Separated Donors and Acceptors.

    PubMed

    Li, Huimei; Liu, Yannan; Huang, Tong; Qi, Meiwei; Ni, Yunzhou; Wang, Jie; Zheng, Yongli; Zhou, Yongfeng; Yan, Deyue

    2017-07-01

    This communication describes polymer vesicles self-assembled from hyperbranched polymers (branched polymersomes (BPs)) as scaffolds, conceptually mimicking the natural light-harvesting system in aqueous solution. The system is constructed with hydrophobic 4-chloro-7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazole (NBD-Cl) as donors encapsulated in the hydrophobic hyperbranched cores of the vesicles and the hydrophilic Rhodamine B (RB) as acceptors incorporated on the surface of the vesicles through the cyclodextrin (CD)/RB host-guest interactions, through which the donors and acceptors are spatially separated to effectively avoid the self-quenching between donors. This vesicular light harvesting system has presented good energy transfer efficiency of about 80% in water, and can be used as the ink to write multiclolor letters. In addition, due to the giant dimension of BPs, the real-time fluorescent images of the vesicles under an optical microscope can be observed to prove the light-harvesting process. It is supposed that such a vesicular light-harvesting antenna can be used to construct artificial photosynthesis systems in the future. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  2. Bio serves nano: biological light-harvesting complex as energy donor for semiconductor quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Werwie, Mara; Xu, Xiangxing; Haase, Mathias; Basché, Thomas; Paulsen, Harald

    2012-04-03

    Light-harvesting complex (LHCII) of the photosynthetic apparatus in plants is attached to type-II core-shell CdTe/CdSe/ZnS nanocrystals (quantum dots, QD) exhibiting an absorption band at 710 nm and carrying a dihydrolipoic acid coating for water solubility. LHCII stays functional upon binding to the QD surface and enhances the light utilization of the QDs significantly, similar to its light-harvesting function in photosynthesis. Electronic excitation energy transfer of about 50% efficiency is shown by donor (LHCII) fluorescence quenching as well as sensitized acceptor (QD) emission and corroborated by time-resolved fluorescence measurements. The energy transfer efficiency is commensurable with the expected efficiency calculated according to Förster theory on the basis of the estimated donor-acceptor separation. Light harvesting is particularly efficient in the red spectral domain where QD absorption is relatively low. Excitation over the entire visible spectrum is further improved by complementing the biological pigments in LHCII with a dye attached to the apoprotein; the dye has been chosen to absorb in the "green gap" of the LHCII absorption spectrum and transfers its excitation energy ultimately to QD. This is the first report of a biological light-harvesting complex serving an inorganic semiconductor nanocrystal. Due to the charge separation between the core and the shell in type-II QDs the presented LHCII-QD hybrid complexes are potentially interesting for sensitized charge-transfer and photovoltaic applications.

  3. Studying the Effect of Light Quality on the Size of the Photosystem II Light Harvesting Complex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Muhoz, Romualdo; Quiles, Maria J.

    2003-01-01

    In this article the effect of light quality on the size of the photosystem II (PSII) light harvesting complex (LHCII) is studied by measuring the chlorophyll fluorescence emitted by leaf sections of oat ("Avena sativa," var. Prevision) plants previously treated with either white light or with light filtered through blue, green, red or farred…

  4. Atomistic study of energy funneling in the light-harvesting complex of green sulfur bacteria.

    PubMed

    Huh, Joonsuk; Saikin, Semion K; Brookes, Jennifer C; Valleau, Stéphanie; Fujita, Takatoshi; Aspuru-Guzik, Alán

    2014-02-05

    Phototrophic organisms such as plants, photosynthetic bacteria, and algae use microscopic complexes of pigment molecules to absorb sunlight. Within the light-harvesting complexes, which frequently have several functional and structural subunits, the energy is transferred in the form of molecular excitations with very high efficiency. Green sulfur bacteria are considered to be among the most efficient light-harvesting organisms. Despite multiple experimental and theoretical studies of these bacteria, the physical origin of the efficient and robust energy transfer in their light-harvesting complexes is not well understood. To study excitation dynamics at the systems level, we introduce an atomistic model that mimics a complete light-harvesting apparatus of green sulfur bacteria. The model contains approximately 4000 pigment molecules and comprises a double wall roll for the chlorosome, a baseplate, and six Fenna-Matthews-Olson trimer complexes. We show that the fast relaxation within functional subunits combined with the transfer between collective excited states of pigments can result in robust energy funneling to the initial excitation conditions and temperature changes. Moreover, the same mechanism describes the coexistence of multiple time scales of excitation dynamics frequently observed in ultrafast optical experiments. While our findings support the hypothesis of supertransfer, the model reveals energy transport through multiple channels on different length scales.

  5. Efficient light-harvesting using non-carbonyl carotenoids: Energy transfer dynamics in the VCP complex from Nannochloropsis oceanica.

    PubMed

    Keşan, Gürkan; Litvín, Radek; Bína, David; Durchan, Milan; Šlouf, Václav; Polívka, Tomáš

    2016-04-01

    Violaxanthin-chlorophyll a protein (VCP) from Nannochloropsis oceanica is a Chl a-only member of the LHC family of light-harvesting proteins. VCP binds carotenoids violaxanthin (Vio), vaucheriaxanthin (Vau), and vaucheriaxanthin-ester (Vau-ester). Here we report on energy transfer pathways in the VCP complex. The overall carotenoid-to-Chla energy transfer has efficiency over 90%. Based on their energy transfer properties, the carotenoids in VCP can be divided into two groups; blue carotenoids with the lowest energy absorption band around 480nm and red carotenoids with absorption extended up to 530nm. Both carotenoid groups transfer energy efficiently from their S2 states, reaching efficiencies of ~70% (blue) and ~60% (red). The S1 pathway, however, is efficient only for the red carotenoid pool for which two S1 routes characterized by 0.33 and 2.4ps time constants were identified. For the blue carotenoids the S1-mediated pathway is represented only by a minor route likely involving a hot S1 state. The relaxed S1 state of blue carotenoids decays to the ground state within 21ps. Presence of a fraction of non-transferring red carotenoids with the S1 lifetime of 13ps indicates some specific carotenoid-protein interaction that must shorten the intrinsic S1 lifetime of Vio and/or Vau whose S1 lifetimes in methanol are 26 and 29ps, respectively. The VCP complex from N. oceanica is the first example of a light-harvesting complex binding only non-carbonyl carotenoids with carotenoid-to-chlorophyll energy transfer efficiency over 90%. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Curvature-mediated interactions between membrane proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Kim, K S; Neu, J; Oster, G

    1998-01-01

    Membrane proteins can deform the lipid bilayer in which they are embedded. If the bilayer is treated as an elastic medium, then these deformations will generate elastic interactions between the proteins. The interaction between a single pair is repulsive. However, for three or more proteins, we show that there are nonpairwise forces whose magnitude is similar to the pairwise forces. When there are five or more proteins, we show that the nonpairwise forces permit the existence of stable protein aggregates, despite their pairwise repulsions. PMID:9788923

  7. Hybrid artificial photosynthetic systems comprising semiconductors as light harvesters and biomimetic complexes as molecular cocatalysts.

    PubMed

    Wen, Fuyu; Li, Can

    2013-11-19

    Solar fuel production through artificial photosynthesis may be a key to generating abundant and clean energy, thus addressing the high energy needs of the world's expanding population. As the crucial components of photosynthesis, the artificial photosynthetic system should be composed of a light harvester (e.g., semiconductor or molecular dye), a reduction cocatalyst (e.g., hydrogenase mimic, noble metal), and an oxidation cocatalyst (e.g., photosystem II mimic for oxygen evolution from water oxidation). Solar fuel production catalyzed by an artificial photosynthetic system starts from the absorption of sunlight by the light harvester, where charge separation takes place, followed by a charge transfer to the reduction and oxidation cocatalysts, where redox reaction processes occur. One of the most challenging problems is to develop an artificial photosynthetic solar fuel production system that is both highly efficient and stable. The assembly of cocatalysts on the semiconductor (light harvester) not only can facilitate the charge separation, but also can lower the activation energy or overpotential for the reactions. An efficient light harvester loaded with suitable reduction and oxidation cocatalysts is the key for high efficiency of artificial photosynthetic systems. In this Account, we describe our strategy of hybrid photocatalysts using semiconductors as light harvesters with biomimetic complexes as molecular cocatalysts to construct efficient and stable artificial photosynthetic systems. We chose semiconductor nanoparticles as light harvesters because of their broad spectral absorption and relatively robust properties compared with a natural photosynthesis system. Using biomimetic complexes as cocatalysts can significantly facilitate charge separation via fast charge transfer from the semiconductor to the molecular cocatalysts and also catalyze the chemical reactions of solar fuel production. The hybrid photocatalysts supply us with a platform to study the

  8. Transcriptional regulation of the stress-responsive light harvesting complex genes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Shinichiro; Tokutsu, Ryutaro; Minagawa, Jun

    2014-07-01

    Dissipating excess energy of light is critical for photosynthetic organisms to keep the photosynthetic apparatus functional and less harmful under stressful environmental conditions. In the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, efficient energy dissipation is achieved by a process called non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), in which a distinct member of light harvesting complex, LHCSR, is known to play a key role. Although it has been known that two very closely related genes (LHCSR3.1 and LHCSR3.2) encoding LHCSR3 protein and another paralogous gene LHCSR1 are present in the C. reinhardtii genome, it is unclear how these isoforms are differentiated in terms of transcriptional regulation and functionalization. Here, we show that transcripts of both of the isoforms, LHCSR3.1 and LHCSR3.2, are accumulated under high light stress. Reexamination of the genomic sequence and gene models along with survey of sequence motifs suggested that these two isoforms shared an almost identical but still distinct promoter sequence and a completely identical polypeptide sequence, with more divergent 3'-untranscribed regions. Transcriptional induction under high light condition of both isoforms was suppressed by treatment with a photosystem II inhibitor, 3-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-1,1-dimethylurea (DCMU), and a calmodulin inhibitor W7. Despite a similar response to high light, the inhibitory effects of DCMU and W7 to the LHCSR1 transcript accumulation were limited compared to LHCSR3 genes. These results suggest that the transcription of LHCSR paralogs in C. reinhardtii are regulated by light signal and differentially modulated via photosynthetic electron transfer and calmodulin-mediated calcium signaling pathway(s). © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Assembly of the light-harvesting chlorophyll antenna in the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii requires expression of the TLA2-CpFTSY gene.

    PubMed

    Kirst, Henning; García-Cerdán, Jose Gines; Zurbriggen, Andreas; Melis, Anastasios

    2012-02-01

    The truncated light-harvesting antenna2 (tla2) mutant of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii showed a lighter-green phenotype, had a lower chlorophyll (Chl) per-cell content, and higher Chl a/b ratio than corresponding wild-type strains. Physiological analyses revealed a higher intensity for the saturation of photosynthesis and greater P(max) values in the tla2 mutant than in the wild type. Biochemical analyses showed that the tla2 strain was deficient in the Chl a-b light-harvesting complex, and had a Chl antenna size of the photosystems that was only about 65% of that in the wild type. Molecular and genetic analyses showed a single plasmid insertion in the tla2 strain, causing a chromosomal DNA rearrangement and deletion/disruption of five nuclear genes. The TLA2 gene, causing the tla2 phenotype, was cloned by mapping the insertion site and upon complementation with each of the genes that were deleted. Successful complementation was achieved with the C. reinhardtii TLA2-CpFTSY gene, whose occurrence and function in green microalgae has not hitherto been investigated. Functional analysis showed that the nuclear-encoded and chloroplast-localized CrCpFTSY protein specifically operates in the assembly of the peripheral components of the Chl a-b light-harvesting antenna. In higher plants, a cpftsy null mutation inhibits assembly of both the light-harvesting complex and photosystem complexes, thus resulting in a seedling-lethal phenotype. The work shows that cpftsy deletion in green algae, but not in higher plants, can be employed to generate tla mutants. The latter exhibit improved solar energy conversion efficiency and photosynthetic productivity under mass culture and bright sunlight conditions.

  10. Light-harvesting complexes from purple sulfur bacteria Allochromatium minutissimum assembled without carotenoids.

    PubMed

    Moskalenko, A A; Makhneva, Z K

    2012-03-01

    Rhodobacter sphaeroides, where the amount of LH2 presented in the membrane was directly correlated to the amount of the carotenoids synthesized (H.P. Lang, C.N. Hunter, The relationship between carotenoid biosynthesis and the assembly of the light harvesting LH2 complex in Rhodobacter sphaeroides, Biochem. J. 298 (1994) 197-205). Our results show that although the presence of Car molecules is important for the stability of the LH2 complexes the overall native structure can be maintained without any Cars at least in the case of purple sulfur bacteria.

  11. Transmembrane protein sorting driven by membrane curvature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strahl, H.; Ronneau, S.; González, B. Solana; Klutsch, D.; Schaffner-Barbero, C.; Hamoen, L. W.

    2015-11-01

    The intricate structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells depends on the ability to target proteins to specific cellular locations. In most cases, we have a poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms. A typical example is the assembly of bacterial chemoreceptors at cell poles. Here we show that the classical chemoreceptor TlpA of Bacillus subtilis does not localize according to the consensus stochastic nucleation mechanism but accumulates at strongly curved membrane areas generated during cell division. This preference was confirmed by accumulation at non-septal curved membranes. Localization appears to be an intrinsic property of the protein complex and does not rely on chemoreceptor clustering, as was previously shown for Escherichia coli. By constructing specific amino-acid substitutions, we demonstrate that the preference for strongly curved membranes arises from the curved shape of chemoreceptor trimer of dimers. These findings demonstrate that the intrinsic shape of transmembrane proteins can determine their cellular localization.

  12. Transmembrane protein sorting driven by membrane curvature.

    PubMed

    Strahl, H; Ronneau, S; González, B Solana; Klutsch, D; Schaffner-Barbero, C; Hamoen, L W

    2015-11-02

    The intricate structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells depends on the ability to target proteins to specific cellular locations. In most cases, we have a poor understanding of the underlying mechanisms. A typical example is the assembly of bacterial chemoreceptors at cell poles. Here we show that the classical chemoreceptor TlpA of Bacillus subtilis does not localize according to the consensus stochastic nucleation mechanism but accumulates at strongly curved membrane areas generated during cell division. This preference was confirmed by accumulation at non-septal curved membranes. Localization appears to be an intrinsic property of the protein complex and does not rely on chemoreceptor clustering, as was previously shown for Escherichia coli. By constructing specific amino-acid substitutions, we demonstrate that the preference for strongly curved membranes arises from the curved shape of chemoreceptor trimer of dimers. These findings demonstrate that the intrinsic shape of transmembrane proteins can determine their cellular localization.

  13. Model-building codes for membrane proteins.

    SciTech Connect

    Shirley, David Noyes; Hunt, Thomas W.; Brown, W. Michael; Schoeniger, Joseph S.; Slepoy, Alexander; Sale, Kenneth L.; Young, Malin M.; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Gray, Genetha Anne

    2005-01-01

    We have developed a novel approach to modeling the transmembrane spanning helical bundles of integral membrane proteins using only a sparse set of distance constraints, such as those derived from MS3-D, dipolar-EPR and FRET experiments. Algorithms have been written for searching the conformational space of membrane protein folds matching the set of distance constraints, which provides initial structures for local conformational searches. Local conformation search is achieved by optimizing these candidates against a custom penalty function that incorporates both measures derived from statistical analysis of solved membrane protein structures and distance constraints obtained from experiments. This results in refined helical bundles to which the interhelical loops and amino acid side-chains are added. Using a set of only 27 distance constraints extracted from the literature, our methods successfully recover the structure of dark-adapted rhodopsin to within 3.2 {angstrom} of the crystal structure.

  14. An N-terminal Domain of Adenovirus Protein VI Fragments Membranes By Inducing Positive Membrane Curvature

    PubMed Central

    Maier, Oana; Galan, Debra L.; Wodrich, Harald; Wiethoff, Christopher M.

    2010-01-01

    Adenovirus (Ad) membrane penetration during cell entry is poorly understood. Here we show that antibodies which neutralize the membrane lytic activity of the Ad capsid protein VI interfere with Ad endosomal membrane penetration. In vitro studies using a peptide corresponding to an N-terminal amphipathic α-helix of protein VI (VI-Φ), as well as other truncated forms of protein VI suggest that VI-Φ is largely responsible for protein VI binding to and lysing of membranes. Additional studies suggest that VI-Φ lies nearly parallel to the membrane surface. Protein VI fragments membranes and induces highly curved structures. Further studies suggest that Protein VI induces positive membrane curvature. These data support a model in which protein VI binds membranes, inducing positive curvature strain which ultimately leads to membrane fragmentation. These results agree with previous observations of Ad membrane permeabilization during cell entry and provide an initial mechanistic description of a nonenveloped virus membrane lytic protein. PMID:20409568

  15. Predicting membrane protein types with bragging learner.

    PubMed

    Niu, Bing; Jin, Yu-Huan; Feng, Kai-Yan; Liu, Liang; Lu, Wen-Cong; Cai, Yu-Dong; Li, Guo-Zheng

    2008-01-01

    The membrane protein type is an important feature in characterizing the overall topological folding type of a protein or its domains therein. Many investigators have put their efforts to the prediction of membrane protein type. Here, we propose a new approach, the bootstrap aggregating method or bragging learner, to address this problem based on the protein amino acid composition. As a demonstration, the benchmark dataset constructed by K.C. Chou and D.W. Elrod was used to test the new method. The overall success rate thus obtained by jackknife cross-validation was over 84%, indicating that the bragging learner as presented in this paper holds a quite high potential in predicting the attributes of proteins, or at least can play a complementary role to many existing algorithms in this area. It is anticipated that the prediction quality can be further enhanced if the pseudo amino acid composition can be effectively incorporated into the current predictor. An online membrane protein type prediction web server developed in our lab is available at http://chemdata.shu.edu.cn/protein/protein.jsp.

  16. General random matrix approach to account for the effect of static disorder on the spectral properties of light harvesting systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Şener, Melih K.; Schulten, Klaus

    2002-03-01

    We develop a random matrix model approach to study static disorder in pigment-protein complexes in photosynthetic organisms. As a case study, we examine the ring of B850 bacteriochlorophylls in the peripheral light-harvesting complex of Rhodospirillum molischianum, formulated in terms of an effective Hamiltonian describing the collective electronic excitations of the system. We numerically examine and compare various models of disorder and observe that both the density of states and the absorption spectrum of the model show remarkable spectral universality. For the case of unitary disorder, we develop a method to analytically evaluate the density of states of the ensemble using the supersymmetric formulation of random matrix theory. Succinct formulas that can be readily applied in future studies are provided in an appendix.

  17. General random matrix approach to account for the effect of static disorder on the spectral properties of light harvesting systems.

    PubMed

    Sener, Melih K; Schulten, Klaus

    2002-03-01

    We develop a random matrix model approach to study static disorder in pigment-protein complexes in photosynthetic organisms. As a case study, we examine the ring of B850 bacteriochlorophylls in the peripheral light-harvesting complex of Rhodospirillum molischianum, formulated in terms of an effective Hamiltonian describing the collective electronic excitations of the system. We numerically examine and compare various models of disorder and observe that both the density of states and the absorption spectrum of the model show remarkable spectral universality. For the case of unitary disorder, we develop a method to analytically evaluate the density of states of the ensemble using the supersymmetric formulation of random matrix theory. Succinct formulas that can be readily applied in future studies are provided in an appendix.

  18. Vibrational dynamics of plant light-harvesting complex LHC II investigated by quasi- and inelastic neutron scattering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golub, Maksym; Irrgang, Klaus-Dieter; Rusevich, Leonid; Pieper, Jörg

    2015-01-01

    Vibrational dynamics of the light-harvesting complex II (LHC II) from spinach was investigated by quasi- and inelastic neutron scattering (QENS and INS) at three different temperatures of 80, 160, and 285 K. QENS/INS spectra of solubilised LHC II and of the corresponding buffer solution were obtained separately and exhibit characteristic inelastic features. After subtraction of the buffer contribution, the INS spectrum of LHC II reveals a distinct Boson peak at ˜ 2.5 meV at 80 K that shifts towards lower energies if the temperature is increased to 285 K. This effect is interpreted in terms of a "softening" of the protein matrix along with the dynamical transition at ˜ 240 K. Our findings indicate that INS is a valuable method to obtain the density of vibrational states not only at cryogenic, but also at physiological temperatures.

  19. Proteomics characterization of abundant Golgi membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Bell, A W; Ward, M A; Blackstock, W P; Freeman, H N; Choudhary, J S; Lewis, A P; Chotai, D; Fazel, A; Gushue, J N; Paiement, J; Palcy, S; Chevet, E; Lafrenière-Roula, M; Solari, R; Thomas, D Y; Rowley, A; Bergeron, J J

    2001-02-16

    A mass spectrometric analysis of proteins partitioning into Triton X-114 from purified hepatic Golgi apparatus (84% purity by morphometry, 122-fold enrichment over the homogenate for the Golgi marker galactosyl transferase) led to the unambiguous identification of 81 proteins including a novel Golgi-associated protein of 34 kDa (GPP34). The membrane protein complement was resolved by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and subjected to a hierarchical approach using delayed extraction matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry characterization by peptide mass fingerprinting, tandem mass spectrometry to generate sequence tags, and Edman sequencing of proteins. Major membrane proteins corresponded to known Golgi residents, a Golgi lectin, anterograde cargo, and an abundance of trafficking proteins including KDEL receptors, p24 family members, SNAREs, Rabs, a single ARF-guanine nucleotide exchange factor, and two SCAMPs. Analytical fractionation and gold immunolabeling of proteins in the purified Golgi fraction were used to assess the intra-Golgi and total cellular distribution of GPP34, two SNAREs, SCAMPs, and the trafficking proteins GBF1, BAP31, and alpha(2)P24 identified by the proteomics approach as well as the endoplasmic reticulum contaminant calnexin. Although GPP34 has never previously been identified as a protein, the localization of GPP34 to the Golgi complex, the conservation of GPP34 from yeast to humans, and the cytosolically exposed location of GPP34 predict a role for a novel coat protein in Golgi trafficking.

  20. Thermal Quantum Correlations in Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahdian, M.; Kouhestani, H.

    2015-08-01

    Photosynthesis is one of the ancient biological processes, playing crucial role converting solar energy to cellular usable currency. Environmental factors and external perturbations has forced nature to choose systems with the highest efficiency and performance. Recent theoretical and experimental studies have proved the presence of quantum properties in biological systems. Energy transfer systems like Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) complex shows quantum entanglement between sites of Bacteriophylla molecules in protein environment and presence of decoherence. Complex biological systems implement more truthful mechanisms beside chemical-quantum correlations to assure system's efficiency. In this study we investigate thermal quantum correlations in FMO protein of the photosynthetic apparatus of green sulfur bacteria by quantum discord measure. The results confirmed existence of remarkable quantum correlations of of BChla pigments in room temperature. This results approve involvement of quantum correlation mechanisms for information storage and retention in living organisms that could be useful for further evolutionary studies. Inspired idea of this study is potentially interesting to practice by the same procedure in genetic data transfer mechanisms.

  1. Major intrinsic proteins in biomimetic membranes.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Claus Hélix

    2010-01-01

    Biological membranes define the structural and functional boundaries in living cells and their organelles. The integrity of the cell depends on its ability to separate inside from outside and yet at the same time allow massive transport of matter in and out the cell. Nature has elegantly met this challenge by developing membranes in the form of lipid bilayers in which specialized transport proteins are incorporated. This raises the question: is it possible to mimic biological membranes and create a membrane based sensor and/or separation device? In the development of a biomimetic sensor/separation technology, a unique class of membrane transport proteins is especially interesting-the major intrinsic proteins (MIPs). Generally, MIPs conduct water molecules and selected solutes in and out of the cell while preventing the passage of other solutes, a property critical for the conservation of the cells internal pH and salt concentration. Also known as water channels or aquaporins they are highly efficient membrane pore proteins some of which are capable of transporting water at very high rates up to 10(9) molecules per second. Some MIPs transport other small, uncharged solutes, such as glycerol and other permeants such as carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide and the metalloids antimonite, arsenite, silicic and boric acid depending on the effective restriction mechanism of the protein. The flux properties of MIPs thus lead to the question ifMIPs can be used in separation devices or as sensor devices based on, e.g., the selective permeation of metalloids. In principle a MIP based membrane sensor/separation device requires the supporting biomimetic matrix to be virtually impermeable to anything but water or the solute in question. In practice, however, a biomimetic support matrix will generally have finite permeabilities to both electrolytes and non-electrolytes. The feasibility of a biomimetic MIP device thus depends on the relative transport

  2. Disentangling the low-energy states of the major light-harvesting complex of plants and their role in photoprotection.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Tjaart P J; Ilioaia, Cristian; Johnson, Matthew P; Ruban, Alexander V; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2014-07-01

    The ability to dissipate large fractions of their absorbed light energy as heat is a vital photoprotective function of the peripheral light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes in photosystem II of plants. The major component of this process, known as qE, is characterised by the appearance of low-energy (red-shifted) absorption and fluorescence bands. Although the appearance of these red states has been established, the molecular mechanism, their site and particularly their involvement in qE are strongly debated. Here, room-temperature single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy was used to study the red emission states of the major plant light-harvesting complex (LHCII) in different environments, in particular conditions mimicking qE. It was found that most states correspond to peak emission at around 700nm and are unrelated to energy dissipative states, though their frequency of occurrence increased under conditions that mimicked qE. Longer-wavelength emission appeared to be directly related to energy dissipative states, in particular emission beyond 770nm. The ensemble average of the red emission bands shares many properties with those obtained from previous bulk in vitro and in vivo studies. We propose the existence of at least three excitation energy dissipating mechanisms in LHCII, each of which is associated with a different spectral signature and whose contribution to qE is determined by environmental control of protein conformational disorder. Emission at 700nm is attributed to a conformational change in the Lut 2 domain, which is facilitated by the conformational change associated with the primary quenching mechanism involving Lut 1. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Highly efficient nonradiative energy transfer mediated light harvesting in water using aqueous CdTe quantum dot antennas.

    PubMed

    Mutlugun, Evren; Samarskaya, Olga; Ozel, Tuncay; Cicek, Neslihan; Gaponik, Nikolai; Eychmüller, Alexander; Demir, Hilmi Volkan

    2010-05-10

    We present light harvesting of aqueous colloidal quantum dots to nonradiatively transfer their excitonic excitation energy efficiently to dye molecules in water, without requiring ligand exchange. These as-synthesized CdTe quantum dots that are used as donors to serve as light-harvesting antennas are carefully optimized to match the electronic structure of Rhodamine B molecules used as acceptors for light harvesting in aqueous medium. By varying the acceptor to donor concentration ratio, we measure the light harvesting factor, along with substantial lifetime modifications of these water-soluble quantum dots, from 25.3 ns to 7.2 ns as a result of their energy transfer with efficiency levels up to 86%. Such nonradiative energy transfer mediated light harvesting in aqueous medium holds great promise for future quantum dot multiplexed dye biodetection systems.

  4. Protein permeation through an electrically tunable membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jou, Ining A.; Melnikov, Dmitriy V.; Gracheva, Maria E.

    2016-05-01

    Protein filtration is important in many fields of science and technology such as medicine, biology, chemistry, and engineering. Recently, protein separation and filtering with nanoporous membranes has attracted interest due to the possibility of fast separation and high throughput volume. This, however, requires understanding of the protein’s dynamics inside and in the vicinity of the nanopore. In this work, we utilize a Brownian dynamics approach to study the motion of the model protein insulin in the membrane-electrolyte electrostatic potential. We compare the results of the atomic model of the protein with the results of a coarse-grained and a single-bead model, and find that the coarse-grained representation of protein strikes the best balance between the accuracy of the results and the computational effort required. Contrary to common belief, we find that to adequately describe the protein, a single-bead model cannot be utilized without a significant effort to tabulate the simulation parameters. Similar to results for nanoparticle dynamics, our findings also indicate that the electric field and the electro-osmotic flow due to the applied membrane and electrolyte biases affect the capture and translocation of the biomolecule by either attracting or repelling it to or from the nanopore. Our computational model can also be applied to other types of proteins and separation conditions.

  5. Evolution and regulation of Bigelowiella natans light-harvesting antenna system.

    PubMed

    A D Neilson, Jonathan; Rangsrikitphoti, Pattarasiri; Durnford, Dion G

    2017-10-01

    Bigelowiella natans is a mixotrophic flagellate and member of the chlorarachniophytes (Rhizaria), whose plastid is derived from a green algal endosymbiont. With the completion of the B. natans nuclear genome we are able to begin the analysis of the structure, function and evolution of the photosynthetic apparatus. B. natans has undergone substantial changes in photosystem structure during the evolution of the plastid from a green alga. While Photosystem II (PSII) composition is well conserved, Photosystem I (PSI) composition has undergone a dramatic reduction in accessory protein subunits. Coinciding with these changes, there was a loss of green algal LHCI orthologs while the PSII-like antenna system has the expected green algal-like proteins (encoded by genes Lhcbm1-8, Lhcb4). There are also a collection of LHCX-like proteins, which are commonly associated with stramenopiles and other eukaryotes with red-algal derived plastids, along with two other unique classes of LHCs- LHCY and LHCZ- whose function remains cryptic. To understand the regulation of the LHC gene family as an initial probe of function, we conducted an RNA-seq experiment under a short-term, high-light (HL) and low-light stress. The most abundant LHCII transcript (Lhcbm6) plus two other LHCBM types (Lhcbm1, 2) were down regulated under HL and up-regulated following a shift to very-low light (VL), as is common in antenna specializing in light harvesting. Many of the other LHCII and LHCY genes had a small, but significant increase in HL and most were only moderately affected under VL. The LHCX and LHCZ genes, however, had a strong up-regulation under HL-stress and most declined under VL, suggesting that they primarily have a role in photoprotection. This contrasts to the LHCY family that is only moderately responsive to light and a much higher basal level of expression, despite being within the LHCSR/LHCX clade. The expression of LHCX/Z proteins under HL-stress may be related to the induction of long

  6. Directional interactions and cooperativity between mechanosensitive membrane proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haselwandter, Christoph A.; Phillips, Rob

    2013-03-01

    While modern structural biology has provided us with a rich and diverse picture of membrane proteins, the biological function of membrane proteins is often influenced by the mechanical properties of the surrounding lipid bilayer. Here we explore the relation between the shape of membrane proteins and the cooperative function of membrane proteins induced by membrane-mediated elastic interactions. For the experimental model system of mechanosensitive ion channels we find that the sign and strength of elastic interactions depend on the protein shape, yielding distinct cooperative gating curves for distinct protein orientations. Our approach predicts how directional elastic interactions affect the molecular structure, organization, and biological function of proteins in crowded membranes.

  7. Identifying the quantum correlations in light-harvesting complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Bradler, Kamil; Wilde, Mark M.; Vinjanampathy, Sai; Uskov, Dmitry B.

    2010-12-15

    One of the major efforts in the quantum biological program is to subject biological systems to standard tests or measures of quantumness. These tests and measures should elucidate whether nontrivial quantum effects may be present in biological systems. Two such measures of quantum correlations are the quantum discord and the relative entropy of entanglement. Here, we show that the relative entropy of entanglement admits a simple analytic form when dynamics and accessible degrees of freedom are restricted to a zero- and single-excitation subspace. We also simulate and calculate the amount of quantum discord that is present in the Fenna-Matthews-Olson protein complex during the transfer of an excitation from a chlorosome antenna to a reaction center. We find that the single-excitation quantum discord and single-excitation relative entropy of entanglement are equal for all of our numerical simulations, but a proof of their general equality for this setting evades us for now. Also, some of our simulations demonstrate that the relative entropy of entanglement without the single-excitation restriction is much lower than the quantum discord. The first picosecond of dynamics is the relevant time scale for the transfer of the excitation, according to some sources in the literature. Our simulation results indicate that quantum correlations contribute a significant fraction of the total correlation during this first picosecond in many cases, at both cryogenic and physiological temperatures.

  8. Evolution under the sun: optimizing light harvesting in photosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Ruban, Alexander V

    2015-01-01

    The emergence and evolution of life on our planet was possible because the sun provides energy to our biosphere. Indeed, all life forms need energy for existence and proliferation in space and time. Light-energy conversion takes place in photosynthetic organisms that evolve in various environments featuring an impressive range of light intensities that span several orders of magnitude. This property is achieved by the evolution of mechanisms of efficient energy capture that involved development of antenna pigments and pigment-protein complexes as well as the emergence of various strategies on the organismal, cellular, and molecular levels to counteract the detrimental effects of high light intensity on the delicate photosynthetic apparatus. Darwin was one of the first to describe the behaviour of plants towards light. He noticed that some plants try to avoid full daylight and called this reaction paraheliotropism. However, it was only in the second half of the 20th century, when scientists began to discover the structure and molecular mechanisms of the photosynthetic machinery, that the reasons for paraheliotropisms became clear. This review explains the need for the evolution of light adaptations using the example of higher plants. The review focuses on short-term adaptation mechanisms that occur on the minute scale, showing that these processes are fast enough to track rapid fluctuations in light intensity and that they evolved to be effective, allowing for the expansion of plant habitats and promoting diversification and survival. Also introduced are the most recent developments in methods that enable quantification of the light intensities that can be tolerated by plants.

  9. Loss of CpSRP54 function leads to a truncated light-harvesting antenna size in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Jooyeon; Baek, Kwangryul; Kirst, Henning; Melis, Anastasios; Jin, EonSeon

    2017-01-01

    The Chlamydomonas reinhardtii truncated light-harvesting antenna 4 (tla4) DNA transposon mutant has a pale green phenotype, a lower chlorophyll (Chl) per cell and a higher Chl a/b ratio in comparison with the wild type. It required a higher light intensity for the saturation of photosynthesis and displayed a greater per chlorophyll light-saturated rate of oxygen evolution than the wild type. The Chl antenna size of the photosystems in the tla4 mutant was only about 65% of that measured in the wild type. Molecular genetic analysis revealed that a single plasmid DNA insertion disrupted two genes on chromosome 11 of the mutant. A complementation study identified the "chloroplast signal recognition particle 54" gene (CpSRP54), as the lesion causing the tla4 phenotype. Disruption of this gene resulted in partial failure to assemble and, therefore, lower levels of light-harvesting Chl-binding proteins in the C. reinhardtii thylakoids. A comparative in silico 3-D structure-modeling analysis revealed that the M-domain of the CpSRP54 of C. reinhardtii possesses a more extended finger loop structure, due to different amino acid composition, as compared to that of the Arabidopsis CpSRP54. The work demonstrated that CpSRP54 deletion in microalgae can serve to generate tla mutants with a markedly smaller photosystem Chl antenna size, improved solar energy conversion efficiency, and photosynthetic productivity in high-density cultures under bright sunlight conditions. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Anisotropic organization and microscopic manipulation of self-assembling synthetic porphyrin microrods that mimic chlorosomes: bacterial light-harvesting systems.

    PubMed

    Chappaz-Gillot, Cyril; Marek, Peter L; Blaive, Bruno J; Canard, Gabriel; Bürck, Jochen; Garab, Gyozo; Hahn, Horst; Jávorfi, Tamás; Kelemen, Loránd; Krupke, Ralph; Mössinger, Dennis; Ormos, Pál; Reddy, Chilla Malla; Roussel, Christian; Steinbach, Gábor; Szabó, Milán; Ulrich, Anne S; Vanthuyne, Nicolas; Vijayaraghavan, Aravind; Zupcanova, Anita; Balaban, Teodor Silviu

    2012-01-18

    Being able to control in time and space the positioning, orientation, movement, and sense of rotation of nano- to microscale objects is currently an active research area in nanoscience, having diverse nanotechnological applications. In this paper, we demonstrate unprecedented control and maneuvering of rod-shaped or tubular nanostructures with high aspect ratios which are formed by self-assembling synthetic porphyrins. The self-assembly algorithm, encoded by appended chemical-recognition groups on the periphery of these porphyrins, is the same as the one operating for chlorosomal bacteriochlorophylls (BChl's). Chlorosomes, rod-shaped organelles with relatively long-range molecular order, are the most efficient naturally occurring light-harvesting systems. They are used by green photosynthetic bacteria to trap visible and infrared light of minute intensities even at great depths, e.g., 100 m below water surface or in volcanic vents in the absence of solar radiation. In contrast to most other natural light-harvesting systems, the chlorosomal antennae are devoid of a protein scaffold to orient the BChl's; thus, they are an attractive goal for mimicry by synthetic chemists, who are able to engineer more robust chromophores to self-assemble. Functional devices with environmentally friendly chromophores-which should be able to act as photosensitizers within hybrid solar cells, leading to high photon-to-current conversion efficiencies even under low illumination conditions-have yet to be fabricated. The orderly manner in which the BChl's and their synthetic counterparts self-assemble imparts strong diamagnetic and optical anisotropies and flow/shear characteristics to their nanostructured assemblies, allowing them to be manipulated by electrical, magnetic, or tribomechanical forces. © 2011 American Chemical Society

  11. Maximizing photosynthetic efficiency and culture productivity in cyanobacteria upon minimizing the phycobilisome light-harvesting antenna size.

    PubMed

    Kirst, Henning; Formighieri, Cinzia; Melis, Anastasios

    2014-10-01

    A phycocyanin-deletion mutant of Synechocystis (cyanobacteria) was generated upon replacement of the CPC-operon with a kanamycin resistance cassette. The Δcpc transformant strains (Δcpc) exhibited a green phenotype, compared to the blue-green of the wild type (WT), lacked the distinct phycocyanin absorbance at 625nm, and had a lower Chl per cell content and a lower PSI/PSII reaction center ratio compared to the WT. Molecular and genetic analyses showed replacement of all WT copies of the Synechocystis DNA with the transgenic version, thereby achieving genomic DNA homoplasmy. Biochemical analyses showed the absence of the phycocyanin α- and β-subunits, and the overexpression of the kanamycin resistance NPTI protein in the Δcpc. Physiological analyses revealed a higher, by a factor of about 2, intensity for the saturation of photosynthesis in the Δcpc compared to the WT. Under limiting intensities of illumination, growth of the Δcpc was slower than that of the WT. This difference in the rate of cell duplication diminished gradually as growth irradiance increased. Identical rates of cell duplication of about 13h for both WT and Δcpc were observed at about 800μmolphotonsm(-2)s(-1) or greater. Culture productivity analyses under simulated bright sunlight and high cell-density conditions showed that biomass accumulation by the Δcpc was 1.57-times greater than that achieved by the WT. Thus, the work provides first-time direct evidence of the applicability of the Truncated Light-harvesting Antenna (TLA)-concept in cyanobacteria, entailing substantial improvements in the photosynthetic efficiency and productivity of mass cultures upon minimizing the phycobilisome light-harvesting antenna size.

  12. Self diffusion of interacting membrane proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Abney, J R; Scalettar, B A; Owicki, J C

    1989-01-01

    A two-dimensional version of the generalized Smoluchowski equation is used to analyze the time (or distance) dependent self diffusion of interacting membrane proteins in concentrated membrane systems. This equation provides a well established starting point for descriptions of the diffusion of particles that interact through both direct and hydrodynamic forces; in this initial work only the effects of direct interactions are explicitly considered. Data describing diffusion in the presence of hard-core repulsions, soft repulsions, and soft repulsions with weak attractions are presented. The effect that interactions have on the self-diffusion coefficient of a real protein molecule from mouse liver gap junctions is also calculated. The results indicate that self diffusion is always inhibited by direct interactions; this observation is interpreted in terms of the caging that will exist at finite protein concentration. It is also noted that, over small distance scales, the diffusion coefficient is determined entirely by the very strong Brownian forces; therefore, as a function of displacement the self-diffusion coefficient decays (rapidly) from its value at infinite dilution to its steady-state interaction-averaged value. The steady-state self-diffusion coefficient describes motion over distance scales that range from approximately 10 nm to cellular dimensions and is the quantity measured in fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments. The short-ranged behavior of the diffusion coefficient is important on the interparticle-distance scale and may therefore influence the rate at which nearest-neighbor collisional processes take place. The hard-disk theoretical results presented here are in excellent agreement with lattice Monte-Carlo results obtained by other workers. The concentration dependence of experimentally measured diffusion coefficients of antibody-hapten complexes bound to the membrane surface is consistent with that predicted by the theory. The

  13. Calcium ions are involved in the unusual red shift of the light-harvesting 1 Qy transition of the core complex in thermophilic purple sulfur bacterium Thermochromatium tepidum.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Yukihiro; Hirano, Yu; Yu, Long-Jiang; Suzuki, Hiroaki; Kobayashi, Masayuki; Wang, Zheng-Yu

    2008-05-16

    Thermophilic purple sulfur bacterium, Thermochromatium tepidum, can grow at temperatures up to 58 degrees C and exhibits an unusual Qy absorption at 915 nm for the core light-harvesting complex (LH1), an approximately 35-nm red shift from those of its mesophilic counterparts. We demonstrate in this study, using a highly purified LH1-reaction center complex, that the LH1 Qy transition is strongly dependent on metal cations and Ca2+ is involved in the unusual red shift. Removal of the Ca2+ resulted in formation of a species with the LH1 Qy absorption at 880 nm, and addition of the Ca2+ to the 880-nm species recovered the native 915-nm form. Interchange between the two forms is fully reversible. Based on spectroscopic and isothermal titration calorimetry analyses, the Ca2+ binding to the LH1 complex was estimated to occur in a stoichiometric ratio of Ca2+/alphabeta-subunit = 1:1 and the binding constant was in 10(5) m(-1) order of magnitude, which is comparable with those for EF-hand Ca2+-binding proteins. Despite the high affinity, conformational changes in the LH1 complex upon Ca2+ binding were small and occurred slowly, with a typical time constant of approximately 6 min. Replacement of the Ca2+ with other metal cations caused blue shifts of the Qy bands depending on the property of the cations, indicating that the binding site is highly selective. Based on the amino acid sequences of the LH1 complex, possible Ca2+-binding sites are proposed that consist of several acidic amino acid residues near the membrane interfaces of the C-terminal region of the alpha-polypeptide and the N-terminal region of the beta-polypeptide.

  14. Towards in vivo mutation analysis: knock-out of specific chlorophylls bound to the light-harvesting complexes of Arabidopsis thaliana - the case of CP24 (Lhcb6).

    PubMed

    Passarini, Francesca; Xu, Pengqi; Caffarri, Stefano; Hille, Jacques; Croce, Roberta

    2014-09-01

    In the last ten years, a large series of studies have targeted antenna complexes of plants (Lhc) with the aim of understanding the mechanisms of light harvesting and photoprotection. Combining spectroscopy, modeling and mutation analyses, the role of individual pigments in these processes has been highlighted in vitro. In plants, however, these proteins are associated with multiple complexes of the photosystems and function within this framework. In this work, we have envisaged a way to bridge the gap between in vitro and in vivo studies by knocking out in vivo pigments that have been proposed to play an important role in excitation energy transfer between the complexes or in photoprotection. We have complemented a CP24 knock-out mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana with the CP24 (Lhcb6) gene carrying a His-tag and with a mutated version lacking the ligand for chlorophyll 612, a specific pigment that in vitro experiments have indicated as the lowest energy site of the complex. Both complexes efficiently integrated into the thylakoid membrane and assembled into the PSII supercomplexes, indicating that the His-tag does not impair the organization in vivo. The presence of the His-tag allowed the purification of CP24-WT and of CP24-612 mutant in their native states. It is shown that CP24-WT coordinates 10 chlorophylls and 2 carotenoid molecules and has properties identical to those of the reconstituted complex, demonstrating that the complex self-assembled in vitro assumes the same folding as in the plant. The absence of the ligand for chlorophyll 612 leads to the loss of one Chl a and of lutein, again as in vitro, indicating the feasibility of the method. This article is part of a special issue entitled: photosynthesis research for sustainability: keys to produce clean energy.

  15. Calcium ions are required for the enhanced thermal stability of the light-harvesting-reaction center core complex from thermophilic purple sulfur bacterium Thermochromatium tepidum.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Yukihiro; Yu, Long-Jiang; Hirano, Yu; Suzuki, Hiroaki; Wang, Zheng-Yu

    2009-01-02

    Thermochromatium tepidum is a thermophilic purple sulfur photosynthetic bacterium collected from the Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. A previous study showed that the light-harvesting-reaction center core complex (LH1-RC) purified from this bacterium is highly stable at room temperature (Suzuki, H., Hirano, Y., Kimura, Y., Takaichi, S., Kobayashi, M., Miki, K., and Wang, Z.-Y. (2007) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1767, 1057-1063). In this work, we demonstrate that thermal stability of the Tch. tepidum LH1-RC is much higher than that of its mesophilic counterparts, and the enhanced thermal stability requires Ca2+ as a cofactor. Removal of the Ca2+ from Tch. tepidum LH1-RC resulted in a complex with the same degree of thermal stability as that of the LH1-RCs purified from mesophilic bacteria. The enhanced thermal stability can be restored by addition of Ca2+ to the Ca2+-depleted LH1-RC, and this process is fully reversible. Interchange of the thermal stability between the two forms is accompanied by a shift of the LH1 Qy transition between 915 nm for the native and 880 nm for the Ca2+-depleted LH1-RC. Differential scanning calorimetry measurements reveal that degradation temperature of the native LH1-RC is 15 degrees C higher and the enthalpy change is about 28% larger than the Ca2+-depleted LH1-RC. Substitution of the Ca2+ with other metal cations caused a decrease in thermal stability of an extent depending on the properties of the cations. These results indicate that Ca2+ ions play a dual role in stabilizing the structure of the pigment-membrane protein complex and in altering its spectroscopic properties, and hence provide insight into the adaptive strategy of this photosynthetic organism to survive in extreme environments using natural resources.

  16. Membrane Fluctuations Destabilize Clathrin Protein Lattice Order

    PubMed Central

    Cordella, Nicholas; Lampo, Thomas J.; Mehraeen, Shafigh; Spakowitz, Andrew J.

    2014-01-01

    We develop a theoretical model of a clathrin protein lattice on a flexible cell membrane. The clathrin subunit is modeled as a three-legged pinwheel with elastic deformation modes and intersubunit binding interactions. The pinwheels are constrained to lie on the surface of an elastic sheet that opposes bending deformation and is subjected to tension. Through Monte Carlo simulations, we predict the equilibrium phase behavior of clathrin lattices at various levels of tension. High membrane tensions, which correspond to suppressed membrane fluctuations, tend to stabilize large, flat crystalline structures similar to plaques that have been observed in vivo on cell membranes that are adhered to rigid surfaces. Low tensions, on the other hand, give rise to disordered, defect-ridden lattices that behave in a fluidlike manner. The principles of two-dimensional melting theory are applied to our model system to further clarify how high tensions can stabilize crystalline order on flexible membranes. These results demonstrate the importance of environmental physical cues in dictating the collective behavior of self-assembled protein structures. PMID:24703309

  17. Engineering Lipid Bilayer Membranes for Protein Studies

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Muhammad Shuja; Dosoky, Noura Sayed; Williams, John Dalton

    2013-01-01

    Lipid membranes regulate the flow of nutrients and communication signaling between cells and protect the sub-cellular structures. Recent attempts to fabricate artificial systems using nanostructures that mimic the physiological properties of natural lipid bilayer membranes (LBM) fused with transmembrane proteins have helped demonstrate the importance of temperature, pH, ionic strength, adsorption behavior, conformational reorientation and surface density in cellular membranes which all affect the incorporation of proteins on solid surfaces. Much of this work is performed on artificial templates made of polymer sponges or porous materials based on alumina, mica, and porous silicon (PSi) surfaces. For example, porous silicon materials have high biocompatibility, biodegradability, and photoluminescence, which allow them to be used both as a support structure for lipid bilayers or a template to measure the electrochemical functionality of living cells grown over the surface as in vivo. The variety of these media, coupled with the complex physiological conditions present in living systems, warrant a summary and prospectus detailing which artificial systems provide the most promise for different biological conditions. This study summarizes the use of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) data on artificial biological membranes that are closely matched with previously published biological systems using both black lipid membrane and patch clamp techniques. PMID:24185908

  18. MemProtMD: Automated Insertion of Membrane Protein Structures into Explicit Lipid Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Stansfeld, Phillip J.; Goose, Joseph E.; Caffrey, Martin; Carpenter, Elisabeth P.; Parker, Joanne L.; Newstead, Simon; Sansom, Mark S.P.

    2015-01-01

    Summary There has been exponential growth in the number of membrane protein structures determined. Nevertheless, these structures are usually resolved in the absence of their lipid environment. Coarse-grained molecular dynamics (CGMD) simulations enable insertion of membrane proteins into explicit models of lipid bilayers. We have automated the CGMD methodology, enabling membrane protein structures to be identified upon their release into the PDB and embedded into a membrane. The simulations are analyzed for protein-lipid interactions, identifying lipid binding sites, and revealing local bilayer deformations plus molecular access pathways within the membrane. The coarse-grained models of membrane protein/bilayer complexes are transformed to atomistic resolution for further analysis and simulation. Using this automated simulation pipeline, we have analyzed a number of recently determined membrane protein structures to predict their locations within a membrane, their lipid/protein interactions, and the functional implications of an enhanced understanding of the local membrane environment of each protein. PMID:26073602

  19. Subdiffusion of proteins and oligomers on membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lepzelter, David; Zaman, Muhammad

    2012-11-01

    Diffusion of proteins on lipid membranes plays a central role in cell signaling processes. From a mathematical perspective, most membrane diffusion processes are explained by the Saffman-Delbrück theory. However, recent studies have suggested a major limitation in the theoretical framework, the lack of complexity in the modeled lipid membrane. Lipid domains (sometimes termed membrane rafts) are known to slow protein diffusion, but there have been no quantitative theoretical examinations of how much diffusion is slowed in a general case. We provide an overall theoretical framework for confined-domain ("corralled") diffusion. Further, there have been multiple apparent contradictions of the basic conclusions of Saffman and Delbrück, each involving cases in which a single protein or an oligomer has multiple transmembrane regions passing through a lipid phase barrier. We present a set of corrections to the Saffman-Delbrück theory to account for these experimental observations. Our corrections are able to provide a quantitative explanation of numerous cellular signaling processes that have been considered beyond the scope of the Saffman-Delbrück theory, and may be extendable to other forms of subdiffusion.

  20. Phylogenetic profiles of all membrane transport proteins

    PubMed Central

    Weiner, January; Kooij, Taco W.A.

    2016-01-01

    In order to combat the on-going malaria epidemic, discovery of new drug targets remains vital. Proteins that are essential to survival and specific to malaria parasites are key candidates. To survive within host cells, the parasites need to acquire nutrients and dispose of waste products across multiple membranes. Additionally, like all eukaryotes, they must redistribute ions and organic molecules between their various internal membrane bound compartments. Membrane transport proteins mediate all of these processes and are considered important mediators of drug resistance as well as drug targets in their own right. Recently, using advanced experimental genetic approaches and streamlined life cycle profiling, we generated a large collection of Plasmodium berghei gene deletion mutants and assigned essential gene functions, highlighting potential targets for prophylactic, therapeutic, and transmission-blocking anti-malarial drugs. Here, we present a comprehensive orthology assignment of all Plasmodium falciparum putative membrane transport proteins and provide a detailed overview of the associated essential gene functions obtained through experimental genetics studies in human and murine model parasites. Furthermore, we discuss the phylogeny of selected potential drug targets identified in our functional screen. We extensively discuss the results in the context of the functional assignments obtained using gene targeting available to date. PMID:28357319

  1. Helix-packing motifs in membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Walters, R F S; DeGrado, W F

    2006-09-12

    The fold of a helical membrane protein is largely determined by interactions between membrane-imbedded helices. To elucidate recurring helix-helix interaction motifs, we dissected the crystallographic structures of membrane proteins into a library of interacting helical pairs. The pairs were clustered according to their three-dimensional similarity (rmsd membrane proteins.

  2. Combinatorial Method for Overexpression of Membrane Proteins in Escherichia coli*

    PubMed Central

    Leviatan, Shani; Sawada, Keisuke; Moriyama, Yoshinori; Nelson, Nathan

    2010-01-01

    Membrane proteins constitute 20–30% of all proteins encoded by the genome of various organisms. Large amounts of purified proteins are required for activity and crystallization attempts. Thus, there is an unmet need for a heterologous membrane protein overexpression system for purification, crystallization, and activity determination. We developed a combinatorial method for overexpressing and purifying membrane proteins using Escherichia coli. This method utilizes short hydrophilic bacterial proteins, YaiN and YbeL, fused to the ends of the membrane proteins to serve as facilitating factors for expression and purification. Fourteen prokaryotic and mammalian membrane proteins were expressed using this system. Moderate to high expression was obtained for most proteins, and detergent solubilization combined with a short purification process produced stable, monodispersed membrane proteins. Five of the mammalian membrane proteins, overexpressed using our system, were reconstituted into liposomes and exhibited transport activity comparable with the native transporters. PMID:20525689

  3. Combinatorial method for overexpression of membrane proteins in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Leviatan, Shani; Sawada, Keisuke; Moriyama, Yoshinori; Nelson, Nathan

    2010-07-30

    Membrane proteins constitute 20-30% of all proteins encoded by the genome of various organisms. Large amounts of purified proteins are required for activity and crystallization attempts. Thus, there is an unmet need for a heterologous membrane protein overexpression system for purification, crystallization, and activity determination. We developed a combinatorial method for overexpressing and purifying membrane proteins using Escherichia coli. This method utilizes short hydrophilic bacterial proteins, YaiN and YbeL, fused to the ends of the membrane proteins to serve as facilitating factors for expression and purification. Fourteen prokaryotic and mammalian membrane proteins were expressed using this system. Moderate to high expression was obtained for most proteins, and detergent solubilization combined with a short purification process produced stable, monodispersed membrane proteins. Five of the mammalian membrane proteins, overexpressed using our system, were reconstituted into liposomes and exhibited transport activity comparable with the native transporters.

  4. Assembly of Photosynthetic Antenna Protein Complexes from Algae for Development of Nano-biodevice and Its Fuelization

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-05-20

    Artificial Leaf 6CO2 + 6H2O C6H12O6 (Glucose) +6O2 Natural Leaf Photosynthesis and redox proteins are well-organized into thylakoid membrane in natural leaf...bacterial photosynthesis . The structure of the reaction center (RC, the first membrane protein to have its structure determined to high resolution...Introduction] In a bacterial photosynthesis , light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) and lightharvesting-reaction center complex (LH1-RC) play the key

  5. Light Harvesting as a Simple and Versatile Way to Enhance Brightness of Luminescent Sensors

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    The emissive output of indicator dyes in luminescent sensors can be amplified by the addition of antenna dyes with a higher brightness. The highly concentrated antenna dye molecules absorb the excitation light and transfer the energy to an indicator dye. This harvesting of light makes thin sensor layers (thickness <500 nm) and nanometer sized sensor particles with exceptionally high brightness and compatible with the most powerful LEDs available. The performance of sensor layers of ∼250 nm thickness employing light harvesting was investigated and compared with established sensors. The principle is demonstrated for oxygen and ammonia sensors. An overview of possible application of light harvesting to various reagent mediated optical sensing schemes is given.

  6. Vibronic origin of long-lived coherence in an artificial molecular light harvester

    PubMed Central

    Lim, James; Paleček, David; Caycedo-Soler, Felipe; Lincoln, Craig N.; Prior, Javier; von Berlepsch, Hans; Huelga, Susana F.; Plenio, Martin B.; Zigmantas, Donatas; Hauer, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Natural and artificial light-harvesting processes have recently gained new interest. Signatures of long-lasting coherence in spectroscopic signals of biological systems have been repeatedly observed, albeit their origin is a matter of ongoing debate, as it is unclear how the loss of coherence due to interaction with the noisy environments in such systems is averted. Here we report experimental and theoretical verification of coherent exciton–vibrational (vibronic) coupling as the origin of long-lasting coherence in an artificial light harvester, a molecular J-aggregate. In this macroscopically aligned tubular system, polarization-controlled 2D spectroscopy delivers an uncongested and specific optical response as an ideal foundation for an in-depth theoretical description. We derive analytical expressions that show under which general conditions vibronic coupling leads to prolonged excited-state coherence. PMID:26158602

  7. Energy transfer from quantum dots to metal-organic frameworks for enhanced light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Jin, Shengye; Son, Ho-Jin; Farha, Omar K; Wiederrecht, Gary P; Hupp, Joseph T

    2013-01-23

    Because of their efficient energy-transport properties, porphyrin-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are attractive compounds for solar photochemistry applications. However, their absorption bands provide limited coverage in the visible spectral range for light-harvesting applications. We report here the functionalization of porphyrin-based MOFs with CdSe/ZnS core/shell quantum dots (QDs) for the enhancement of light harvesting via energy transfer from the QDs to the MOFs. The broad absorption band of the QDs in the visible region offers greater coverage of the solar spectrum by QD-MOF hybrid structures. We show through time-resolved emission studies that photoexcitation of the QDs is followed by energy transfer to the MOFs with efficiencies of more than 80%. This sensitization approach can result in a >50% increase in the number of photons harvested by a single monolayer MOF structure with a monolayer of QDs on the surface of the MOF.

  8. Probing film-depth-related light harvesting in polymer solar cells via plasma etching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Shuang; Bu, Laju; Zheng, Zhong; Wang, Xudong; Wang, Weichen; Zhou, Ling; Hou, Jianhui; Lu, Guanghao

    2017-04-01

    Light harvesting is the first step of photovoltaic process in polymer solar cells. However, such donor: acceptor bulk junction layers are usually featured with vertical phase segregation as well as film-depth-dependent molecular aggregation, chain orientation and crystallinity, leading to a significant variation of photon absorption and exciton generation at different film-depths. We propose an experimentally and numerically accessible method to investigate the depth-dependent light harvesting behaviors in the active layer in polymer solar cells. A low-pressure oxygen plasma is utilized to etch the active layer gradually which is monitored by a light absorption spectrometer. Including the obtained sublayer absorption spectra into transfer matrix optical model yields depth-dependent optical properties and exciton generation profiles, which contribute to quantum efficiency and short-circuit current. This approach is helpful to optimize vertical material variation and provide insights into photovoltaic process.

  9. Vibronic origin of long-lived coherence in an artificial molecular light harvester.

    PubMed

    Lim, James; Paleček, David; Caycedo-Soler, Felipe; Lincoln, Craig N; Prior, Javier; von Berlepsch, Hans; Huelga, Susana F; Plenio, Martin B; Zigmantas, Donatas; Hauer, Jürgen

    2015-07-09

    Natural and artificial light-harvesting processes have recently gained new interest. Signatures of long-lasting coherence in spectroscopic signals of biological systems have been repeatedly observed, albeit their origin is a matter of ongoing debate, as it is unclear how the loss of coherence due to interaction with the noisy environments in such systems is averted. Here we report experimental and theoretical verification of coherent exciton-vibrational (vibronic) coupling as the origin of long-lasting coherence in an artificial light harvester, a molecular J-aggregate. In this macroscopically aligned tubular system, polarization-controlled 2D spectroscopy delivers an uncongested and specific optical response as an ideal foundation for an in-depth theoretical description. We derive analytical expressions that show under which general conditions vibronic coupling leads to prolonged excited-state coherence.

  10. Excited state coherent dynamics in light-harvesting complexes from photosynthetic marine algae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, G. H.; Wilk, K. E.; Curmi, P. M. G.; Quiney, H. M.; Davis, J. A.

    2012-08-01

    We explore coherence dynamics in light-harvesting complexes and their interactions with other electronic states and vibrational modes. This is achieved by utilizing a two-colour four-wave mixing spectroscopy to excite and analyse a specific coherence pathway in the phycocyanin-645 (PC645) light-harvesting complex. We observe the dephasing rate increase as a function of temperature and oscillations in the signal intensity as a function of waiting time which reveals coherent excitation of pathways not directly resonant with the laser pulses. This coherent excitation of non-resonant electronic states implies strong coupling to phonon modes, which is necessary if coherent energy transfer between non-resonant states is to play any role in photosynthetic energy transfer.

  11. When physics takes over: BAR proteins and membrane curvature

    PubMed Central

    Simunovic, Mijo; Voth, Gregory A.; Callan-Jones, Andrew; Bassereau, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Cell membranes become highly curved during membrane trafficking, cytokinesis, infection, immune response or cell motion. Bin/amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain proteins with their intrinsically curved and anisotropic shape are involved in many of these processes, but with a large spectrum of modes of action. In vitro experiments and multiscale computer simulations have contributed in identifying a minimal set of physical parameters, namely protein density on the membrane, membrane tension, and membrane shape, that control how bound BAR domain proteins behave on the membrane. In this review, we summarize the multifaceted coupling of BAR proteins to membrane mechanics and propose a simple phase diagram that recapitulates the effects of these parameters. PMID:26519988

  12. Atomistic mechanisms of rapid energy transport in light-harvesting molecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohmura, Satoshi; Koga, Shiro; Akai, Ichiro; Shimojo, Fuyuki; Kalia, Rajiv K.; Nakano, Aiichiro; Vashishta, Priya

    2011-03-01

    Synthetic supermolecules such as π-conjugated light-harvesting dendrimers efficiently harvest energy from sunlight, which is of significant importance for the global energy problem. Key to their success is rapid transport of electronic excitation energy from peripheral antennas to photochemical reaction cores, the atomistic mechanisms of which remains elusive. Here, quantum-mechanical molecular dynamics simulation incorporating nonadiabatic electronic transitions reveals the key molecular motion that significantly accelerates the energy transport based on the Dexter mechanism.

  13. Spectroscopic Studies of Individual Extramembranous Light-Harvesting Complexes of Green Photosynthetic Bacteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saga, Yoshitaka

    2013-09-01

    Green photosynthetic bacteria have extramembranous light-harvesting complexes chlorosomes as major antenna apparatus. In chlorosomes, bacteriochlorophyll(BChl)s c, d, and e self-aggregate to form photofunctional core complexes by only pigment-pigment interaction. Single supramolecule spectroscopy of chlorosomes has been performed to obtain their structural and functional information without heterogeneity among individual chlorosomes. This paper briefly summarizes our recent results of single supramolecule spectroscopy of chlorosomes.

  14. Light-Harvesting Nanotubes Formed by Supramolecular Assembly of Aromatic Oligophosphates.

    PubMed

    Bösch, Caroline D; Langenegger, Simon M; Häner, Robert

    2016-08-16

    A 2,7-disubstituted phosphodiester-linked phenanthrene trimer forms tubular structures in aqueous media. Chromophores are arranged in H-aggregates. Incorporation of small quantities of pyrene results in the development of light-harvesting nanotubes in which phenanthrenes act as antenna chromophores and pyrenes as energy acceptors. Energy collection is most efficient after excitation at the phenanthrene H-band. Fluorescence quantum yields up to 23 % are reached in pyrene doped, supramolecular nanotubes.

  15. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J.; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I.; Scholes, Gregory D.; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-02-01

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines the selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. We suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy.

  16. Circular Dichroism of Carotenoids in Bacterial Light-Harvesting Complexes: Experiments and Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Georgakopoulou, S.; van Grondelle, R.; van der Zwan, G.

    2004-01-01

    In this work we investigate the origin and characteristics of the circular dichroism (CD) spectrum of rhodopin glucoside and lycopene in the light-harvesting 2 complex of Rhodopseudomonas acidophila and Rhodospirillum molischianum, respectively. We successfully model their absorption and CD spectra based on the high-resolution structures. We assume that these spectra originate from seven interacting transition dipole moments: the first corresponds to the 0-0 transition of the carotenoid, whereas the remaining six represent higher vibronic components of the S2 state. From the absorption spectra we get an estimate of the Franck-Condon factors of these transitions. Furthermore, we investigate the broadening mechanisms that lead to the final shape of the spectra and get an insight into the interaction energy between carotenoids. Finally, we examine the consequences of rotations of the carotenoid transition dipole moment and of deformations in the light-harvesting 2 complex rings. Comparison of the modeled carotenoid spectra with modeled spectra of the bacteriochlorophyll QY region leads to a refinement of the modeling procedure and an improvement of all calculated results. We therefore propose that the combined carotenoid and bacteriochlorophyll CD can be used as an accurate reflection of the overall structure of the light-harvesting complexes. PMID:15326029

  17. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; Southall, June; Cogdell, Richard J.; Novoderezhkin, Vladimir I.; Scholes, Gregory D.; van Grondelle, Rienk

    2016-02-09

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines the selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. In conclusion, we suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy.

  18. Design principles and fundamental trade-offs in biomimetic light harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarovar, Mohan; Whaley, K. Birgitta

    2013-01-01

    Recent developments in synthetic and supramolecular chemistry have created opportunities to design organic systems with tailored nanoscale structure for various technological applications. A key application area is the capture of light energy and its conversion into electrochemical or chemical forms for photovoltaic or sensing applications. In this work we consider cylindrical assemblies of chromophores that model structures produced by several supramolecular techniques. Our study is especially guided by the versatile structures produced by virus-templated assembly. We use a multi-objective optimization framework to determine design principles and limitations in light harvesting performance for such assemblies, both in the presence and absence of disorder. We identify a fundamental trade-off in cylindrical assemblies that is encountered when attempting to maximize both efficiency of energy transfer and absorption bandwidth. We also rationalize the optimal design strategies and provide explanations for why various structures provide optimal performance. Most importantly, we find that the optimal design strategies depend on the amount of energetic and structural disorder in the system. The aim of these studies is to develop a program of quantum-informed rational design for construction of organic assemblies that have the same degree of tailored nanoscale structure as biological photosynthetic light harvesting complexes, and consequently have the potential to reproduce their remarkable light harvesting performance.

  19. Dark States in the Light-Harvesting complex 2 Revealed by Two-dimensional Electronic Spectroscopy

    DOE PAGES

    Ferretti, Marco; Hendrikx, Ruud; Romero, Elisabet; ...

    2016-02-09

    Energy transfer and trapping in the light harvesting antennae of purple photosynthetic bacteria is an ultrafast process, which occurs with a quantum efficiency close to unity. However the mechanisms behind this process have not yet been fully understood. Recently it was proposed that low-lying energy dark states, such as charge transfer states and polaron pairs, play an important role in the dynamics and directionality of energy transfer. However, it is difficult to directly detect those states because of their small transition dipole moment and overlap with the B850/B870 exciton bands. Here we present a new experimental approach, which combines themore » selectivity of two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy with the availability of genetically modified light harvesting complexes, to reveal the presence of those dark states in both the genetically modified and the wild-type light harvesting 2 complexes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris. In conclusion, we suggest that Nature has used the unavoidable charge transfer processes that occur when LH pigments are concentrated to enhance and direct the flow of energy.« less

  20. Light harvesting in photonic crystals revisited: why do slow photons at the blue edge enhance absorption?

    PubMed

    Deparis, O; Mouchet, S R; Su, B-L

    2015-11-11

    Light harvesting enhancement by slow photons in photonic crystal catalysts or dye-sensitized solar cells is a promising approach for increasing the efficiency of photoreactions. This structural effect is exploited in inverse opal TiO2 photocatalysts by tuning the red edge of the photonic band gap to the TiO2 electronic excitation band edge. In spite of many experimental demonstrations, the slow photon effect is not fully understood yet. In particular, observed enhancement by tuning the blue edge has remained unexplained. Based on rigorous couple wave analysis simulations, we quantify light harvesting enhancement in terms of absorption increase at a specific wavelength (monochromatic UV illumination) or photocurrent increase (solar light illumination), with respect to homogeneous flat slab of equivalent material thickness. We show that the commonly accepted explanation relying on light intensity confinement in high (low) dielectric constant regions at the red (blue) edge is challenged in the case of TiO2 inverse opals because of the sub-wavelength size of the material skeleton. The reason why slow photons at the blue edge are also able to enhance light harvesting is the loose confinement of the field, which leads to significant resonantly enhanced field intensity overlap with the skeleton in both red and blue edge tuning cases, yet with different intensity patterns.

  1. Virus-Mimetic Fusogenic Exosomes for Direct Delivery of Integral Membrane Proteins to Target Cell Membranes.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yoosoo; Hong, Yeonsun; Nam, Gi-Hoon; Chung, Jin Hwa; Koh, Eunee; Kim, In-San

    2017-02-06

    An efficient system for direct delivery of integral membrane proteins is successfully developed using a new biocompatible exosome-based platform. Fusogenic exosomes harboring viral fusogen, vascular stomatitis virus (VSV)-G protein, can fuse with and modify plasma membranes in a process called "membrane editing." This can facilitate the transfer of biologically active membrane proteins into the target cell membranes both in vitro and in vivo.

  2. Synthesis of perylene-porphyrin building blocks and polymers thereof for the production of light-harvesting arrays

    DOEpatents

    Loewe, Robert S.; Tomizaki, Kin-ya; Lindsey, Jonathan S.

    2005-07-12

    The present invention provides methods, compounds, and compositions for the synthesis of light harvesting arrays, such arrays comprising: (a) a first substrate comprising a first electrode; and (b) a layer of light harvesting rods electrically coupled to said first electrode, each of said light harvesting rods comprising a polymer of Formula I: wherein m is at least 1; X.sup.1 is a charge separation group, and X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 are chromophores. At least one of X.sup.2 through X.sup.m+1 has at least one perylene group coupled thereto.

  3. Molecular cloning and characterization of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b gene from the pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan).

    PubMed

    Qiao, Guang; Wen, Xiao-Peng; Zhang, Ting

    2015-12-01

    Light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins (LHCB) have been implicated in the stress response. In this study, a gene encoding LHCB in the pigeon pea was cloned and characterized. Based on the sequence of a previously obtained 327 bp Est, a full-length 793 bp cDNA was cloned using the rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) method. It was designated C