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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. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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. ...

  12. 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).

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  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

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...involves the capture of energy from sunlight. Specialized pigment -protein complexes, called light-harvesting antenna complexes, have evolved for this...ours) have reported the observation of oscillations in 2DES attributed to the coherent evolution of electronic excitations in photosynthetic

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. 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).

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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).

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  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

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. How some proteins tubulate membranes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassereau, Patricia

    2009-03-01

    Endocytosis, exocytosis, membrane transport between intracellular compartments, virus or toxin entry or exit out of the cell, all imply to deform membrane. Membrane deformation mechanisms of cell membranes by proteins are currently actively studied. Giant vesicles (GUV) are interesting model membrane systems because they are composed of a very limited number of components compared to cellular membranes. The deformations induced by the interaction with a specific protein or any other additional components to the system, can then be directly monitored and the deformation mechanism eventually understood. In this talk, we will focus on different tubular structures induced by proteins. We will show that the B-subunits of Shiga toxin or Cholera Toxin, binding to their lipid receptors, Gb3 or GM1 respectively, incorporated in GUV membrane, induce negative membrane curvature and form tubular invaginations, in absence of any other cellular machinery. Tubular structures can also be obtained when molecular motors walking along microtubules exert a pulling force on the membrane of GUV. The helicoidal assembly of dynamin, a protein involved in vivo in membrane fission can also produce tubular structures. This assembly has been reconstituted around membrane nanotubes of controlled diameter; we will show that the initial tube diameter strongly influences dynamin polymerisation. In each case, a physical framework for understanding deformation mechanism will be presented

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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

    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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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).

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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 ~\

  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. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Protein profiles of hatchery egg shell membrane

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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%.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    2017-02-24

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Electrophoretic separation method for membrane pore-forming proteins in multilayer lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Okamoto, Yukihiro; Tsujimoto, Yusuke; Umakoshi, Hiroshi

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, we report on a novel electrophoretic separation and analysis method for membrane pore-forming proteins in multilayer lipid membranes (MLMs) in order to overcome the problems related to current separation and analysis methods of membrane proteins, and to obtain a high-performance separation method on the basis of specific properties of the lipid membranes. We constructed MLMs, and subsequently characterized membrane pore-forming protein behavior in MLMs. Through the use of these MLMs, we were able to successfully separate and analyze membrane pore-forming proteins in MLMs. To the best of our knowledge, this research is the first example of membrane pore-forming protein separation in lipid membranes. Our method can be expected to be applied for the separation and analysis of other membrane proteins including intrinsic membrane proteins and to result in high-performance by utilizing the specific properties of lipid membranes.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Outer membrane proteins of pathogenic spirochetes

    PubMed Central

    Cullen, Paul A.; Haake, David A.; Adler, Ben

    2009-01-01

    Pathogenic spirochetes are the causative agents of several important diseases including syphilis, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, swine dysentery, periodontal disease and some forms of relapsing fever. Spirochetal bacteria possess two membranes and the proteins present in the outer membrane are at the site of interaction with host tissue and the immune system. This review describes the current knowledge in the field of spirochetal outer membrane protein (OMP) biology. What is known concerning biogenesis and structure of OMPs, with particular regard to the atypical signal peptide cleavage sites observed amongst the spirochetes, is discussed. We examine the functions that have been determined for several spirochetal OMPs including those that have been demonstrated to function as adhesins, porins or to have roles in complement resistance. A detailed description of the role of spirochetal OMPs in immunity, including those that stimulate protective immunity or that are involved in antigenic variation, is given. A final section is included which covers experimental considerations in spirochetal outer membrane biology. This section covers contentious issues concerning cellular localization of putative OMPs, including determination of surface exposure. A more detailed knowledge of spirochetal OMP biology will hopefully lead to the design of new vaccines and a better understanding of spirochetal pathogenesis. PMID:15449605

  19. 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.

  20. Optical Approaches for Drug Screening Based Light-Harvesting Conjugated Polyelectrolyte

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-03-01

    plants and fungal ear infections in animals and humans.32-" The antifungal activities of PTP, PT and TPN toward A. niger were first studied using a broth...efficient anticancer and antifungal activities. Due to the light-harvesting ability of the electronically delocalized backbone and efficient energy...4375 Conjugated poly electrolytes with imaging capabilities for light-activated anticancer and antifungal activity Chengfen Xing’, Libing Liu1

  1. 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.

  2. Integral Membrane Protein Expression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed

    Boswell-Casteel, Rebba C; Johnson, Jennifer M; Stroud, Robert M; Hays, Franklin A

    2016-01-01

    Eukaryotic integral membrane proteins are challenging targets for crystallography or functional characterization in a purified state. Since expression is often a limiting factor when studying this difficult class of biological macromolecules, the intent of this chapter is to focus on the expression of eukaryotic integral membrane proteins (IMPs) using the model organism Saccharomyces cerevisiae. S. cerevisiae is a prime candidate for the expression of eukaryotic IMPs because it offers the convenience of using episomal expression plasmids, selection of positive transformants, posttranslational modifications, and it can properly fold and target IMPs. Here we present a generalized protocol and insights based on our collective knowledge as an aid to overcoming the challenges faced when expressing eukaryotic IMPs in S. cerevisiae.

  3. A systematic assessment of mature MBP in membrane protein production: overexpression, membrane targeting and purification.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jian; Qin, Huajun; Gao, Fei Philip; Cross, Timothy A

    2011-11-01

    Obtaining enough membrane protein in native or native-like status is still a challenge in membrane protein structure biology. Maltose binding protein (MBP) has been widely used as a fusion partner in improving membrane protein production. In the present work, a systematic assessment on the application of mature MBP (mMBP) for membrane protein overexpression and purification was performed on 42 membrane proteins, most of which showed no or poor expression level in membrane fraction fused with an N-terminal Histag. It was found that most of the small membrane proteins were overexpressed in the native membrane of Escherichia coli when using mMBP. In addition, the proteolysis of the fusions were performed on the membrane without solubilization with detergents, leading to the development of an efficient protocol to directly purify the target membrane proteins from the membrane fraction through a one-step affinity chromatography. Our results indicated that mMBP is an excellent fusion partner for overexpression, membrane targeting and purification of small membrane proteins. The present expression and purification method may be a good solution for the large scale preparation of small membrane proteins in structural and functional studies.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Stochastic single-molecule dynamics of synaptic membrane protein domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahraman, Osman; Li, Yiwei; Haselwandter, Christoph A.

    2016-09-01

    Motivated by single-molecule experiments on synaptic membrane protein domains, we use a stochastic lattice model to study protein reaction and diffusion processes in crowded membranes. We find that the stochastic reaction-diffusion dynamics of synaptic proteins provide a simple physical mechanism for collective fluctuations in synaptic domains, the molecular turnover observed at synaptic domains, key features of the single-molecule trajectories observed for synaptic proteins, and spatially inhomogeneous protein lifetimes at the cell membrane. Our results suggest that central aspects of the single-molecule and collective dynamics observed for membrane protein domains can be understood in terms of stochastic reaction-diffusion processes at the cell membrane.

  9. 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 CcLHCB1 and encoded a 262 amino acid protein. The calculated molecular weight of the CcLHCB1 protein was 27.89 kDa, and the theoretical isoelectric point was 5.29. Homology search and sequence multi-alignment demonstrated that the CcLHCB1 protein sequence shared a high identity with LHCB from other plants. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that CcLHCB1 was a hydrophobic protein with three transmembrane domains. By fluorescent quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), CcLHCB1 mRNA transcripts were detectable in different tissues (leaf, stem, and root), with the highest level found in the leaf. The expression of CcLHCB1 mRNA in the leaves was up-regulated by drought stimulation and AM inoculation. Our results provide the basis for a better understanding of the molecular organization of LCHB and might be useful for understanding the interaction between plants and microbes in the future.

  10. 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.

  11. Ca2+ induces clustering of membrane proteins in the plasma membrane via electrostatic interactions.

    PubMed

    Zilly, Felipe E; Halemani, Nagaraj D; Walrafen, David; Spitta, Luis; Schreiber, Arne; Jahn, Reinhard; Lang, Thorsten

    2011-04-06

    Membrane proteins and membrane lipids are frequently organized in submicron-sized domains within cellular membranes. Factors thought to be responsible for domain formation include lipid-lipid interactions, lipid-protein interactions and protein-protein interactions. However, it is unclear whether the domain structure is regulated by other factors such as divalent cations. Here, we have examined in native plasma membranes and intact cells the role of the second messenger Ca(2+) in membrane protein organization. We find that Ca(2+) at low micromolar concentrations directly redistributes a structurally diverse array of membrane proteins via electrostatic effects. Redistribution results in a more clustered pattern, can be rapid and triggered by Ca(2+) influx through voltage-gated calcium channels and is reversible. In summary, the data demonstrate that the second messenger Ca(2+) strongly influences the organization of membrane proteins, thus adding a novel and unexpected factor that may control the domain structure of biological membranes.

  12. Crystallizing Membrane Proteins Using Lipidic Mesophases

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Martin; Cherezov, Vadim

    2009-01-01

    A detailed protocol for crystallizing membrane proteins that makes use of lipidic mesophases is described. This has variously been referred to as the lipid cubic phase or in meso method. The method has been shown to be quite general in that it has been used to solve X-ray crystallographic structures of prokaryotic and eukaryotic proteins, proteins that are monomeric, homo- and hetero-multimeric, chromophore-containing and chromophore-free, and α-helical and β-barrel proteins. Its most recent successes are the human engineered β2-adrenergic and adenosine A2A G protein-coupled receptors. Protocols are provided for preparing and characterizing the lipidic mesophase, for reconstituting the protein into the monoolein-based mesophase, for functional assay of the protein in the mesophase, and for setting up crystallizations in manual mode. Methods for harvesting micro-crystals are also described. The time required to prepare the protein-loaded mesophase and to set up a crystallization plate manually is about one hour. PMID:19390528

  13. Membrane tension controls the assembly of curvature-generating proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simunovic, Mijo; Voth, Gregory A.

    2015-05-01

    Proteins containing a Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain regulate membrane curvature in the cell. Recent simulations have revealed that BAR proteins assemble into linear aggregates, strongly affecting membrane curvature and its in-plane stress profile. Here, we explore the opposite question: do mechanical properties of the membrane impact protein association? By using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations, we show that increased surface tension significantly impacts the dynamics of protein assembly. While tensionless membranes promote a rapid formation of long-living linear aggregates of N-BAR proteins, increase in tension alters the geometry of protein association. At high tension, protein interactions are strongly inhibited. Increasing surface density of proteins leads to a wider range of protein association geometries, promoting the formation of meshes, which can be broken apart with membrane tension. Our work indicates that surface tension may play a key role in recruiting proteins to membrane-remodelling sites in the cell.

  14. Quantification of detergent using colorimetric methods in membrane protein crystallography.

    PubMed

    Prince, Chelsy; Jia, Zongchao

    2015-01-01

    Membrane protein crystallography has the potential to greatly aid our understanding of membrane protein biology. Yet, membrane protein crystals remain challenging to produce. Although robust methods for the expression and purification of membrane proteins continue to be developed, the detergent component of membrane protein samples is equally important to crystallization efforts. This chapter describes the development of three colorimetric assays for the quantitation of detergent in membrane protein samples and provides detailed protocols. All of these techniques use small sample volumes and have potential applications in crystallography. The application of these techniques in crystallization prescreening, detergent concentration modification, and detergent exchange experiments is demonstrated. It has been observed that the concentration of detergent in a membrane protein sample can be just as important as the protein concentration when attempting to reproduce crystallization lead conditions.

  15. Bio-Photoelectrochemical Solar Cells Incorporating Reaction Center and Reaction Center Plus Light Harvesting Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaghoubi, Houman

    onto Au electrodes via surface exposed cysteine residues. This resulted in photocurrent densities as large as ~600 nA cm-2 while still the incident photon to generated electron quantum efficiency was as low as %3 x 10-4. 2- The second approach is to immobilize wild type RCs of Rhodobacter sphaeroides on the surface of a Au underlying electrode using self-assembled monolayers of carboxylic acid terminated oligomers and cytochrome c charge mediating layers, with a preferential orientation from the primary electron donor site. This approach resulted in EQE of up to 0.06%, which showed 200 times efficiency improvement comparing to the first approach. In the third approach, instead of isolated protein complexes, RCs plus light harvesting (LH) complexes were employed for a better photon absorption. Direct attachment of RC-LH1 complexes on Au working electrodes, resulted in 0.21% EQE which showed 3.5 times efficiency improvement over the second approach (700 times higher than the first approach). The main impact of this work is the harnessing of biological RCs for efficient energy harvesting in man-made structures. Specifically, the results in this work will advance the application of RCs in devices for energy harvesting and will enable a better understanding of bio and nanomaterial interfaces, thereby advancing the application of biological materials in electronic devices. At the end, this work offers general guidelines that can serve to improve the performance of bio-hybrid solar cells.

  16. Mass spectrometry of membrane proteins: a focus on aquaporins.

    PubMed

    Schey, Kevin L; Grey, Angus C; Nicklay, Joshua J

    2013-06-04

    Membrane proteins are abundant, critically important biomolecules that conduct essential functions in all cells and are the targets of a significant number of therapeutic drugs. However, the analysis of their expression, modification, protein-protein interactions, and structure by mass spectrometry has lagged behind similar studies of soluble proteins. Here we review the limitations to analysis of integral membrane and membrane-associated proteins and highlight advances in sample preparation and mass spectrometry methods that have led to the successful analysis of this protein class. Advances in the analysis of membrane protein posttranslational modification, protein-protein interaction, protein structure, and tissue distributions by imaging mass spectrometry are discussed. Furthermore, we focus our discussion on the application of mass spectrometry for the analysis of aquaporins as a prototypical integral membrane protein and how advances in analytical methods have revealed new biological insights into the structure and function of this family of proteins.

  17. Reconstitution of the membrane protein OmpF into biomimetic block copolymer–phospholipid hybrid membranes

    PubMed Central

    Bieligmeyer, Matthias; Artukovic, Franjo; Hirth, Thomas; Schiestel, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Summary Structure and function of many transmembrane proteins are affected by their environment. In this respect, reconstitution of a membrane protein into a biomimetic polymer membrane can alter its function. To overcome this problem we used membranes formed by poly(1,4-isoprene-block-ethylene oxide) block copolymers blended with 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. By reconstituting the outer membrane protein OmpF from Escherichia coli into these membranes, we demonstrate functionality of this protein in biomimetic lipopolymer membranes, independent of the molecular weight of the block copolymers. At low voltages, the channel conductance of OmpF in 1 M KCl was around 2.3 nS. In line with these experiments, integration of OmpF was also revealed by impedance spectroscopy. Our results indicate that blending synthetic polymer membranes with phospholipids allows for the reconstitution of transmembrane proteins under preservation of protein function, independent of the membrane thickness. PMID:27547605

  18. Reconstitution of the membrane protein OmpF into biomimetic block copolymer-phospholipid hybrid membranes.

    PubMed

    Bieligmeyer, Matthias; Artukovic, Franjo; Nussberger, Stephan; Hirth, Thomas; Schiestel, Thomas; Müller, Michaela

    2016-01-01

    Structure and function of many transmembrane proteins are affected by their environment. In this respect, reconstitution of a membrane protein into a biomimetic polymer membrane can alter its function. To overcome this problem we used membranes formed by poly(1,4-isoprene-block-ethylene oxide) block copolymers blended with 1,2-diphytanoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. By reconstituting the outer membrane protein OmpF from Escherichia coli into these membranes, we demonstrate functionality of this protein in biomimetic lipopolymer membranes, independent of the molecular weight of the block copolymers. At low voltages, the channel conductance of OmpF in 1 M KCl was around 2.3 nS. In line with these experiments, integration of OmpF was also revealed by impedance spectroscopy. Our results indicate that blending synthetic polymer membranes with phospholipids allows for the reconstitution of transmembrane proteins under preservation of protein function, independent of the membrane thickness.

  19. Ca2+ induces clustering of membrane proteins in the plasma membrane via electrostatic interactions

    PubMed Central

    Zilly, Felipe E; Halemani, Nagaraj D; Walrafen, David; Spitta, Luis; Schreiber, Arne; Jahn, Reinhard; Lang, Thorsten

    2011-01-01

    Membrane proteins and membrane lipids are frequently organized in submicron-sized domains within cellular membranes. Factors thought to be responsible for domain formation include lipid–lipid interactions, lipid–protein interactions and protein–protein interactions. However, it is unclear whether the domain structure is regulated by other factors such as divalent cations. Here, we have examined in native plasma membranes and intact cells the role of the second messenger Ca2+ in membrane protein organization. We find that Ca2+ at low micromolar concentrations directly redistributes a structurally diverse array of membrane proteins via electrostatic effects. Redistribution results in a more clustered pattern, can be rapid and triggered by Ca2+ influx through voltage-gated calcium channels and is reversible. In summary, the data demonstrate that the second messenger Ca2+ strongly influences the organization of membrane proteins, thus adding a novel and unexpected factor that may control the domain structure of biological membranes. PMID:21364530

  20. Membrane curvature and its generation by BAR proteins

    PubMed Central

    Mim, Carsten; Unger, Vinzenz M

    2012-01-01

    Membranes are flexible barriers that surround the cell and its compartments. To execute vital functions such as locomotion or receptor turnover, cells need to control the shapes of their membranes. In part, this control is achieved through membrane-bending proteins, such as the bin/amphiphysin/rvs domain (BAR) proteins. Many open questions remain about the mechanisms by which membrane-bending proteins function. Addressing this shortfall, recent structures of BAR protein:membrane complexes support existing mechanistic models, but also produced novel insights into how BAR-domain proteins sense, stabilize and generate curvature. Here we review these recent findings, focusing on how BAR proteins interact with the membrane, and how the resulting scaffold structures might aid the recruitment of other proteins to the sites where membranes are bent. PMID:23058040

  1. Abnormal membrane protein methylation and merocyanine 540 fluorescence in sickle erythrocyte membranes.

    PubMed

    Manna, C; Hermanowicz, N; Ro, J Y; Neilan, B; Glushko, V; Kim, S

    1984-06-01

    Sickle cell erythrocytes exhibit reduced carboxyl methylation of membrane proteins compared to normal erythrocytes. This altered methylation in sickle membrane proteins is also observable when extracted membranes, both intact and alkali treated, were used as substrates for the homologous protein methylase II (S-adenosylmethionine:protein-carboxyl O-methyltransferase, EC. 2.1.1.24). However, when glycophorin A, one of the major methyl acceptors in both membranes, was extracted by lithium diiodosalicylate and used as the methyl acceptor, the proteins from both membranes were methylated equally, suggesting an involvement of membrane structure in membrane-bound protein methylation. Merocyanine 540 (MC-540), a fluorescent probe, was used to determine if the membranes differed in organization. Incubation of both normal and sickle erythrocytes membranes with MC-540 produced a marked increase in extrinsic fluorescence, reflecting a relatively nonpolar environment for the dye bound to the membranes. The fluorescence from sickle cell ghosts was only 87% as intense as that from normal ghosts, while the actual amount of MC-540 associated with sickle cell membranes was only 62% of normal. These data suggest that differences exist in the distribution of surface charges on these plasma membranes. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that abnormal levels of membrane protein methylation observed in sickle erythrocytes may be a result of abnormal membrane organization characteristic to sickle cell anemia.

  2. Fingerprinting the macro-organisation of pigment-protein complexes in plant thylakoid membranes in vivo by circular-dichroism spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Tóth, Tünde N; Rai, Neha; Solymosi, Katalin; Zsiros, Ottó; Schröder, Wolfgang P; Garab, Győző; van Amerongen, Herbert; Horton, Peter; Kovács, László

    2016-09-01

    Macro-organisation of the protein complexes in plant thylakoid membranes plays important roles in the regulation and fine-tuning of photosynthetic activity. These delicate structures might, however, undergo substantial changes during isolating the thylakoid membranes or during sample preparations, e.g., for electron microscopy. Circular-dichroism (CD) spectroscopy is a non-invasive technique which can thus be used on intact samples. Via excitonic and psi-type CD bands, respectively, it carries information on short-range excitonic pigment-pigment interactions and the macro-organisation (chiral macrodomains) of pigment-protein complexes (psi, polymer or salt-induced). In order to obtain more specific information on the origin of the major psi-type CD bands, at around (+)506, (-)674 and (+)690nm, we fingerprinted detached leaves and isolated thylakoid membranes of wild-type and mutant plants and also tested the effects of different environmental conditions in vivo. We show that (i) the chiral macrodomains disassemble upon mild detergent treatments, but not after crosslinking the protein complexes; (ii) in different wild-type leaves of dicotyledonous and monocotyledonous angiosperms the CD features are quite robust, displaying very similar excitonic and psi-type bands, suggesting similar protein composition and (macro-) organisation of photosystem II (PSII) supercomplexes in the grana; (iii) the main positive psi-type bands depend on light-harvesting protein II contents of the membranes; (iv) the (+)506nm band appears only in the presence of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes and does not depend on the xanthophyll composition of the membranes. Hence, CD spectroscopy can be used to detect different macro-domains in the thylakoid membranes with different outer antenna compositions in vivo.

  3. Reversible Switching between Nonquenched and Quenched States in Nanoscale Linear Arrays of Plant Light-Harvesting Antenna Complexes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    A simple and robust nanolithographic method that allows sub-100 nm chemical patterning on a range of oxide surfaces was developed in order to fabricate nanoarrays of plant light-harvesting LHCII complexes. The site-specific immobilization and the preserved functionality of the LHCII complexes were confirmed by fluorescence emission spectroscopy. Nanopatterned LHCII trimers could be reversibly switched between fluorescent and quenched states by controlling the detergent concentration in the imaging buffer. A 3-fold quenching of the average fluorescence intensity was accompanied by a decrease in the average (amplitude-weighted) fluorescence lifetime from approximately 2.24 ns to approximately 0.4 ns, attributed to the intrinsic ability of LHCII to switch between fluorescent and quenched states upon changes in its conformational state. The nanopatterning methodology was extended by immobilizing a second protein, the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP), onto LHCII-free areas of the chemically patterned surfaces. This very simple surface chemistry, which allows simultaneous selective immobilization and therefore sorting of the two types of protein molecules on the surface, is a key underpinning step toward the integration of LHCII into switchable biohybrid antenna constructs. PMID:24988144

  4. Purification of basolateral integral membrane proteins by cationic colloidal silica-based apical membrane subtraction.

    PubMed

    Goode, Robert J A; Simpson, Richard J

    2009-01-01

    Epithelial cell polarity mediates many essential biological functions and perturbation of the apical/basolateral divide is a hallmark of epithelial to mesenchymal transition in carcinoma. Therefore, correct targeting of proteins to the apical and basolateral surfaces is essential to proper epithelial cell function. However, proteomic characterisation of apical/basolateral sorting has been largely ignored, due to ineffectual separation techniques and contamination of plasma-membrane preparations with housekeeping proteins. Here we describe a method that strips the apical membrane from the adherent cells and releases the intracellular contents, thereby leaving the basolateral membrane available for stringent washes and collection. Analysis of the basolateral membrane of an adherent colon adenocarcinoma cell line resulted in 66% of identified proteins being integral membrane proteins, which possessed either a transmembrane domain or lipid modification, including 35 CD antigens. Based on the abundance of peptides from basolateral marker proteins, this method efficiently captures basolateral integral membrane proteins, with minimal contamination from other membranes and basic proteins.

  5. The Regulation of Light Sensing and Light-Harvesting Impacts the Use of Cyanobacteria as Biotechnology Platforms.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Beronda L

    2014-01-01

    Light is harvested in cyanobacteria by chlorophyll-containing photosystems embedded in the thylakoid membranes and phycobilisomes (PBSs), photosystem-associated light-harvesting antennae. Light absorbed by the PBSs and photosystems can be converted to chemical energy through photosynthesis. Photosynthetically fixed carbon pools, which are constrained by photosynthetic light capture versus the dissipation of excess light absorbed, determine the available organismal energy budget. The molecular bases of the environmental regulation of photosynthesis, photoprotection, and photomorphogenesis are still being elucidated in cyanobacteria. Thus, the potential impacts of these phenomena on the efficacy of developing cyanobacteria as robust biotechnological platforms require additional attention. Current advances and persisting needs for developing cyanobacterial production platforms that are related to light sensing and harvesting include the development of tools to balance the utilization of absorbed photons for conversion to chemical energy and biomass versus light dissipation in photoprotective mechanisms. Such tools can be used to direct energy to more effectively support the production of desired bioproducts from sunlight.

  6. Phosphorylation of the Light-Harvesting Complex II Isoform Lhcb2 Is Central to State Transitions1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Cariti, Federica; Fucile, Geoffrey; Goldschmidt-Clermont, Michel

    2015-01-01

    Light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) is a crucial component of the photosynthetic machinery, with central roles in light capture and acclimation to changing light. The association of an LHCII trimer with PSI in the PSI-LHCII supercomplex is strictly dependent on LHCII phosphorylation mediated by the kinase STATE TRANSITION7, and is directly related to the light acclimation process called state transitions. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), the LHCII trimers contain isoforms that belong to three classes: Lhcb1, Lhcb2, and Lhcb3. Only Lhcb1 and Lhcb2 can be phosphorylated in the N-terminal region. Here, we present an improved Phos-tag-based method to determine the absolute extent of phosphorylation of Lhcb1 and Lhcb2. Both classes show very similar phosphorylation kinetics during state transition. Nevertheless, only Lhcb2 is extensively phosphorylated (>98%) in PSI-LHCII, whereas phosphorylated Lhcb1 is largely excluded from this supercomplex. Both isoforms are phosphorylated to different extents in other photosystem supercomplexes and in different domains of the thylakoid membranes. The data imply that, despite their high sequence similarity, differential phosphorylation of Lhcb1 and Lhcb2 plays contrasting roles in light acclimation of photosynthesis. PMID:26438789

  7. Two-dimensional structure of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b complex by cryoelectron microscopy

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    The light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b complex (LHC-II) found in green plants has at least three functions: it absorbs light energy for transfer to the reaction centers, it is involved in keeping the photosynthetic membranes stacked, and it regulates energy distribution between the two photosystems. We have developed a procedure to produce large vesicles consisting almost exclusively of two-dimensional crystalline domains of LHC-II in which LHC-II is biochemically and structurally intact, as shown by SDS-PAGE, response to cations, and 77K fluorescence excitation spectra. The vesicles were examined by cryoelectron microscopy and analyzed, in projection, to a resolution of 17 A. Their surface lattice consists of trimers arranged in interlocking circles; the two-sided plane group is p321 (unit cell dimension, a = 124 A) with two, oppositely facing trimers/unit cell. Individual trimers consist of matter arranged in a ring, around a central cavity, an appearance similar to that obtained in some conditions using negative stain (Li, J., 1985. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 82:386-390). The monomer (approximately 45 x 20 A) is seen as two domains of slightly different size at this resolution. The thickness of single layers is approximately 48 A, measured from edge-on views of the frozen vesicles. Based on these dimensions, the molecular mass of the monomer is approximately 30 kD. Therefore, each monomer appears to be composed of a single polypeptide and its associated pigments. PMID:2453515

  8. Membrane shape instabilities induced by BAR domain proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumgart, Tobias

    2014-03-01

    Membrane curvature has developed into a forefront of membrane biophysics. Numerous proteins involved in membrane curvature sensing and membrane curvature generation have recently been discovered, including proteins containing the crescent-shaped BAR domain as membrane binding and shaping module. Accordingly, the structure determination of these proteins and their multimeric complexes is increasingly well-understood. Substantially less understood, however, are thermodynamic and kinetic aspects and the detailed mechanisms of how these proteins interact with membranes in a curvature-dependent manner. New experimental approaches need to be combined with established techniques to be able to fill in these missing details. Here we use model membrane systems in combination with a variety of biophysical techniques to characterize mechanistic aspects of BAR domain protein function. This includes a characterization of membrane curvature sensing and membrane generation. We also establish kinetic and thermodynamic aspects of BAR protein dimerization in solution, and investigate kinetic aspects of membrane binding. We present two new approaches to investigate membrane shape instabilities and demonstrate that membrane shape instabilities can be controlled by protein binding and lateral membrane tension. This work is supported through NIH grant GM-097552 and NSF grant CBET-1053857.

  9. Can proteins be intrinsically disordered inside a membrane?

    PubMed Central

    Kjaergaard, Magnus

    2015-01-01

    Intrinsically disorder has evolved in many soluble proteins because it confers a unique set of functional advantages. In contrast, the functions of membrane proteins are largely understood in terms of well-defined structures. This raises the question: Why would the evolutionary pressures that select for disorder leave membrane proteins untouched. In this hypothesis piece, I argue that intrinsic disorder may exist in membrane embedded proteins, but that it will take a different form due to the different environment. Disordered membrane proteins are thus likely to have fully formed secondary structure, but little tertiary structure. Furthermore, the sequence signature for disorder in membrane proteins is likely to be reversed; so disordered proteins are more hydrophobic than their folded counterparts. At present it is impossible to tell how common this type of disordered membrane protein is.

  10. Mass Spectrometry of Membrane Proteins: A Focus on Aquaporins

    PubMed Central

    Schey, Kevin L.; Grey, Angus C.; Nicklay, Joshua J.

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins are abundant, critically important biomolecules that conduct essential functions in all cells and are the targets of a significant number of therapeutic drugs. However, the analysis of their expression, modification, protein–protein interactions, and structure by mass spectrometry has lagged behind similar studies of soluble proteins. Here we review the limitations to analysis of integral membrane and membrane-associated proteins and highlight advances in sample preparation and mass spectrometry methods that have led to the successful analysis of this protein class. Advances in the analysis of membrane protein posttranslational modification, protein–protein interaction, protein structure, and tissue distributions by imaging mass spectrometry are discussed. Furthermore, we focus our discussion on the application of mass spectrometry for the analysis of aquaporins as a prototypical integral membrane protein and how advances in analytical methods have revealed new biological insights into the structure and function of this family of proteins. PMID:23394619

  11. A Prediction Model for Membrane Proteins Using Moments Based Features

    PubMed Central

    Butt, Ahmad Hassan; Khan, Sher Afzal; Jamil, Hamza; Rasool, Nouman; Khan, Yaser Daanial

    2016-01-01

    The most expedient unit of the human body is its cell. Encapsulated within the cell are many infinitesimal entities and molecules which are protected by a cell membrane. The proteins that are associated with this lipid based bilayer cell membrane are known as membrane proteins and are considered to play a significant role. These membrane proteins exhibit their effect in cellular activities inside and outside of the cell. According to the scientists in pharmaceutical organizations, these membrane proteins perform key task in drug interactions. In this study, a technique is presented that is based on various computationally intelligent methods used for the prediction of membrane protein without the experimental use of mass spectrometry. Statistical moments were used to extract features and furthermore a Multilayer Neural Network was trained using backpropagation for the prediction of membrane proteins. Results show that the proposed technique performs better than existing methodologies. PMID:26966690

  12. Durable vesicles for reconstitution of membrane proteins in biotechnology

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Sanobar; Muench, Stephen P.; Jeuken, Lars J.C.

    2017-01-01

    The application of membrane proteins in biotechnology requires robust, durable reconstitution systems that enhance their stability and support their functionality in a range of working environments. Vesicular architectures are highly desirable to provide the compartmentalisation to utilise the functional transmembrane transport and signalling properties of membrane proteins. Proteoliposomes provide a native-like membrane environment to support membrane protein function, but can lack the required chemical and physical stability. Amphiphilic block copolymers can also self-assemble into polymersomes: tough vesicles with improved stability compared with liposomes. This review discusses the reconstitution of membrane proteins into polymersomes and the more recent development of hybrid vesicles, which blend the robust nature of block copolymers with the biofunctionality of lipids. These novel synthetic vesicles hold great promise for enabling membrane proteins within biotechnologies by supporting their enhanced in vitro performance and could also contribute to fundamental biochemical and biophysical research by improving the stability of membrane proteins that are challenging to work with. PMID:28202656

  13. Charged ultrafiltration membranes increase the selectivity of whey protein separations.

    PubMed

    Bhushan, S; Etzel, M R

    2009-04-01

    Ultrafiltration is widely used to concentrate proteins, but fractionation of one protein from another is much less common. This study examined the use of positively charged membranes to increase the selectivity of ultrafiltration and allow the fractionation of proteins from cheese whey. By adding a positive charge to ultrafiltration membranes, and adjusting the solution pH, it was possible to permeate proteins having little or no charge, such as glycomacropeptide, and retain proteins having a positive charge. Placing a charge on the membrane increased the selectivity by over 600% compared to using an uncharged membrane. The data were fit using the stagnant film model that relates the observed sieving coefficient to membrane parameters such as the flux, mass transfer coefficient, and membrane Peclet number. The model was a useful tool for data analysis and for the scale up of membrane separations for whey protein fractionation.

  14. Effects of Membrane Charge and Order on Membrane Binding of the Retroviral Structural Protein Gag

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Yi; Dick, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The retroviral structural protein Gag binds to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane (PM), and many cellular proteins do so as well. We used Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) Gag together with membrane sensors to study the principles governing peripheral protein membrane binding, including electrostatics, specific recognition of phospholipid headgroups, sensitivity to phospholipid acyl chain compositions, preference for membrane order, and protein multimerization. We used an in vitro liposome-pelleting assay to test protein membrane binding properties of Gag, the well-characterized MARCKS peptide, a series of fluorescent electrostatic sensor proteins (mNG-KRn), and the specific phosphatidylserine (PS) binding protein Evectin2. RSV Gag and mNG-KRn bound well to membranes with saturated and unsaturated acyl chains, whereas the MARCKS peptide and Evectin2 preferentially bound to membranes with unsaturated acyl chains. To further discriminate whether the primary driving force for Gag membrane binding is electrostatic interactions or preference for membrane order, we measured protein binding to giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs) containing the same PS concentration in both disordered (Ld) and ordered (Lo) phases. RSV Gag and mNG-KRn membrane association followed membrane charge, independent of membrane order. Consistent with pelleting data, the MARCKS peptide showed preference for the Ld domain. Surprisingly, the PS sensor Evectin2 bound to the PS-rich Ld domain with 10-fold greater affinity than to the PS-rich Lo domain. In summary, we found that RSV Gag shows no preference for membrane order, while proteins with reported membrane-penetrating domains show preference for disordered membranes. IMPORTANCE Retroviral particles assemble on the PM and bud from infected cells. Our understanding of how Gag interacts with the PM and how different membrane properties contribute to overall Gag assembly is incomplete. This study examined how membrane charge and membrane order

  15. Role of membrane contact sites in protein import into mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Horvath, Susanne E; Rampelt, Heike; Oeljeklaus, Silke; Warscheid, Bettina; van der Laan, Martin; Pfanner, Nikolaus

    2015-03-01

    Mitochondria import more than 1,000 different proteins from the cytosol. The proteins are synthesized as precursors on cytosolic ribosomes and are translocated by protein transport machineries of the mitochondrial membranes. Five main pathways for protein import into mitochondria have been identified. Most pathways use the translocase of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM) as the entry gate into mitochondria. Depending on specific signals contained in the precursors, the proteins are subsequently transferred to different intramitochondrial translocases. In this article, we discuss the connection between protein import and mitochondrial membrane architecture. Mitochondria possess two membranes. It is a long-standing question how contact sites between outer and inner membranes are formed and which role the contact sites play in the translocation of precursor proteins. A major translocation contact site is formed between the TOM complex and the presequence translocase of the inner membrane (TIM23 complex), promoting transfer of presequence-carrying preproteins to the mitochondrial inner membrane and matrix. Recent findings led to the identification of contact sites that involve the mitochondrial contact site and cristae organizing system (MICOS) of the inner membrane. MICOS plays a dual role. It is crucial for maintaining the inner membrane cristae architecture and forms contacts sites to the outer membrane that promote translocation of precursor proteins into the intermembrane space and outer membrane of mitochondria. The view is emerging that the mitochondrial protein translocases do not function as independent units, but are embedded in a network of interactions with machineries that control mitochondrial activity and architecture.

  16. Dynamic membrane protein topological switching upon changes in phospholipid environment

    PubMed Central

    Vitrac, Heidi; MacLean, David M.; Jayaraman, Vasanthi; Bogdanov, Mikhail; Dowhan, William

    2015-01-01

    A fundamental objective in membrane biology is to understand and predict how a protein sequence folds and orients in a lipid bilayer. Establishing the principles governing membrane protein folding is central to understanding the molecular basis for membrane proteins that display multiple topologies, the intrinsic dynamic organization of membrane proteins, and membrane protein conformational disorders resulting in disease. We previously established that lactose permease of Escherichia coli displays a mixture of topological conformations and undergoes postassembly bidirectional changes in orientation within the lipid bilayer triggered by a change in membrane phosphatidylethanolamine content, both in vivo and in vitro. However, the physiological implications and mechanism of dynamic structural reorganization of membrane proteins due to changes in lipid environment are limited by the lack of approaches addressing the kinetic parameters of transmembrane protein flipping. In this study, real-time fluorescence spectroscopy was used to determine the rates of protein flipping in the lipid bilayer in both directions and transbilayer flipping of lipids triggered by a change in proteoliposome lipid composition. Our results provide, for the first time to our knowledge, a dynamic picture of these events and demonstrate that membrane protein topological rearrangements in response to lipid modulations occur rapidly following a threshold change in proteoliposome lipid composition. Protein flipping was not accompanied by extensive lipid-dependent unfolding of transmembrane domains. Establishment of lipid bilayer asymmetry was not required but may accelerate the rate of protein flipping. Membrane protein flipping was found to accelerate the rate of transbilayer flipping of lipids. PMID:26512118

  17. Marginally hydrophobic transmembrane α-helices shaping membrane protein folding

    PubMed Central

    De Marothy, Minttu T; Elofsson, Arne

    2015-01-01

    Cells have developed an incredible machinery to facilitate the insertion of membrane proteins into the membrane. While we have a fairly good understanding of the mechanism and determinants of membrane integration, more data is needed to understand the insertion of membrane proteins with more complex insertion and folding pathways. This review will focus on marginally hydrophobic transmembrane helices and their influence on membrane protein folding. These weakly hydrophobic transmembrane segments are by themselves not recognized by the translocon and therefore rely on local sequence context for membrane integration. How can such segments reside within the membrane? We will discuss this in the light of features found in the protein itself as well as the environment it resides in. Several characteristics in proteins have been described to influence the insertion of marginally hydrophobic helices. Additionally, the influence of biological membranes is significant. To begin with, the actual cost for having polar groups within the membrane may not be as high as expected; the presence of proteins in the membrane as well as characteristics of some amino acids may enable a transmembrane helix to harbor a charged residue. The lipid environment has also been shown to directly influence the topology as well as membrane boundaries of transmembrane helices—implying a dynamic relationship between membrane proteins and their environment. PMID:25970811

  18. Coherence dynamics in light-harvesting complexes with two-colour spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richards, Gethin H.; Curmi, Paul M. G.; Wilk, Krystyna E.; Quiney, Harry M.; Davis, Jeffrey A.

    2013-03-01

    We investigate coherent dynamics in the cryptophyte light-harvesting complex Phycocyanin-645 (PC-645). A two-colour four-wave mixing experiment allows us to isolate a coherence pathway and observe its evolution in the absence of other signals. We measured a decoherence time of 540fs for the coherence [1]. Additionally oscillations in the signal pathway give evidence for the coherent excitation of states outside the bandwidth of the laser pulse. This suggests strong coupling between the excited states and phonon modes [1].

  19. Toward understanding as photosynthetic biosignatures: light harvesting and energy transfer calculation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komatsu, Y.; Umemura, M.; Shoji, M.; Shiraishi, K.; Kayanuma, M.; Yabana, K.

    2014-03-01

    Among several proposed biosignatures, red edge is a direct evidence of photosynthetic life if it is detected (Kiang et al 2007). Red edge is a sharp change in reflectance spectra of vegetation in NIR region (about 700-750 nm). The sign of red edge is observed by Earthshine or remote sensing (Wolstencroft & Raven 2002, Woolf et al 2002). But, why around 700-750 nm? The photosynthetic organisms on Earth have evolved to optimize the sunlight condition. However, if we consider about photosynthetic organism on extrasolar planets, they should have developed to utilize the spectra of its principal star. Thus, it is not strange even if it shows different vegetation spectra. In this study, we focused on the light absorption mechanism of photosynthetic organisms on Earth and investigated the fundamental properties of the light harvesting mechanisms, which is the first stage for the light absorption. Light harvesting complexes contain photosynthetic pigments like chlorophylls. Effective light absorption and the energy transfer are accomplished by the electronic excitations of collective photosynthetic pigments. In order to investigate this mechanism, we constructed an energy transfer model by using a dipole-dipole approximation for the interactions between electronic excitations. Transition moments and transition energies of each pigment are calculated at the time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT) level (Marques & Gross 2004). Quantum dynamics simulation for the excitation energy transfer was calculated by the Liouvelle's equation. We adopted the model to purple bacteria, which has been studied experimentally and known to absorb lower energy. It is meaningful to focus on the mechanism of this bacteria, since in the future mission, M planets will become a important target. We calculated the oscillator strengths in one light harvesting complex and confirmed the validity by comparing to the experimental data. This complex is made of an inner and an outer ring. The

  20. Functionalized Nanoparticles and Surfaces for Controlled Chemical Catalysis and Effective Light Harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Marye Anne Fox, James K. Whitesell

    2012-11-02

    We have prepared a range of such arrays as key components for biotechnology and photonic applications. These involve self-assembled arrays of increasing complexity with three-dimensionally disposed multilayer interactions. These arrays also include dendrimers as the distinguishing structural building blocks. These photoactive integrated systems have a regular, highly-branched, three-dimensional architecture. Structural modifications of these units include variation of the core, bridging layers, and terminal groups. These modifications result in a large array of dendritic molecules with potential applications for light harvesting.

  1. Ab initio calculation of excitonic Hamiltonian of light-harvesting complex LH1 of Thermochromatium tepidum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozlov, Maxim I.; Poddubnyy, Vladimir V.; Glebov, Ilya O.; Belov, Aleksandr S.; Khokhlov, Daniil V.

    2016-02-01

    The electronic properties of light-harvesting complexes determine the efficiency of energy transfer in photosynthetic antennae. Ab initio calculations of the electronic properties of bacteriochlorophylls (composing the LH1 complex of the purple bacteria Thermochromatium tepidum) were performed. Based on these calculations, the excitonic Hamiltonian of a native cyclic complex and the Hamiltonians of open complexes with several removed bacteriochlorophylls were constructed. Absorption spectra calculated based on these Hamiltonians agree well with the experimental data. We found that the parameters of interaction between the neighboring bacteriochlorophylls are significantly larger than the empirical parameters suggested previously.

  2. Fluorescence enhancement of light-harvesting complex 2 from purple bacteria coupled to spherical gold nanoparticles

    SciTech Connect

    Bujak, Ł.; Czechowski, N.; Piatkowski, D.; Litvin, R.; Mackowski, S.; Brotosudarmo, T. H. P.; Pichler, S.; Cogdell, R. J.; Heiss, W.

    2011-10-24

    The influence of plasmon excitations in spherical gold nanoparticles on the optical properties of a light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) from the purple bacteria Rhodopseudomonas palustris has been studied. Systematic analysis is facilitated by controlling the thickness of a silica layer between Au nanoparticles and LH2 complexes. Fluorescence of LH2 complexes features substantial increase when these complexes are separated by 12 nm from the gold nanoparticles. At shorter distances, non-radiative quenching leads to a decrease of fluorescence emission. The enhancement of fluorescence originates predominantly from an increase of absorption of pigments comprising the LH2 complex.

  3. Sideways scattering in double resonant plasmonic nanostructures for light harvesting applications.

    PubMed

    Achermann, Marc

    2016-12-26

    Numerical simulations of light scattering by elongated metal nanoparticles in an asymmetric arrangement show resonant scattering in two near-infrared wavelength ranges associated with different surface plasmon modes. The main scattering directions of the two plasmon modes are in opposite diagonal directions and almost perpendicular to each other. At wavelengths in-between the two plasmon resonances our simulations showed for the first time strong scattering at approximately ± 90°, which is parallel to the incident electric field direction. Since enhanced sideways scattering exists over a significant wavelength range, the proposed nanoparticle assemblies could be beneficial for light harvesting applications such as solar windows.

  4. Fluctuating hydrodynamics of multicomponent membranes with embedded proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Camley, Brian A.; Brown, Frank L. H.

    2014-08-21

    A simulation method for the dynamics of inhomogeneous lipid bilayer membranes is presented. The membrane is treated using stochastic Saffman-Delbrück hydrodynamics, coupled to a phase-field description of lipid composition and discrete membrane proteins. Multiple applications are considered to validate and parameterize the model. The dynamics of membrane composition fluctuations above the critical point and phase separation dynamics below the critical point are studied in some detail, including the effects of adding proteins to the mixture.

  5. Fluctuating hydrodynamics of multicomponent membranes with embedded proteins.

    PubMed

    Camley, Brian A; Brown, Frank L H

    2014-08-21

    A simulation method for the dynamics of inhomogeneous lipid bilayer membranes is presented. The membrane is treated using stochastic Saffman-Delbrück hydrodynamics, coupled to a phase-field description of lipid composition and discrete membrane proteins. Multiple applications are considered to validate and parameterize the model. The dynamics of membrane composition fluctuations above the critical point and phase separation dynamics below the critical point are studied in some detail, including the effects of adding proteins to the mixture.

  6. Continuum electromechanical modeling of protein-membrane interactions.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Y C; Lu, Benzhuo; Gorfe, Alemayehu A

    2010-10-01

    A continuum electromechanical model is proposed to describe the membrane curvature induced by electrostatic interactions in a solvated protein-membrane system. The model couples the macroscopic strain energy of membrane and the electrostatic solvation energy of the system, and equilibrium membrane deformation is obtained by minimizing the electroelastic energy functional with respect to the dielectric interface. The model is illustrated with the systems with increasing geometry complexity and captures the sensitivity of membrane curvature to the permanent and mobile charge distributions.

  7. tla1, a DNA insertional transformant of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with a truncated light-harvesting chlorophyll antenna size.

    PubMed

    Polle, Juergen E W; Kanakagiri, Sarada-Devi; Melis, Anastasios

    2003-05-01

    DNA insertional mutagenesis and screening of the green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii was employed to isolate tla1, a stable transformant having a truncated light-harvesting chlorophyll antenna size. Molecular analysis showed a single plasmid insertion into an open reading frame of the nuclear genome corresponding to a novel gene ( Tla1) that encodes a protein of 213 amino acids. Genetic analysis showed co-segregation of plasmid and tla1 phenotype. Biochemical analyses showed the tla1 mutant to be chlorophyll deficient, with a functional chlorophyll antenna size of photosystem I and photosystem II being about 50% and 65% of that of the wild type, respectively. It contained a correspondingly lower amount of light-harvesting proteins than the wild type and had lower steady-state levels of Lhcb mRNA. The tla1 strain required a higher light intensity for the saturation of photosynthesis and showed greater solar conversion efficiencies and a higher photosynthetic productivity than the wild type under mass culture conditions. Results are discussed in terms of the tla1 mutation, its phenotype, and the role played by the Tla1 gene in the regulation of the photosynthetic chlorophyll antenna size in C. reinhardtii.

  8. Energy transfer between surface-immobilized light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b complex (LHCII) studied by surface plasmon field-enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy (SPFS).

    PubMed

    Lauterbach, Rolf; Liu, Jing; Knoll, Wolfgang; Paulsen, Harald

    2010-11-16

    The major light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b complex (LHCII) of the photosynthetic apparatus in green plants can be viewed as a protein scaffold binding and positioning a large number of pigment molecules that combines rapid and efficient excitation energy transfer with effective protection of its pigments from photobleaching. These properties make LHCII potentially interesting as a light harvester (or a model thereof) in photoelectronic applications. Most of such applications would require the LHCII to be immobilized on a solid surface. In a previous study we showed the immobilization of recombinant LHCII on functionalized gold surfaces via a 6-histidine tag (His tag) in the protein moiety. In this work the occurrence and efficiency of Förster energy transfer between immobilized LHCII on a functionalized surface have been analyzed by surface plasmon field-enhanced fluorescence spectroscopy (SPFS). A near-infrared dye was attached to some but not all of the LHC complexes, serving as an energy acceptor to chlorophylls. Analysis of the energy transfer from chlorophylls to this acceptor dye yielded information about the extent of intercomplex energy transfer between immobilized LHCII.

  9. Dynamic nuclear polarization of membrane proteins: covalently bound spin-labels at protein-protein interfaces.

    PubMed

    Wylie, Benjamin J; Dzikovski, Boris G; Pawsey, Shane; Caporini, Marc; Rosay, Melanie; Freed, Jack H; McDermott, Ann E

    2015-04-01

    We demonstrate that dynamic nuclear polarization of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers may be achieved using a novel polarizing agent: pairs of spin labels covalently bound to a protein of interest interacting at an intermolecular interaction surface. For gramicidin A, nitroxide tags attached to the N-terminal intermolecular interface region become proximal only when bimolecular channels forms in the membrane. We obtained signal enhancements of sixfold for the dimeric protein. The enhancement effect was comparable to that of a doubly tagged sample of gramicidin C, with intramolecular spin pairs. This approach could be a powerful and selective means for signal enhancement in membrane proteins, and for recognizing intermolecular interfaces.

  10. A nascent membrane protein is located adjacent to ER membrane proteins throughout its integration and translation

    PubMed Central

    1991-01-01

    The immediate environment of nascent membrane proteins undergoing integration into the ER membrane was investigated by photocrosslinking. Nascent polypeptides of different lengths, each containing a single IgM transmembrane sequence that functions either as a stop-transfer or a signal-anchor sequence, were synthesized by in vitro translation of truncated mRNAs in the presence of N epsilon-(5-azido-2-nitrobenzoyl)- Lys-tRNA, signal recognition particle, and microsomal membranes. This yielded nascent chains with photoreactive probes at one end of the transmembrane sequence where two lysine residues are located. When irradiated, these nascent chains reacted covalently with several ER proteins. One prominent crosslinking target was a glycoprotein similar in size to a protein termed mp39, shown previously to be situated adjacent to a secretory protein during its translocation across the ER membrane (Krieg, U. C., A. E. Johnson, and P. Walter. 1989. J. Cell Biol. 109:2033-2043; Wiedmann, M., D. Goerlich, E. Hartmann, T. V. Kurzchalia, and T. A. Rapoport. 1989. FEBS (Fed. Eur. Biochem. Soc.) Lett. 257:263-268) and likely to be identical to a protein previously designated the signal sequence receptor (Wiedmann, M., T. V. Kurzchalia, E. Hartmann, and T. A. Rapoport. 1987. Nature (Lond.). 328:830-833). Changing the orientation of the transmembrane domain in the bilayer, or making the transmembrane domain the first topogenic sequence in the nascent chain instead of the second, did not significantly alter the identities of the ER proteins that were the primary crosslinking targets. Furthermore, the nascent chains crosslinked to the mp39-like glycoprotein and other microsomal proteins even after the cytoplasmic tail of the nascent chain had been lengthened by nearly 100 amino acids beyond the stop-transfer sequence. Yet when the nascent chain was allowed to terminate normally, the major photocrosslinks were no longer observed, including in particular that to the mp39-like

  11. Expression, Solubilization, and Purification of Bacterial Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, Constance J

    2016-02-02

    Bacterial integral membrane proteins play many important roles, including sensing changes in the environment, transporting molecules into and out of the cell, and in the case of commensal or pathogenic bacteria, interacting with the host organism. Working with membrane proteins in the lab can be more challenging than working with soluble proteins because of difficulties in their recombinant expression and purification. This protocol describes a standard method to express, solubilize, and purify bacterial integral membrane proteins. The recombinant protein of interest with a 6His affinity tag is expressed in E. coli. After harvesting the cultures and isolating cellular membranes, mild detergents are used to solubilize the membrane proteins. Protein-detergent complexes are then purified using IMAC column chromatography. Support protocols are included to help select a detergent for protein solubilization and for use of gel filtration chromatography for further purification.

  12. Membrane proteins, lipids and detergents: not just a soap opera.

    PubMed

    Seddon, Annela M; Curnow, Paul; Booth, Paula J

    2004-11-03

    Studying membrane proteins represents a major challenge in protein biochemistry, with one of the major difficulties being the problems encountered when working outside the natural lipid environment. In vitro studies such as crystallization are reliant on the successful solubilization or reconstitution of membrane proteins, which generally involves the careful selection of solubilizing detergents and mixed lipid/detergent systems. This review will concentrate on the methods currently available for efficient reconstitution and solubilization of membrane proteins through the use of detergent micelles, mixed lipid/detergent micelles and bicelles or liposomes. We focus on the relevant molecular properties of the detergents and lipids that aid understanding of these processes. A significant barrier to membrane protein research is retaining the stability and function of the protein during solubilization, reconstitution and crystallization. We highlight some of the lessons learnt from studies of membrane protein folding in vitro and give an overview of the role that lipids can play in stabilizing the proteins.

  13. Phase separation in the isolation and purification of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Thomas; Linke, Dirk

    2007-10-01

    Phase separation is a simple, efficient, and cheap method to purify and concentrate detergent-solubilized membrane proteins. In spite of this, phase separation is not widely used or even known among membrane protein scientists, and ready-to-use protocols are available for only relatively few detergent/membrane protein combinations. Here, we summarize the physical and chemical parameters that influence the phase separation behavior of detergents commonly used for membrane protein studies. Examples for the successful purification of membrane proteins using this method with different classes of detergents are provided. As the choice of the detergent is critical in many downstream applications (e.g., membrane protein crystallization or functional assays), we discuss how new phase separation protocols can be developed for a given detergent buffer system.

  14. A novel lipoprotein nanoparticle system for membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Frauenfeld, Jens; Löving, Robin; Armache, Jean-Paul; Sonnen, Andreas; Guettou, Fatma; Moberg, Per; Zhu, Lin; Jegerschöld, Caroline; Flayhan, Ali; Briggs, John A.G.; Garoff, Henrik; Löw, Christian; Cheng, Yifan; Nordlund, Pär

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are of outstanding importance in biology, drug discovery and vaccination. A common limiting factor in research and applications involving membrane proteins is the ability to solubilize and stabilize membrane proteins. Although detergents represent the major means for solubilizing membrane proteins, they are often associated with protein instability and poor applicability in structural and biophysical studies. Here, we present a novel lipoprotein nanoparticle system that allows for the reconstitution of membrane proteins into a lipid environment that is stabilized by a scaffold of Saposin proteins. We showcase the applicability of the method on two purified membrane protein complexes as well as the direct solubilization and nanoparticle-incorporation of a viral membrane protein complex from the virus membrane. We also demonstrate that this lipid nanoparticle methodology facilitates high-resolution structural studies of membrane proteins in a lipid environment by single-particle electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) and allows for the stabilization of the HIV-envelope glycoprotein in a functional state. PMID:26950744

  15. A Bloch equation approach to intensity dependent optical spectra of light harvesting complex II: excitation dependence of light harvesting complex II pump-probe spectra.

    PubMed

    Richter, Marten; Renger, Thomas; Knorr, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    On the basis of the recent progress in the resolution of the structure of the antenna light harvesting complex II (LHC II) of the photosystem II, we propose a microscopically motivated theory to predict excitation intensity-dependent spectra. We show that optical Bloch equations provide the means to include all 2( N ) excited states of an oligomer complex of N coupled two-level systems and analyze the effects of Pauli Blocking and exciton-exciton annihilation on pump-probe spectra. We use LHC Bloch equations for 14 Coulomb coupled two-level systems, which describe the S (0) and S (1) level of every chlorophyll molecule. All parameter introduced into the Hamiltonian are based on microscopic structure and a quantum chemical model. The derived Bloch equations describe not only linear absorption but also the intensity dependence of optical spectra in a regime where the interplay of Pauli Blocking effects as well as exciton-exciton annihilation effects are important. As an example, pump-probe spectra are discussed. The observed saturation of the spectra for high intensities can be viewed as a relaxation channel blockade on short time scales due to Pauli blocking. The theoretical investigation is useful for the interpretation of the experimental data, if the experimental conditions exceed the low intensity pump limit and effects like strong Pauli Blocking and exciton-exciton annihilation need to be considered. These effects become important when multiple excitations are generated by the pump pulse in the complex.

  16. Polaron effects on the performance of light-harvesting systems: a quantum heat engine perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Dazhi; Wang, Chen; Zhao, Yang; Cao, Jianshu

    2016-02-01

    We explore energy transfer in a generic three-level system, which is coupled to three non-equilibrium baths. Built on the concept of quantum heat engine, our three-level model describes non-equilibrium quantum processes including light-harvesting energy transfer, nano-scale heat transfer, photo-induced isomerization, and photovoltaics in double quantum-dots. In the context of light-harvesting, the excitation energy is first pumped up by sunlight, then is transferred via two excited states which are coupled to a phonon bath, and finally decays to the reaction center. The efficiency of this process is evaluated by steady state analysis via a polaron-transformed master equation; thus the entire range of the system-phonon coupling strength can be covered. We show that the coupling with the phonon bath not only modifies the steady state, resulting in population inversion, but also introduces a finite steady state coherence which optimizes the energy transfer flux and efficiency. In the strong coupling limit, the steady state coherence disappears and the efficiency recovers the heat engine limit given by Scovil and Schultz-Dubois (1959 Phys. Rev. Lett. 2 262).

  17. Enhanced Photocurrent of Transparent CuFeO2 Photocathodes by Self-Light-Harvesting Architecture.

    PubMed

    Oh, Yunjung; Yang, Wooseok; Kim, Jimin; Jeong, Sunho; Moon, Jooho

    2017-04-13

    Efficient sunlight-driven water-splitting devices can be achieved by using an optically and energetically well-matched pair of photoelectrodes in a tandem configuration. The key for maximizing the photoelectrochemical efficiency is the use of a highly transparent front photoelectrode with a band gap below 2.0 eV. Herein, we propose two-dimensional (2D) photonic crystal (PC) structures consisting of a CuFeO2-decorated microsphere monolayer, which serve as self-light-harvesting architectures allowing for amplified light absorption and high transparency. The photocurrent densities are evaluated for three CuFeO2 2D PC-based photoelectrodes with microspheres of different sizes. The optical analysis confirmed the presence of a photonic stop band that generates slow light and at the same time amplifies the absorption of light. The 410 nm sized CuFeO2-decorated microsphere 2D PC photocathode shows an exceptionally high visible light transmittance of 76.4% and a relatively high photocurrent of 0.2 mA cm(-2) at 0.6 V vs a reversible hydrogen electrode. The effect of the microsphere size on the carrier collection efficiency was analyzed by in situ conductive atomic force microscopy observation under illumination. Our novel synthetic method to produce self-light-harvesting nanostructures provides a promising approach for the effective use of solar energy by highly transparent photocathodes.

  18. Multireference Excitation Energies for Bacteriochlorophylls A within Light Harvesting System 2.

    PubMed

    Anda, André; Hansen, Thorsten; De Vico, Luca

    2016-03-08

    Light-harvesting system 2 (LH2) of purple bacteria is one of the most popular antenna complexes used to study Nature's way of collecting and channeling solar energy. The dynamics of the absorbed energy is probed by ultrafast spectroscopy. Simulation of these experiments relies on fitting a range of parameters to reproduce the spectra. Here, we present a method that can determine key parameters to chemical accuracy. These will eliminate free variables in the modeling, thus reducing the problem. Using MS-RASPT2/RASSCF calculations, we compute excitation energies and transition dipole moments of all bacteriochlorophylls in LH2. We find that the excitation energies vary among the bacteriochlorophyll monomers and that they are regulated by the curvature of the macrocycle ring and the dihedral angle of an acetyl moiety. Increasing the curvature lifts the ground state energy, which causes a red shift of the excitation energy. Increasing the torsion of the acetyl moiety raises the excited state energy, resulting in a blue shift of the excitation energy. The obtained results mark a giant leap for multiconfigurational multireference quantum chemical methods in the photochemistry of biological systems, which can prove instrumental in exposing the underlying physics of photosynthetic light-harvesting.

  19. Exploiting Collective Effects to Direct Light Absorption in Natural and Artificial Light-Harvesters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schroeder, Christopher

    Photosynthesis---the conversion of sunlight to chemical energy---is fundamental for supporting life on our planet. Despite its importance, the physical principles that underpin the primary steps of photosynthesis, from photon absorption to electronic charge separation, remain to be understood in full. Electronic coherence within tightly-packed light-harvesting (LH) units or within individual reaction centers (RCs) has been recognized as an important ingredient for a complete understanding of the excitation energy transfer (EET) dynamics. However, the electronic coherence across units---RC and LH or LH and LH---has been consistently neglected as it does not play a significant role during these relatively slow transfer processes. Here, we turn our attention to the absorption process, which, as we will show, has a much shorter built-in timescale. We demonstrate that the---often overlooked---spatially extended but short-lived excitonic delocalization plays a relevant role in general photosynthetic systems. Most strikingly, we find that absorption intensity is, quite generally, redistributed from LH units to the RC, increasing the number of excitations which can effect charge separation without further transfer steps. A biomemetic nano-system is proposed which is predicted to funnel excitation to the RC-analogue, and hence is the first step towards exploiting these new design principles for efficient artificial light-harvesting.

  20. Light Harvesting and Photocurrent Generation in a Conjugated Polymer Nanoparticle-Reduced Graphene Oxide Composite.

    PubMed

    Patra, Amitava; Ghosh, Arnab; Jana, Bikash; Maiti, Sourav; Bera, Rajesh; Ghosh, Hiren

    2017-03-14

    Polymer - graphene nanocomposites are promising candidates towards light harvesting systems such as photocatalysis, photovoltaics; where significant charge separation occurs due to photoinduced electron transfer. Much attention has been paid to use reduced graphene oxide (r-GO) as template for anchoring various nanomaterials due to its efficient electron accepting and transport property. Here, we have prepared Poly[2-methoxy-5-(2-ethylhexyloxy)-1,4-phenylenevinylene] (MEH-PPV) nanoparticles from MEH-PPV polymer and investigate the change in photophysical properties due to formation of polymer nanoparticles from molecular state by using steady state and time resolved spectroscopy. Nanocomposites were designed by adding hexadecylamine (HDA) functionalized positively charged MEH-PPV PNP with negatively charged r-GO solution. Ultrafast femtosecond up-conversion and Transient absorption spectroscopy unequivocally confirms the electron transfer process from excited state of MEH-PPV PNP to r-GO at the interface of nanocomposite. Analysis reveals that the charge separation time is found to be pulse width limited (<100fs). Due to charge separation in these nanocomposites, an increment (2.6 fold) of photocurrent under visible light illumination is obtained. The fundamental understanding of the charge transfer dynamics open up new possibilities to design efficient light harvesting system based on inorganic-organic hybrid system.

  1. Synthesis, characterization and light harvesting properties of nickel(II) diimine dithiolate complexes.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Abhinav; Auvinen, Sami; Trivedi, Manoj; Chauhan, Ratna; Alatalo, Matti

    2013-11-01

    Four Ni(II) diimine dithiolato complexes viz. [Ni{(S2C2Ph2)(1,10-Phenanthroline)}] (2), [Ni{(S2C2Ph2)(3,3'-dicarboxy-2,2'-bipyridyl)}] (3), [Ni{(S2C2Ph2)(4,4'-dicarboxy-2,2'-bipyridyl)}] (4) [Ni{(S2C2Ph2)(2,2'-bipyridyl)}] (5) have been prepared from [Ni(S2C2Ph2)2] (1) and characterized by microanalyses, UV-Vis, IR, (1)H and (13)C NMR. Attempts have been made to explain the nature of charge transfer in these molecules through quantum chemical calculations. The light harvesting properties of all the compounds have been studied using these compounds as photosensitizers in TiO2-based DSSC. The change in position of anchoring group on diimine derivative leads to different structural, electronic and light harvesting properties about the Ni(II) diimine dithiolate dyes.

  2. Chlorophyll a and carotenoid triplet states in light-harvesting complex II of higher plants.

    PubMed Central

    Peterman, E J; Dukker, F M; van Grondelle, R; van Amerongen, H

    1995-01-01

    Laser-flash-induced transient absorption measurements were performed on trimeric light-harvesting complex II to study carotenoid (Car) and chlorophyll (Chl) triplet states as a function of temperature. In these complexes efficient transfer of triplets from Chl to Car occurs as a protection mechanism against singlet oxygen formation. It appears that at room temperature all triplets are being transferred from Chl to Car; at lower temperatures (77 K and below) the transfer is less efficient and chlorophyll triplets can be observed. In the presence of oxygen at room temperature the Car triplets are partly quenched by oxygen and two different Car triplet spectral species can be distinguished because of a difference in quenching rate. One of these spectral species is replaced by another one upon cooling to 4 Ki demonstrating that at least three carotenoids are in close contact with chlorophylls. The triplet minus singlet absorption (T-S) spectra show maxima at 504-506 nm and 517-523 nm, respectively. In the Chl Qy region absorption changes can be observed that are caused by Car triplets. The T-S spectra in the Chl region show an interesting temperature dependence which indicates that various Car's are in contact with different Chl a molecules. The results are discussed in terms of the crystal structure of light-harvesting complex II. PMID:8599673

  3. Lutein epoxide cycle, light harvesting and photoprotection in species of the tropical tree genus Inga.

    PubMed

    Matsubara, Shizue; Krause, G Heinrich; Seltmann, Martin; Virgo, Aurelio; Kursar, Thomas A; Jahns, Peter; Winter, Klaus

    2008-04-01

    Dynamics and possible function of the lutein epoxide (Lx) cycle, that is, the reversible conversion of Lx to lutein (L) in the light-harvesting antennae, were investigated in leaves of tropical tree species. Photosynthetic pigments were quantified in nine Inga species and species from three other genera. In Inga, Lx levels were high in shade leaves (mostly above 20 mmol mol(-1) chlorophyll) and low in sun leaves. In Virola surinamensis, both sun and shade leaves exhibited very high Lx contents (about 60 mmol mol(-1) chlorophyll). In Inga marginata grown under high irradiance, Lx slowly accumulated within several days upon transfer to deep shade. When shade leaves of I. marginata were briefly exposed to the sunlight, both violaxanthin and Lx were quickly de-epoxidized. Subsequently, overnight recovery occurred only for violaxanthin, not for Lx. In such leaves, containing reduced levels of Lx and increased levels of L, chlorophyll fluorescence induction showed significantly slower reduction of the photosystem II electron acceptor, Q(A), and faster formation as well as a higher level of non-photochemical quenching. The results indicate that slow Lx accumulation in Inga leaves may improve light harvesting under limiting light, while quick de-epoxidation of Lx to L in response to excess light may enhance photoprotection.

  4. Light-harvesting and ultrafast energy migration in porphyrin-based metal-organic frameworks.

    PubMed

    Son, Ho-Jin; Jin, Shengye; Patwardhan, Sameer; Wezenberg, Sander J; Jeong, Nak Cheon; So, Monica; Wilmer, Christopher E; Sarjeant, Amy A; Schatz, George C; Snurr, Randall Q; Farha, Omar K; Wiederrecht, Gary P; Hupp, Joseph T

    2013-01-16

    Given that energy (exciton) migration in natural photosynthesis primarily occurs in highly ordered porphyrin-like pigments (chlorophylls), equally highly ordered porphyrin-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) might be expected to exhibit similar behavior, thereby facilitating antenna-like light-harvesting and positioning such materials for use in solar energy conversion schemes. Herein, we report the first example of directional, long-distance energy migration within a MOF. Two MOFs, namely F-MOF and DA-MOF that are composed of two Zn(II) porphyrin struts [5,15-dipyridyl-10,20-bis(pentafluorophenyl)porphinato]zinc(II) and [5,15-bis[4-(pyridyl)ethynyl]-10,20-diphenylporphinato]zinc(II), respectively, were investigated. From fluorescence quenching experiments and theoretical calculations, we find that the photogenerated exciton migrates over a net distance of up to ~45 porphyrin struts within its lifetime in DA-MOF (but only ~3 in F-MOF), with a high anisotropy along a specific direction. The remarkably efficient exciton migration in DA-MOF is attributed to enhanced π-conjugation through the addition of two acetylene moieties in the porphyrin molecule, which leads to greater Q-band absorption intensity and much faster exciton-hopping (energy transfer between adjacent porphyrin struts). The long distance and directional energy migration in DA-MOF suggests promising applications of this compound or related compounds in solar energy conversion schemes as an efficient light-harvesting and energy-transport component.

  5. Crystal structure of spinach major light-harvesting complex at 2.72Å resolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhenfeng; Yan, Hanchi; Wang, Kebin; Kuang, Tingyun; Zhang, Jiping; Gui, Lulu; An, Xiaomin; Chang, Wenrui

    2004-03-01

    The major light-harvesting complex of photosystem II (LHC-II) serves as the principal solar energy collector in the photosynthesis of green plants and presumably also functions in photoprotection under high-light conditions. Here we report the first X-ray structure of LHC-II in icosahedral proteoliposome assembly at atomic detail. One asymmetric unit of a large R32 unit cell contains ten LHC-II monomers. The 14 chlorophylls (Chl) in each monomer can be unambiguously distinguished as eight Chla and six Chlb molecules. Assignment of the orientation of the transition dipole moment of each chlorophyll has been achieved. All Chlb are located around the interface between adjacent monomers, and together with Chla they are the basis for efficient light harvesting. Four carotenoid-binding sites per monomer have been observed. The xanthophyll-cycle carotenoid at the monomer-monomer interface may be involved in the non-radiative dissipation of excessive energy, one of the photoprotective strategies that have evolved in plants.

  6. Structural insights into energy regulation of light-harvesting complex CP29 from spinach.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xiaowei; Li, Mei; Wan, Tao; Wang, Longfei; Jia, Chenjun; Hou, Zhiqiang; Zhao, Xuelin; Zhang, Jiping; Chang, Wenrui

    2011-03-01

    CP29, one of the minor light-harvesting complexes of higher-plant photosystem II, absorbs and transfers solar energy for photosynthesis and also has important roles in photoprotection. We have solved the crystal structure of spinach CP29 at 2.80-Å resolution. Each CP29 monomer contains 13 chlorophyll and 3 carotenoid molecules, which differs considerably from the major light-harvesting complex LHCII and the previously proposed CP29 model. The 13 chlorophyll-binding sites are assigned as eight chlorophyll a sites, four chlorophyll b and one putative mixed site occupied by both chlorophylls a and b. Based on the present X-ray structure, an integrated pigment network in CP29 is constructed. Two special clusters of pigment molecules, namely a615-a611-a612-Lut and Vio(Zea)-a603-a609, have been identified and might function as potential energy-quenching centers and as the exit or entrance in energy-transfer pathways.

  7. Surfactant-free purification of membrane proteins with intact native membrane environment.

    PubMed

    Jamshad, Mohammed; Lin, Yu-Pin; Knowles, Timothy J; Parslow, Rosemary A; Harris, Craig; Wheatley, Mark; Poyner, David R; Bill, Roslyn M; Thomas, Owen R T; Overduin, Michael; Dafforn, Tim R

    2011-06-01

    In order to study the structure and function of a protein, it is generally required that the protein in question is purified away from all others. For soluble proteins, this process is greatly aided by the lack of any restriction on the free and independent diffusion of individual protein particles in three dimensions. This is not the case for membrane proteins, as the membrane itself forms a continuum that joins the proteins within the membrane with one another. It is therefore essential that the membrane is disrupted in order to allow separation and hence purification of membrane proteins. In the present review, we examine recent advances in the methods employed to separate membrane proteins before purification. These approaches move away from solubilization methods based on the use of small surfactants, which have been shown to suffer from significant practical problems. Instead, the present review focuses on methods that stem from the field of nanotechnology and use a range of reagents that fragment the membrane into nanometre-scale particles containing the protein complete with the local membrane environment. In particular, we examine a method employing the amphipathic polymer poly(styrene-co-maleic acid), which is able to reversibly encapsulate the membrane protein in a 10 nm disc-like structure ideally suited to purification and further biochemical study.

  8. Detergent-resistant membrane subfractions containing proteins of plasma membrane, mitochondrial, and internal membrane origins.

    PubMed

    Mellgren, Ronald L

    2008-04-24

    HEK293 cell detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs) isolated by the standard homogenization protocol employing a Teflon pestle homogenizer yielded a prominent opaque band at approximately 16% sucrose upon density gradient ultracentrifugation. In contrast, cell disruption using a ground glass tissue homogenizer generated three distinct DRM populations migrating at approximately 10%, 14%, and 20% sucrose, named DRM subfractions A, B, and C, respectively. Separation of the DRM subfractions by mechanical disruption suggested that they are physically associated within the cellular environment, but can be dissociated by shear forces generated during vigorous homogenization. All three DRM subfractions possessed cholesterol and ganglioside GM1, but differed in protein composition. Subfraction A was enriched in flotillin-1 and contained little caveolin-1. In contrast, subfractions B and C were enriched in caveolin-1. Subfraction C contained several mitochondrial membrane proteins, including mitofilin and porins. Only subfraction B appeared to contain significant amounts of plasma membrane-associated proteins, as revealed by cell surface labeling studies. A similar distribution of DRM subfractions, as assessed by separation of flotillin-1 and caveolin-1 immunoreactivities, was observed in CHO cells, in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and in HEK293 cells lysed in detergent-free carbonate. Teflon pestle homogenization of HEK293 cells in the presence of the actin-disrupting agent latrunculin B generated DRM subfractions A-C. The microtubule-disrupting agent vinblastine did not facilitate DRM subfraction separation, and DRMs prepared from fibroblasts of vimentin-null mice were present as a single major band on sucrose gradients, unless pre-treated with latrunculin B. These results suggest that the DRM subfractions are interconnected by the actin cytoskeleton, and not by microtubes or vimentin intermediate filaments. The subfractions described may prove useful in studying discrete protein

  9. Chitosan-based membrane chromatography for protein adsorption and separation.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yezhuo; Feng, Zhicheng; Shao, Zhengzhong; Chen, Xin

    2012-08-01

    A chitosan-based membrane chromatography was set up by using natural chitosan/carboxymethylchitosan (CS/CMCS) blend membrane as the matrix. The dynamic adsorption property for protein (lysozyme as model protein) was detailed discussed with the change in pore size of the membrane, the flow rate and the initial concentration of the feed solution, and the layer of membrane in membrane stack. The best dynamic adsorption capacity of lysozyme on the CS/CMCS membrane chromatography was found to be 15.3mg/mL under the optimal flow conditions. Moreover, the CS/CMCS membrane chromatography exhibited good repeatability and reusability with the desorption efficiency of ~90%. As an application, lysozyme and ovalbumin were successfully separated from their binary mixture through the CS/CMCS membrane chromatography. This implies that such a natural chitosan-based membrane chromatography may have great potential on the bioseparation field in the future.

  10. Efficient energy transfer in light-harvesting systems, I: optimal temperature, reorganization energy and spatial-temporal correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jianlan; Liu, Fan; Shen, Young; Cao, Jianshu; Silbey, Robert J.

    2010-10-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of efficient and robust energy transfer in light-harvesting systems provides new insights for the optimal design of artificial systems. In this paper, we use the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) protein complex and phycocyanin 645 (PC 645) to explore the general dependence on physical parameters that help maximize the efficiency and maintain its stability. With the Haken-Strobl model, the maximal energy transfer efficiency (ETE) is achieved under an intermediate optimal value of dephasing rate. To avoid the infinite temperature assumption in the Haken-Strobl model and the failure of the Redfield equation in predicting the Forster rate behavior, we use the generalized Bloch-Redfield (GBR) equation approach to correctly describe dissipative exciton dynamics, and we find that maximal ETE can be achieved under various physical conditions, including temperature, reorganization energy and spatial-temporal correlations in noise. We also identify regimes of reorganization energy where the ETE changes monotonically with temperature or spatial correlation and therefore cannot be optimized with respect to these two variables.

  11. Spectral heterogeneity and carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer in LH2 light-harvesting complexes from Allochromatium vinosum.

    PubMed

    Magdaong, Nikki M; LaFountain, Amy M; Hacking, Kirsty; Niedzwiedzki, Dariusz M; Gibson, George N; Cogdell, Richard J; Frank, Harry A

    2016-02-01

    Photosynthetic organisms produce a vast array of spectral forms of antenna pigment-protein complexes to harvest solar energy and also to adapt to growth under the variable environmental conditions of light intensity, temperature, and nutrient availability. This behavior is exemplified by Allochromatium (Alc.) vinosum, a photosynthetic purple sulfur bacterium that produces different types of LH2 light-harvesting complexes in response to variations in growth conditions. In the present work, three different spectral forms of LH2 from Alc. vinosum, B800-820, B800-840, and B800-850, were isolated, purified, and examined using steady-state absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy, and ultrafast time-resolved absorption spectroscopy. The pigment composition of the LH2 complexes was analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography, and all were found to contain five carotenoids: lycopene, anhydrorhodovibrin, spirilloxanthin, rhodopin, and rhodovibrin. Spectral reconstructions of the absorption and fluorescence excitation spectra based on the pigment composition revealed significantly more spectral heterogeneity in these systems compared to LH2 complexes isolated from other species of purple bacteria. The data also revealed the individual carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer efficiencies which were correlated with the kinetic data from the ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopic experiments. This series of LH2 complexes allows a systematic exploration of the factors that determine the spectral properties of the bound pigments and control the rate and efficiency of carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer.

  12. Large photocurrent response and external quantum efficiency in biophotoelectrochemical cells incorporating reaction center plus light harvesting complexes.

    PubMed

    Yaghoubi, Houman; Lafalce, Evan; Jun, Daniel; Jiang, Xiaomei; Beatty, J Thomas; Takshi, Arash

    2015-04-13

    Bacterial photosynthetic reaction centers (RCs) are promising materials for solar energy harvesting, due to their high ratio of photogenerated electrons to absorbed photons and long recombination time of generated charges. In this work, photoactive electrodes were prepared from a bacterial RC-light-harvesting 1 (LH1) core complex, where the RC is encircled by the LH1 antenna, to increase light capture. A simple immobilization method was used to prepare RC-LH1 photoactive layer. Herein, we demonstrate that the combination of pretreatment of the RC-LH1 protein complexes with quinone and the immobilization method results in biophotoelectrochemical cells with a large peak transient photocurrent density and photocurrent response of 7.1 and 3.5 μA cm(-2), respectively. The current study with monochromatic excitation showed maximum external quantum efficiency (EQE) and photocurrent density of 0.21% and 2 μA cm(-2), respectively, with illumination power of ∼6 mW cm(-2) at ∼875 nm, under ambient conditions. This work provides new directions to higher performance biophotoelectrochemical cells as well as possibly other applications of this broadly functional photoactive material.

  13. An Integrated Framework Advancing Membrane Protein Modeling and Design

    PubMed Central

    Weitzner, Brian D.; Duran, Amanda M.; Tilley, Drew C.; Elazar, Assaf; Gray, Jeffrey J.

    2015-01-01

    Membrane proteins are critical functional molecules in the human body, constituting more than 30% of open reading frames in the human genome. Unfortunately, a myriad of difficulties in overexpression and reconstitution into membrane mimetics severely limit our ability to determine their structures. Computational tools are therefore instrumental to membrane protein structure prediction, consequently increasing our understanding of membrane protein function and their role in disease. Here, we describe a general framework facilitating membrane protein modeling and design that combines the scientific principles for membrane protein modeling with the flexible software architecture of Rosetta3. This new framework, called RosettaMP, provides a general membrane representation that interfaces with scoring, conformational sampling, and mutation routines that can be easily combined to create new protocols. To demonstrate the capabilities of this implementation, we developed four proof-of-concept applications for (1) prediction of free energy changes upon mutation; (2) high-resolution structural refinement; (3) protein-protein docking; and (4) assembly of symmetric protein complexes, all in the membrane environment. Preliminary data show that these algorithms can produce meaningful scores and structures. The data also suggest needed improvements to both sampling routines and score functions. Importantly, the applications collectively demonstrate the potential of combining the flexible nature of RosettaMP with the power of Rosetta algorithms to facilitate membrane protein modeling and design. PMID:26325167

  14. Simple model of membrane proteins including solvent.

    PubMed

    Pagan, D L; Shiryayev, A; Connor, T P; Gunton, J D

    2006-05-14

    We report a numerical simulation for the phase diagram of a simple two-dimensional model, similar to the one proposed by Noro and Frenkel [J. Chem. Phys. 114, 2477 (2001)] for membrane proteins, but one that includes the role of the solvent. We first use Gibbs ensemble Monte Carlo simulations to determine the phase behavior of particles interacting via a square-well potential in two dimensions for various values of the interaction range. A phenomenological model for the solute-solvent interactions is then studied to understand how the fluid-fluid coexistence curve is modified by solute-solvent interactions. It is shown that such a model can yield systems with liquid-liquid phase separation curves that have both upper and lower critical points, as well as closed loop phase diagrams, as is the case with the corresponding three-dimensional model.

  15. Detergent-Specific Membrane Protein Crystallization Screens

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiener, Michael

    2007-01-01

    A suite of reagents has been developed for three-dimensional crystallization of integral membranes present in solution as protein-detergent complexes (PDCs). The compositions of these reagents have been determined in part by proximity to the phase boundaries (lower consolute boundaries) of the detergents present in the PDCs. The acquisition of some of the requisite phase-boundary data and the preliminary design of several of the detergent- specific screens was supported by a NASA contract. At the time of expiration of the contract, a partial set of preliminary screens had been developed. This work has since been extended under non-NASA sponsorship, leading to near completion of a set of 20 to 30 different and unique detergent- specific 96-condition screens.

  16. Adamantane-based amphiphiles (ADAs) for membrane protein study: importance of a detergent hydrophobic group in membrane protein solubilisation.

    PubMed

    Chae, Pil Seok; Bae, Hyoung Eun; Das, Manabendra

    2014-10-21

    We prepared adamantane-containing amphiphiles and evaluated them using a large membrane protein complex in terms of protein solubilisation and stabilization efficacy. These agents were superior to conventional detergents, especially in terms of the membrane protein solubilisation efficiency, implying a new detergent structure-property relationship.

  17. The Use of Detergents to Purify Membrane Proteins.

    PubMed

    Orwick-Rydmark, Marcella; Arnold, Thomas; Linke, Dirk

    2016-04-01

    Extraction of membrane proteins from biological membranes is usually accomplished with the help of detergents. This unit describes the use of detergents to solubilize and purify membrane proteins. The chemical and physical properties of the different classes of detergents typically used with biological samples are discussed. A separate section addresses the compatibility of detergents with applications downstream of the membrane protein purification process, such as optical spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, protein crystallography, biomolecular NMR, or electron microscopy. A brief summary of alternative membrane protein solubilizing and stabilizing systems is also included. Protocols in this unit include the isolation and solubilization of biological membranes and phase separation; support protocols for detergent removal, detergent exchange, and the determination of critical micelle concentration using different methods are also included.

  18. Lipid demixing and protein-protein interactions in the adsorption of charged proteins on mixed membranes.

    PubMed Central

    May, S; Harries, D; Ben-Shaul, A

    2000-01-01

    The adsorption free energy of charged proteins on mixed membranes, containing varying amounts of (oppositely) charged lipids, is calculated based on a mean-field free energy expression that accounts explicitly for the ability of the lipids to demix locally, and for lateral interactions between the adsorbed proteins. Minimization of this free energy functional yields the familiar nonlinear Poisson-Boltzmann equation and the boundary condition at the membrane surface that allows for lipid charge rearrangement. These two self-consistent equations are solved simultaneously. The proteins are modeled as uniformly charged spheres and the (bare) membrane as an ideal two-dimensional binary mixture of charged and neutral lipids. Substantial variations in the lipid charge density profiles are found when highly charged proteins adsorb on weakly charged membranes; the lipids, at a certain demixing entropy penalty, adjust their concentration in the vicinity of the adsorbed protein to achieve optimal charge matching. Lateral repulsive interactions between the adsorbed proteins affect the lipid modulation profile and, at high densities, result in substantial lowering of the binding energy. Adsorption isotherms demonstrating the importance of lipid mobility and protein-protein interactions are calculated using an adsorption equation with a coverage-dependent binding constant. Typically, at bulk-surface equilibrium (i.e., when the membrane surface is "saturated" by adsorbed proteins), the membrane charges are "overcompensated" by the protein charges, because only about half of the protein charges (those on the hemispheres facing the membrane) are involved in charge neutralization. Finally, it is argued that the formation of lipid-protein domains may be enhanced by electrostatic adsorption of proteins, but its origin (e.g., elastic deformations associated with lipid demixing) is not purely electrostatic. PMID:11023883

  19. The human platelet membrane proteome reveals several new potential membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Moebius, Jan; Zahedi, René Peiman; Lewandrowski, Urs; Berger, Claudia; Walter, Ulrich; Sickmann, Albert

    2005-11-01

    We present the first focused proteome study on human platelet membranes. Due to the removal of highly abundant cytoskeletal proteins a wide spectrum of known platelet membrane proteins and several new and hypothetical proteins were accessible. In contrast to other proteome studies we focused on prefractionation and purification of membranes from human platelets according to published protocols to reduce sample complexity and enrich interesting membrane proteins. Subsequently protein separation by common one-dimensional SDS-PAGE as well as the combined benzyldimethyl-n-hexadecylammonium chloride/SDS separation technique was performed prior to mass spectrometry analysis by nano-LC-ESI-MS/MS. We demonstrate that the application of both separation systems in parallel is required for maximization of protein tagging out of a complex sample. Furthermore the identification of several potential membrane proteins in human platelets yields new potential targets in functional platelet research.

  20. Bilayer-thickness-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Kahraman, Osman; Koch, Peter D; Klug, William S; Haselwandter, Christoph A

    2016-04-01

    Hydrophobic thickness mismatch between integral membrane proteins and the surrounding lipid bilayer can produce lipid bilayer thickness deformations. Experiment and theory have shown that protein-induced lipid bilayer thickness deformations can yield energetically favorable bilayer-mediated interactions between integral membrane proteins, and large-scale organization of integral membrane proteins into protein clusters in cell membranes. Within the continuum elasticity theory of membranes, the energy cost of protein-induced bilayer thickness deformations can be captured by considering compression and expansion of the bilayer hydrophobic core, membrane tension, and bilayer bending, resulting in biharmonic equilibrium equations describing the shape of lipid bilayers for a given set of bilayer-protein boundary conditions. Here we develop a combined analytic and numerical methodology for the solution of the equilibrium elastic equations associated with protein-induced lipid bilayer deformations. Our methodology allows accurate prediction of thickness-mediated protein interactions for arbitrary protein symmetries at arbitrary protein separations and relative orientations. We provide exact analytic solutions for cylindrical integral membrane proteins with constant and varying hydrophobic thickness, and develop perturbative analytic solutions for noncylindrical protein shapes. We complement these analytic solutions, and assess their accuracy, by developing both finite element and finite difference numerical solution schemes. We provide error estimates of our numerical solution schemes and systematically assess their convergence properties. Taken together, the work presented here puts into place an analytic and numerical framework which allows calculation of bilayer-mediated elastic interactions between integral membrane proteins for the complicated protein shapes suggested by structural biology and at the small protein separations most relevant for the crowded membrane

  1. Discriminating lysosomal membrane protein types using dynamic neural network.

    PubMed

    Tripathi, Vijay; Gupta, Dwijendra Kumar

    2014-01-01

    This work presents a dynamic artificial neural network methodology, which classifies the proteins into their classes from their sequences alone: the lysosomal membrane protein classes and the various other membranes protein classes. In this paper, neural networks-based lysosomal-associated membrane protein type prediction system is proposed. Different protein sequence representations are fused to extract the features of a protein sequence, which includes seven feature sets; amino acid (AA) composition, sequence length, hydrophobic group, electronic group, sum of hydrophobicity, R-group, and dipeptide composition. To reduce the dimensionality of the large feature vector, we applied the principal component analysis. The probabilistic neural network, generalized regression neural network, and Elman regression neural network (RNN) are used as classifiers and compared with layer recurrent network (LRN), a dynamic network. The dynamic networks have memory, i.e. its output depends not only on the input but the previous outputs also. Thus, the accuracy of LRN classifier among all other artificial neural networks comes out to be the highest. The overall accuracy of jackknife cross-validation is 93.2% for the data-set. These predicted results suggest that the method can be effectively applied to discriminate lysosomal associated membrane proteins from other membrane proteins (Type-I, Outer membrane proteins, GPI-Anchored) and Globular proteins, and it also indicates that the protein sequence representation can better reflect the core feature of membrane proteins than the classical AA composition.

  2. Light-harvesting mutants show differential gene expression upon shift to high light as a consequence of photosynthetic redox and reactive oxygen species metabolism.

    PubMed

    Tikkanen, Mikko; Gollan, Peter J; Mekala, Nageswara Rao; Isojärvi, Janne; Aro, Eva-Mari

    2014-04-19

    The amount of light energy that is harvested and directed to the photosynthetic machinery is regulated in order to control the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in leaf tissues. ROS have important roles as signalling factors that instigate and mediate a range of cellular responses, suggesting that the mechanisms regulating light-harvesting and photosynthetic energy transduction also affect cell signalling. In this study, we exposed wild-type (WT) Arabidopsis and mutants impaired in the regulation of photosynthetic light-harvesting (stn7, tap38 and npq4) to transient high light (HL) stress in order to study the role of these mechanisms for up- and downregulation of gene expression under HL stress. The mutants, all of which have disturbed regulation of excitation energy transfer and distribution, responded to transient HL treatment with surprising similarity to the WT in terms of general 'abiotic stress-regulated' genes associated with hydrogen peroxide and 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid signalling. However, we identified distinct expression profiles in each genotype with respect to induction of singlet oxygen and jasmonic acid-dependent responses. The results of this study suggest that the control of excitation energy transfer interacts with hormonal regulation. Furthermore, the photosynthetic pigment-protein complexes appear to operate as receptors that sense the energetic balance between the photosynthetic light reactions and downstream metabolism.

  3. Evaluating the Nature of So-Called S*-State Feature in Transient Absorption of Carotenoids in Light-Harvesting Complex 2 (LH2) from Purple Photosynthetic Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Niedzwiedzki, Dariusz M; Hunter, C Neil; Blankenship, Robert E

    2016-11-03

    Carotenoids are a class of natural pigments present in all phototrophic organisms, mainly in their light-harvesting proteins in which they play roles of accessory light absorbers and photoprotectors. Extensive time-resolved spectroscopic studies of these pigments have revealed unexpectedly complex photophysical properties, particularly for carotenoids in light-harvesting LH2 complexes from purple bacteria. An ambiguous, optically forbidden electronic excited state designated as S* has been postulated to be involved in carotenoid excitation relaxation and in an alternative carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer pathway, as well as being a precursor of the carotenoid triplet state. However, no definitive and satisfactory origin of the carotenoid S* state in these complexes has been established, despite a wide-ranging series of studies. Here, we resolve the ambiguous origin of the carotenoid S* state in LH2 complex from Rba. sphaeroides by showing that the S* feature can be seen as a combination of ground state absorption bleaching of the carotenoid pool converted to cations and the Stark spectrum of neighbor neutral carotenoids, induced by temporal electric field brought by the carotenoid cation-bacteriochlorophyll anion pair. These findings remove the need to assign an S* state, and thereby significantly simplify the photochemistry of carotenoids in these photosynthetic antenna complexes.

  4. Evaluating the Nature of So-Called S*-State Feature in Transient Absorption of Carotenoids in Light-Harvesting Complex 2 (LH2) from Purple Photosynthetic Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Carotenoids are a class of natural pigments present in all phototrophic organisms, mainly in their light-harvesting proteins in which they play roles of accessory light absorbers and photoprotectors. Extensive time-resolved spectroscopic studies of these pigments have revealed unexpectedly complex photophysical properties, particularly for carotenoids in light-harvesting LH2 complexes from purple bacteria. An ambiguous, optically forbidden electronic excited state designated as S* has been postulated to be involved in carotenoid excitation relaxation and in an alternative carotenoid-to-bacteriochlorophyll energy transfer pathway, as well as being a precursor of the carotenoid triplet state. However, no definitive and satisfactory origin of the carotenoid S* state in these complexes has been established, despite a wide-ranging series of studies. Here, we resolve the ambiguous origin of the carotenoid S* state in LH2 complex from Rba. sphaeroides by showing that the S* feature can be seen as a combination of ground state absorption bleaching of the carotenoid pool converted to cations and the Stark spectrum of neighbor neutral carotenoids, induced by temporal electric field brought by the carotenoid cation–bacteriochlorophyll anion pair. These findings remove the need to assign an S* state, and thereby significantly simplify the photochemistry of carotenoids in these photosynthetic antenna complexes. PMID:27726397

  5. Resonance Raman spectroscopic investigation of the light-harvesting chromophore in escherichia coli photolyase and Vibrio cholerae cryptochrome-1.

    PubMed

    Sokolova, Olga; Cecala, Christine; Gopal, Anand; Cortazar, Frank; McDowell-Buchanan, Carla; Sancar, Aziz; Gindt, Yvonne M; Schelvis, Johannes P M

    2007-03-27

    Photolyases and cryptochromes are flavoproteins that belong to the class of blue-light photoreceptors. They usually bind two chromophores: flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), which forms the active site, and a light-harvesting pigment, which is a 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate polyglutamate (MTHF) in most cases. In Escherichia coli photolyase (EcPhr), the MTHF cofactor is present in substoichiometric amounts after purification, while in Vibrio cholerae cryptochrome-1 (VcCry1) the MTHF cofactor is bound more strongly and is present at stoichiometric levels after purification. In this paper, we have used resonance Raman spectroscopy to monitor the effect of loss of MTHF on the protein-FAD interactions in EcPhr and to probe the protein-MTHF interactions in both EcPhr and VcCry1. We find that removal of MTHF does not perturb protein-FAD interactions, suggesting that it may not affect the physicochemical properties of FAD in EcPhr. Our data demonstrate that the pteridine ring of MTHF in EcPhr has different interactions with the protein matrix than that of MTHF in VcCry1. Comparison to solution resonance Raman spectra of MTHF suggests that the carbonyl of its pteridine ring in EcPhr experiences stronger hydrogen bonding and a more polar environment than in VcCry1, but that hydrogen bonding to the pteridine ring amine hydrogens is stronger in VcCry-1. These differences in hydrogen bonding may account for the higher binding affinity of MTHF in VcCry1 compared to EcPhr.

  6. Bacteriophage membrane protein P9 as a fusion partner for the efficient expression of membrane proteins in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Jung, Yuna; Jung, Hyeim; Lim, Dongbin

    2015-12-01

    Despite their important roles and economic values, studies of membrane proteins have been hampered by the difficulties associated with obtaining sufficient amounts of protein. Here, we report a novel membrane protein expression system that uses the major envelope protein (P9) of phage φ6 as an N-terminal fusion partner. Phage membrane protein P9 facilitated the synthesis of target proteins and their integration into the Escherichia coli cell membrane. This system was used to produce various multi-pass transmembrane proteins, including G-protein-coupled receptors, transporters, and ion channels of human origin. Green fluorescent protein fusion was used to confirm the correct folding of the expressed proteins. Of the 14 membrane proteins tested, eight were highly expressed, three were moderately expressed, and three were barely expressed in E. coli. Seven of the eight highly expressed proteins could be purified after extraction with the mild detergent lauryldimethylamine-oxide. Although a few proteins have previously been developed as fusion partners to augment membrane protein production, we believe that the major envelope protein P9 described here is better suited to the efficient expression of eukaryotic transmembrane proteins in E. coli.

  7. Membrane Interacting Regions of Dengue Virus NS2A Protein

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The Dengue virus (DENV) NS2A protein, essential for viral replication, is a poorly characterized membrane protein. NS2A displays both protein/protein and membrane/protein interactions, yet neither its functions in the viral cycle nor its active regions are known with certainty. To highlight the different membrane-active regions of NS2A, we characterized the effects of peptides derived from a peptide library encompassing this protein’s full length on different membranes by measuring their membrane leakage induction and modulation of lipid phase behavior. Following this initial screening, one region, peptide dens25, had interesting effects on membranes; therefore, we sought to thoroughly characterize this region’s interaction with membranes. This peptide presents an interfacial/hydrophobic pattern characteristic of a membrane-proximal segment. We show that dens25 strongly interacts with membranes that contain a large proportion of lipid molecules with a formal negative charge, and that this effect has a major electrostatic contribution. Considering its membrane modulating capabilities, this region might be involved in membrane rearrangements and thus be important for the viral cycle. PMID:25119664

  8. Intermolecular detergent-membrane protein noes for the characterization of the dynamics of membrane protein-detergent complexes.

    PubMed

    Eichmann, Cédric; Orts, Julien; Tzitzilonis, Christos; Vögeli, Beat; Smrt, Sean; Lorieau, Justin; Riek, Roland

    2014-12-11

    The interaction between membrane proteins and lipids or lipid mimetics such as detergents is key for the three-dimensional structure and dynamics of membrane proteins. In NMR-based structural studies of membrane proteins, qualitative analysis of intermolecular nuclear Overhauser enhancements (NOEs) or paramagnetic resonance enhancement are used in general to identify the transmembrane segments of a membrane protein. Here, we employed a quantitative characterization of intermolecular NOEs between (1)H of the detergent and (1)H(N) of (2)H-perdeuterated, (15)N-labeled α-helical membrane protein-detergent complexes following the exact NOE (eNOE) approach. Structural considerations suggest that these intermolecular NOEs should show a helical-wheel-type behavior along a transmembrane helix or a membrane-attached helix within a membrane protein as experimentally demonstrated for the complete influenza hemagglutinin fusion domain HAfp23. The partial absence of such a NOE pattern along the amino acid sequence as shown for a truncated variant of HAfp23 and for the Escherichia coli inner membrane protein YidH indicates the presence of large tertiary structure fluctuations such as an opening between helices or the presence of large rotational dynamics of the helices. Detergent-protein NOEs thus appear to be a straightforward probe for a qualitative characterization of structural and dynamical properties of membrane proteins embedded in detergent micelles.

  9. Characterization of the mycoplasma membrane proteins. VI. Composition and disposition of proteins in membranes from aging Mycoplasma hominis cultures.

    PubMed

    Amar, A; Rottem, S; Kahane, I; Razin, S

    1976-03-05

    Membranes of Mycoplasma hominis cells from cultures progressing from the mid to the end of the logarithmic phase of growth became richer in protein, poorer in phospholipids and cholesterol, heavier in density, and more viscous as determined by EPR. The membrane-bound ATPase activity declined steeply. Electrophoretic analysis failed to show marked changes in membrane protein composition on aging, apart from an increase in the staining intensity of one protein band (Mr approximately 130 000) concomitant with a decrease in the staining intensity of several minor protein bands of high molecular weight. To test for possible changes in the disposition of the various membrane proteins on aging of cultures, a comparison was made of the susceptibility of membrane proteins of intact cells and isolated membranes to trypsinization and lactoperoxidase-mediated iodination. The iodination values and the percent of membrane protein released by trypsinization of intact cells were similar in cells from cultures of different ages, indicating no significant changes in the organization of the proteins on the outer surface. On the other hand, trypsinization and iodination of isolated membranes were found to be most markedly affected by the culture age, indicating significant changes in the organization of the proteins on the inner membrane surface. Thus, the iodination values of isolated membranes decreased by almost two fold, while the percentage of protein released from the membrane by trypsin increased from 28% to 50% during the experimental period. It is suggested that aging in M. hominis cultures is accompanied by a continuous increase in the packing density of the protein molecules on the inner surface of the cell membrane.

  10. Modulation of the bilayer thickness of exocytic pathway membranes by membrane proteins rather than cholesterol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitra, Kakoli; Ubarretxena-Belandia, Iban; Taguchi, Tomohiko; Warren, Graham; Engelman, Donald M.

    2004-03-01

    A biological membrane is conceptualized as a system in which membrane proteins are naturally matched to the equilibrium thickness of the lipid bilayer. Cholesterol, in addition to lipid composition, has been suggested to be a major regulator of bilayer thickness in vivo because measurements in vitro have shown that cholesterol can increase the thickness of simple phospholipid/cholesterol bilayers. Using solution x-ray scattering, we have directly measured the average bilayer thickness of exocytic pathway membranes, which contain increasing amounts of cholesterol. The bilayer thickness of membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum, the Golgi, and the basolateral and apical plasma membranes, purified from rat hepatocytes, were determined to be 37.5 ± 0.4 Å, 39.5 ± 0.4 Å, 35.6 ± 0.6 Å, and 42.5 ± 0.3 Å, respectively. After cholesterol depletion using cyclodextrins, Golgi and apical plasma membranes retained their respective bilayer thicknesses whereas the bilayer thickness of the endoplasmic reticulum and the basolateral plasma membrane decreased by 1.0 Å. Because cholesterol was shown to have a marginal effect on the thickness of these membranes, we measured whether membrane proteins could modulate thickness. Protein-depleted membranes demonstrated changes in thickness of up to 5 Å, suggesting that (i) membrane proteins rather than cholesterol modulate the average bilayer thickness of eukaryotic cell membranes, and (ii) proteins and lipids are not naturally hydrophobically matched in some biological membranes. A marked effect of membrane proteins on the thickness of Escherichia coli cytoplasmic membranes, which do not contain cholesterol, was also observed, emphasizing the generality of our findings.

  11. Toward understanding driving forces in membrane protein folding.

    PubMed

    Hong, Heedeok

    2014-12-15

    α-Helical membrane proteins are largely composed of nonpolar residues that are embedded in the lipid bilayer. An enigma in the folding of membrane proteins is how a polypeptide chain can be condensed into the compact folded state in the environment where the hydrophobic effect cannot strongly drive molecular interactions. Probably other forces such as van der Waals packing, hydrogen bonding, and weakly polar interactions, which are regarded less important in the folding of water-soluble proteins, should emerge. However, it is not clearly understood how those individual forces operate and how they are balanced for stabilizing membrane proteins. Studying this problem is not a trivial task mainly because of the methodological challenges in controlling the reversible folding of membrane proteins in the lipid bilayer. Overcoming the hurdles, meaningful progress has been made in the field in the last few decades. This review will focus on recent studies tackling the problem of driving forces in membrane protein folding.

  12. Size-dependent protein segregation at membrane interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmid, Eva M.; Bakalar, Matthew H.; Choudhuri, Kaushik; Weichsel, Julian; Ann, Hyoung Sook; Geissler, Phillip L.; Dustin, Michael L.; Fletcher, Daniel A.

    2016-07-01

    Membrane interfaces formed at cell-cell junctions are associated with characteristic patterns of membrane proteins whose organization is critical for intracellular signalling. To isolate the role of membrane protein size in pattern formation, we reconstituted model membrane interfaces in vitro using giant unilamellar vesicles decorated with synthetic binding and non-binding proteins. We show that size differences between membrane proteins can drastically alter their organization at membrane interfaces, with as little as a ~5 nm increase in non-binding protein size driving its exclusion from the interface. Combining in vitro measurements with Monte Carlo simulations, we find that non-binding protein exclusion is also influenced by lateral crowding, binding protein affinity, and thermally driven membrane height fluctuations that transiently limit access to the interface. This sensitive and highly effective means of physically segregating proteins has implications for cell-cell contacts such as T-cell immunological synapses (for example, CD45 exclusion) and epithelial cell junctions (for example, E-cadherin enrichment), as well as for protein sorting at intracellular contact points between membrane-bound organelles.

  13. Surface modifications of photoanodes in dye sensitized solar cells: enhanced light harvesting and reduced recombination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saxena, Vibha; Aswal, D. K.

    2015-06-01

    In a quest to harvest solar power, dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have potential for low-cost eco-friendly photovoltaic devices. The major processes which govern the efficiency of a DSSC are photoelectron generation, injection of photo-generated electrons to the conduction band (CB) of the mesoporous nanocrystalline semiconductor (nc-SC); transport of CB electrons through nc-SC and subsequent collection of CB electrons at the counter electrode (CE) through the external circuit; and dye regeneration by redox couple or hole transport layer (HTL). Most of these processes occur at various interfaces of the photoanode. In addition, recombination losses of photo-generated electrons with either dye or redox molecules take place at the interfaces. Therefore, one of the key requirements for high efficiency is to improve light harvesting of the photoanode and to reduce the recombination losses at various interfaces. In this direction, surface modification of the photoanode is the simplest method among the various other approaches available in the literature. In this review, we present a comprehensive discussion on surface modification of the photoanode, which has been adopted in the literature for not only enhancing light harvesting but also reducing recombination. Various approaches towards surface modification of the photoanode discussed are (i) fluorine-doped tin oxide (FTO)/nc-SC interface modified via a compact layer of semiconductor material which blocks exposed sites of FTO to electrolyte (or HTL), (ii) nc-SC/dye interface modification either through acid treatment resulting in enhanced dye loading due to a positively charged surface or by depositing insulating/semiconducting blocking layer on the nc-SC surface, which acts as a tunneling barrier for recombination, (iii) nc-SC/dye interface modified by employing co-adsorbents which helps in reducing the dye aggregation and thereby recombination, and (iv) dye/electrolyte (or dye/HTL) interface modification using

  14. Integrated system for extraction, purification, and digestion of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiying; Yan, Guoquan; Gao, Mingxia; Deng, Chunhui; Zhang, Xiangmin

    2016-05-01

    An integrated system was developed for directly processing living cells into peptides of membrane proteins. Living cells were directly injected into the system and cracked in a capillary column by ultrasonic treatment. Owing to hydrophilicity for broken pieces of the cell membrane, the obtained membranes were retained in a well-designed bi-filter. While cytoplasm proteins were eluted from the bi-filter, the membranes were dissolved and protein released by flushing 4% SDS buffer through the bi-filter. The membrane proteins were subsequently transferred into a micro-reactor and covalently bound in the reactor for purification and digestion. As the system greatly simplified the whole pretreatment processes and minimized both sample loss and contamination, it could be used to analyze the membrane proteome samples of thousand-cell-scales with acceptable reliability and stability. We totally identified 1348 proteins from 5000 HepG2 cells, 615 of which were annotated as membrane proteins. In contrast, with conventional method, only 233 membrane proteins were identified. It is adequately demonstrated that the integrated system shows promising practicability for the membrane proteome analysis of small amount of cells.

  15. Assembly of outer-membrane proteins in bacteria and mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Tommassen, Jan

    2010-09-01

    The cell envelope of Gram-negative bacteria consists of two membranes separated by the periplasm. In contrast with most integral membrane proteins, which span the membrane in the form of hydrophobic alpha-helices, integral outer-membrane proteins (OMPs) form beta-barrels. Similar beta-barrel proteins are found in the outer membranes of mitochondria and chloroplasts, probably reflecting the endosymbiont origin of these eukaryotic cell organelles. How these beta-barrel proteins are assembled into the outer membrane has remained enigmatic for a long time. In recent years, much progress has been reached in this field by the identification of the components of the OMP assembly machinery. The central component of this machinery, called Omp85 or BamA, is an essential and highly conserved bacterial protein that recognizes a signature sequence at the C terminus of its substrate OMPs. A homologue of this protein is also found in mitochondria, where it is required for the assembly of beta-barrel proteins into the outer membrane as well. Although accessory components of the machineries are different between bacteria and mitochondria, a mitochondrial beta-barrel OMP can be assembled into the bacterial outer membrane and, vice versa, bacterial OMPs expressed in yeast are assembled into the mitochondrial outer membrane. These observations indicate that the basic mechanism of OMP assembly is evolutionarily highly conserved.

  16. Disturbed vesicular trafficking of membrane proteins in prion disease.

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Keiji; Miyata, Hironori; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2013-01-01

    The pathogenic mechanism of prion diseases remains unknown. We recently reported that prion infection disturbs post-Golgi trafficking of certain types of membrane proteins to the cell surface, resulting in reduced surface expression of membrane proteins and abrogating the signal from the proteins. The surface expression of the membrane proteins was reduced in the brains of mice inoculated with prions, well before abnormal symptoms became evident. Prions or pathogenic prion proteins were mainly detected in endosomal compartments, being particularly abundant in recycling endosomes. Some newly synthesized membrane proteins are delivered to the surface from the Golgi apparatus through recycling endosomes, and some endocytosed membrane proteins are delivered back to the surface through recycling endosomes. These results suggest that prions might cause neuronal dysfunctions and cell loss by disturbing post-Golgi trafficking of membrane proteins via accumulation in recycling endosomes. Interestingly, it was recently shown that delivery of a calcium channel protein to the cell surface was impaired and its function was abrogated in a mouse model of hereditary prion disease. Taken together, these results suggest that impaired delivery of membrane proteins to the cell surface is a common pathogenic event in acquired and hereditary prion diseases.

  17. How curvature-generating proteins build scaffolds on membrane nanotubes

    PubMed Central

    Evergren, Emma; Golushko, Ivan; Prévost, Coline; Renard, Henri-François; Johannes, Ludger; McMahon, Harvey T.; Lorman, Vladimir; Voth, Gregory A.; Bassereau, Patricia

    2016-01-01

    Bin/Amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain proteins control the curvature of lipid membranes in endocytosis, trafficking, cell motility, the formation of complex subcellular structures, and many other cellular phenomena. They form 3D assemblies that act as molecular scaffolds to reshape the membrane and alter its mechanical properties. It is unknown, however, how a protein scaffold forms and how BAR domains interact in these assemblies at protein densities relevant for a cell. In this work, we use various experimental, theoretical, and simulation approaches to explore how BAR proteins organize to form a scaffold on a membrane nanotube. By combining quantitative microscopy with analytical modeling, we demonstrate that a highly curving BAR protein endophilin nucleates its scaffolds at the ends of a membrane tube, contrary to a weaker curving protein centaurin, which binds evenly along the tube’s length. Our work implies that the nature of local protein–membrane interactions can affect the specific localization of proteins on membrane-remodeling sites. Furthermore, we show that amphipathic helices are dispensable in forming protein scaffolds. Finally, we explore a possible molecular structure of a BAR-domain scaffold using coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. Together with fluorescence microscopy, the simulations show that proteins need only to cover 30–40% of a tube’s surface to form a rigid assembly. Our work provides mechanical and structural insights into the way BAR proteins may sculpt the membrane as a high-order cooperative assembly in important biological processes. PMID:27655892

  18. Probing Single Membrane Proteins by Atomic Force Microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scheuring, S.; Sapra, K. Tanuj; Müller, Daniel J.

    In this book chapter, we describe the working principle of the atomic force microscope (AFM), followed by the applications of AFM in high-resolution imaging and single-molecule force spectroscopy of membrane proteins. In the imaging mode, AFM allows observing the assembly of membrane proteins directly in native membranes approaching a resolution of ~0.5 nm with an outstanding signal-to-noise ratio. Conformational deviations of individual membrane proteins can be observed and their functional states directly imaged. Time-lapse AFM can image membrane proteins at work. In conjunction with high- resolution imaging, the use of the AFM as a single-molecule force spectroscope (SMFS) has gained tremendous importance in recent years. This combination allows to locate the inter- and intramolecular interactions of single membrane proteins. SMFS allows characterization of interactions that guide the folding of proteins and describe the parameters that lead to their destabilization, malfunction and misfolding. Moreover, it enables to measure the interactions established by ligand- and inhibitor-binding and in membrane protein assemblies. Because of its practical use in characterizing various parameters of membrane proteins in their native environment, AFM can be aptly described as a `lab on a tip' device.

  19. Electronic coherence and the kinetics of energy transfer in light-harvesting systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huo, Pengfei; Coker, David; Miller, Thomas

    Recent 2D-spectroscopy experiments have observed transient electronic coherence in natural and artificial light harvesting systems, which raises questions about the role of electronic coherence in facilitating excitation energy transfer (EET) processes. In this talk, we introduce the recently developed partial linearized path-integral (PLPI) method, which can accurately simulate exciton transfer dynamics across multiple reaction regimes, as well as reliably describe the electronic coherence among excitonic states. Further, we develop a strategy that enables the analysis of the relative impact of static and dynamic electronic coherence. With PLPI simulations, we find that energy transfer dynamics are almost entirely dominated by static coherence effects; dynamic coherence is found to cause only minor effects. These conclusions are consistent with the historical view that emphasizes the importance of energy-level alignment for efficient incoherent energy transfer,while suggesting a less important role for more exotic electronic coherence effects that have been recently emphasized.

  20. Effect of strong electron correlation on the efficiency of photosynthetic light harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Mazziotti, David A.

    2012-08-21

    Research into the efficiency of photosynthetic light harvesting has focused on two factors: (1) entanglement of chromophores, and (2) environmental noise. While chromophores are conjugated {pi}-bonding molecules with strongly correlated electrons, previous models have treated this correlation implicitly without a mathematical variable to gauge correlation-enhanced efficiency. Here we generalize the single-electron/exciton models to a multi-electron/exciton model that explicitly shows the effects of enhanced electron correlation within chromophores on the efficiency of energy transfer. The model provides more detailed insight into the interplay of electron correlation within chromophores and electron entanglement between chromophores. Exploiting this interplay is assisting in the design of new energy-efficient materials, which are just beginning to emerge.

  1. Regeneration of Light-Harvesting Complexes via Dynamic Replacement of Photodegraded Chromophores.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hanyu; Pan, Jing; Ghimire, Srijana; Bork, Matthew A; Riccitelli, Molly M; McMillin, David R; Choi, Jong Hyun

    2015-04-22

    All-synthetic molecular donor-acceptor complexes are designed, which are capable of counteracting the effect of photoinduced degradation of donor chromophores. Anionic gallium protoporphyrin IX (GaPP) and semiconducting carbon nanotube (CNT) are used as a model donor-acceptor complex, which is assembled using DNA oligonucleotides. The GaPP-DNA-CNT complex produces an anodic photocurrent in a photoelectrochemical cell, which steadily decays due to photo-oxidation. By modulating the chemical environment, we showed that the photodegraded chromophores may be dissociated from the complex, whereas the DNA-coated carbon nanotube acceptors are kept intact. Reassociation with fresh porphyrins leads to the full recovery of GaPP absorption and photocurrents. This strategy could form a basis for improving the light-harvesting performance of molecular donor-acceptor complexes and extending their operation lifetime.

  2. Si nanowire metal-insulator-semiconductor photodetectors as efficient light harvesters.

    PubMed

    Bae, Joonho; Kim, Hyunjin; Zhang, Xiao-Mei; Dang, Cuong H; Zhang, Yue; Choi, Young Jin; Nurmikko, Arto; Wang, Zhong Lin

    2010-03-05

    Novel ITO-Si nanowire (NW) metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) photodetectors were fabricated by using n-type Si NWs as detection units and ITO films as top gate electrodes. Measurements on the Si NW based device reveal a significant photoresponse, including photocurrent generation with an external quantum efficiency (EQE) of approximately 35% at a peak wavelength of 600 nm at zero external bias, and with an EQE of 70% at a peak wavelength of 800 nm at - 0.5 V bias. The NW device shows a flat and low reflectance and almost constant EQE up to a 60 degrees incident angle of illumination, demonstrating efficient visible-light harvesting by the Si NW antenna.

  3. Multichannel carotenoid deactivation in photosynthetic light harvesting as identified by an evolutionary target analysis.

    PubMed

    Wohlleben, Wendel; Buckup, Tiago; Herek, Jennifer L; Cogdell, Richard J; Motzkus, Marcus

    2003-07-01

    A new channel of excitation energy deactivation in bacterial light harvesting was recently discovered, which leads to carotenoid triplet population on an ultrafast timescale. Here we show that this mechanism is also active in LH2 of Rhodopseudomonas acidophila through analysis of transient absorption data with an evolutionary target analysis. The algorithm offers flexible testing of kinetic network models with low a priori knowledge requirements. It applies universally to the simultaneous fitting of target state spectra and rate constants to time-wavelength-resolved data. Our best-fit model reproduces correctly the well-known cooling and decay behavior in the S(1) band, but necessitates an additional, clearly distinct singlet state that does not exchange with S(1), promotes ultrafast triplet population and participates in photosynthetic energy transfer.

  4. A seventh bacterial chlorophyll driving a large light-harvesting antenna.

    PubMed

    Harada, Jiro; Mizoguchi, Tadashi; Tsukatani, Yusuke; Noguchi, Masato; Tamiaki, Hitoshi

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of new chlorophyllous pigments would provide greater understanding of the mechanisms and evolution of photosynthesis. Bacteriochlorophyll f has never been observed in nature, although this name was proposed ~40 years ago based on structurally related compounds. We constructed a bacteriochlorophyll f-accumulating mutant of the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobaculum limnaeum, which originally produced bacteriochlorophyll e, by knocking out the bchU gene encoding C-20 methyltransferase based on natural transformation. This novel pigment self-aggregates in an in vivo light-harvesting antenna, the chlorosome, and exhibits a Q(y) peak of 705 nm, more blue-shifted than any other chlorosome reported so far; the peak overlaps the maximum (~700 nm) of the solar photon flux spectrum. Bacteriochlorophyll f chlorosomes can transfer light energy from core aggregated pigments to another bacteriochlorophyll in the chlorosomal envelope across an energy gap of ~100 nm, and is thus a promising material for development of new bioenergy applications.

  5. Efficiency Enhancement of InGaN-Based Solar Cells via Stacking Layers of Light-Harvesting Nanospheres

    PubMed Central

    Al-Amri, Amal M.; Fu, Po-Han; Lai, Kun-Yu; Wang, Hsin-Ping; Li, Lain-Jong; He, Jr-Hau

    2016-01-01

    An effective light-harvesting scheme for InGaN-based multiple quantum well solar cells is demonstrated using stacking layers of polystyrene nanospheres. Light-harvesting efficiencies on the solar cells covered with varied stacks of nanospheres are evaluated through numerical and experimental methods. The numerical simulation reveals that nanospheres with 3 stacking layers exhibit the most improved optical absorption and haze ratio as compared to those obtained by monolayer nanospheres. The experimental demonstration, agreeing with the theoretical analyses, shows that the application of 3-layer nanospheres improves the conversion efficiency of the solar cell by ~31%. PMID:27339612

  6. Negative Ions Enhance Survival of Membrane Protein Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liko, Idlir; Hopper, Jonathan T. S.; Allison, Timothy M.; Benesch, Justin L. P.; Robinson, Carol V.

    2016-06-01

    Membrane protein complexes are commonly introduced to the mass spectrometer solubilized in detergent micelles. The collisional activation used to remove the detergent, however, often causes protein unfolding and dissociation. As in the case for soluble proteins, electrospray in the positive ion mode is most commonly used for the study of membrane proteins. Here we show several distinct advantages of employing the negative ion mode. Negative polarity can yield lower average charge states for membrane proteins solubilized in saccharide detergents, with enhanced peak resolution and reduced adduct formation. Most importantly, we demonstrate that negative ion mode electrospray ionization (ESI) minimizes subunit dissociation in the gas phase, allowing access to biologically relevant oligomeric states. Together, these properties mean that intact membrane protein ions can be generated in a greater range of solubilizing detergents. The formation of negative ions, therefore, greatly expands the possibilities of using mass spectrometry on this intractable class of protein.

  7. A sliding selectivity scale for lipid binding to membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Landreh, Michael; Marty, Michael T.; Gault, Joseph; Robinson, Carol V.

    2017-01-01

    Biological membranes form barriers that are essential for cellular integrity and compartmentalisation. Proteins that reside in the membrane have co-evolved with their hydrophobic lipid environment which serves as a solvent for proteins with very diverse requirements. As a result, membrane protein-lipid interactions range from completely non-selective to highly discriminating. Mass spectrometry (MS), in combination with X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics simulations, enables us to monitor how lipids interact with intact membrane protein complexes and assess their effects on structure and dynamics. Recent studies illustrate the ability to differentiate specific lipid binding, preferential interactions with lipid subsets, and nonselective annular contacts. In this review, we consider the biological implications of different lipid-binding scenarios and propose that binding occurs on a sliding selectivity scale, in line with the view of biological membranes as facilitators of dynamic protein and lipid organization. PMID:27155089

  8. Pathogen receptor discovery with a microfluidic human membrane protein array.

    PubMed

    Glick, Yair; Ben-Ari, Ya'ara; Drayman, Nir; Pellach, Michal; Neveu, Gregory; Boonyaratanakornkit, Jim; Avrahami, Dorit; Einav, Shirit; Oppenheim, Ariella; Gerber, Doron

    2016-04-19

    The discovery of how a pathogen invades a cell requires one to determine which host cell receptors are exploited. This determination is a challenging problem because the receptor is invariably a membrane protein, which represents an Achilles heel in proteomics. We have developed a universal platform for high-throughput expression and interaction studies of membrane proteins by creating a microfluidic-based comprehensive human membrane protein array (MPA). The MPA is, to our knowledge, the first of its kind and offers a powerful alternative to conventional proteomics by enabling the simultaneous study of 2,100 membrane proteins. We characterized direct interactions of a whole nonenveloped virus (simian virus 40), as well as those of the hepatitis delta enveloped virus large form antigen, with candidate host receptors expressed on the MPA. Selected newly discovered membrane protein-pathogen interactions were validated by conventional methods, demonstrating that the MPA is an important tool for cellular receptor discovery and for understanding pathogen tropism.

  9. Towards building artificial light harvesting complexes: enhanced singlet-singlet energy transfer between donor and acceptor pairs bound to albumins.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Challa V; Duff, Michael R

    2008-12-01

    -natural systems have been self-assembled which can capture donor-acceptor pairs and facilitate singlet-singlet energy transfer. Such systems may form a basis for the design and construction of protein-based multi-chromophore self-assemblies for solar light harvesting, conversion and storage.

  10. Protein quality control at the inner nuclear membrane.

    PubMed

    Khmelinskii, Anton; Blaszczak, Ewa; Pantazopoulou, Marina; Fischer, Bernd; Omnus, Deike J; Le Dez, Gaëlle; Brossard, Audrey; Gunnarsson, Alexander; Barry, Joseph D; Meurer, Matthias; Kirrmaier, Daniel; Boone, Charles; Huber, Wolfgang; Rabut, Gwenaël; Ljungdahl, Per O; Knop, Michael

    2014-12-18

    The nuclear envelope is a double membrane that separates the nucleus from the cytoplasm. The inner nuclear membrane (INM) functions in essential nuclear processes including chromatin organization and regulation of gene expression. The outer nuclear membrane is continuous with the endoplasmic reticulum and is the site of membrane protein synthesis. Protein homeostasis in this compartment is ensured by endoplasmic-reticulum-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathways that in yeast involve the integral membrane E3 ubiquitin ligases Hrd1 and Doa10 operating with the E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes Ubc6 and Ubc7 (refs 2, 3). However, little is known about protein quality control at the INM. Here we describe a protein degradation pathway at the INM in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) mediated by the Asi complex consisting of the RING domain proteins Asi1 and Asi3 (ref. 4). We report that the Asi complex functions together with the ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes Ubc6 and Ubc7 to degrade soluble and integral membrane proteins. Genetic evidence suggests that the Asi ubiquitin ligase defines a pathway distinct from, but complementary to, ERAD. Using unbiased screening with a novel genome-wide yeast library based on a tandem fluorescent protein timer, we identify more than 50 substrates of the Asi, Hrd1 and Doa10 E3 ubiquitin ligases. We show that the Asi ubiquitin ligase is involved in degradation of mislocalized integral membrane proteins, thus acting to maintain and safeguard the identity of the INM.

  11. New insights into the photochemistry of carotenoid spheroidenone in light-harvesting complex 2 from the purple bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides.

    PubMed

    Niedzwiedzki, Dariusz M; Dilbeck, Preston L; Tang, Qun; Martin, Elizabeth C; Bocian, David F; Hunter, C Neil; Holten, Dewey

    2017-03-01

    Light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) from the semi-aerobically grown purple phototrophic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides was studied using optical (static and time-resolved) and resonance Raman spectroscopies. This antenna complex comprises bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) a and the carotenoid spheroidenone, a ketolated derivative of spheroidene. The results indicate that the spheroidenone-LH2 complex contains two spectral forms of the carotenoid: (1) a minor, "blue" form with an S2 (1(1)B u(+) ) spectral origin band at 522 nm, shifted from the position in organic media simply by the high polarizability of the binding site, and (2) the major, "red" form with the origin band at 562 nm that is associated with a pool of pigments that more strongly interact with protein residues, most likely via hydrogen bonding. Application of targeted modeling of excited-state decay pathways after carotenoid excitation suggests that the high (92%) carotenoid-to-BChl energy transfer efficiency in this LH2 system, relative to LH2 complexes binding carotenoids with comparable double-bond conjugation lengths, derives mainly from resonance energy transfer from spheroidenone S2 (1(1)B u(+) ) state to BChl a via the Qx state of the latter, accounting for 60% of the total transfer. The elevated S2 (1(1)B u(+) ) → Qx transfer efficiency is apparently associated with substantially decreased energy gap (increased spectral overlap) between the virtual S2 (1(1)B u(+) ) → S0 (1(1)A g(-) ) carotenoid emission and Qx absorption of BChl a. This reduced energetic gap is the ultimate consequence of strong carotenoid-protein interactions, including the inferred hydrogen bonding.

  12. Absorption spectral change of peripheral-light harvesting complexes 2 induced by magnesium protoporphyrin IX monomethyl ester association

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yue, Huiying; Zhao, Chungui; Li, Kai; Yang, Suping

    2015-02-01

    Several spectrally different types of peripheral light harvesting complexes (LH) have been reported in anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria in response to environmental changes. In this study, two spectral forms of LH2 (T-LH2 and U-LH2) were isolated from Rhodobacter azotoformans. The absorption of T-LH2 was extremely similar to the LH2 isolated from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. U-LH2 showed an extra peak at ∼423 nm in the carotenoid region. To explore the spectral origin of this absorption peak, the difference in pigment compositions of two LH2 was analyzed. Spheroidene and bacteriochlorophyll aP were both contained in the two LH2. And magnesium protoporphyrin IX monomethyl ester (MPE) was only contained in U-LH2. It is known that spheroidene and bacteriochlorophyll aP do not produce ∼423 nm absorption peak either in vivo or in vitro. Whether MPE accumulation was mainly responsible for the formation of the ∼423 nm peak? The interactions between MPE and different proteins were further studied. The results showed that the maximum absorption of MPE was red-shifted from ∼415 nm to ∼423 nm when it was mixed with T-LH2 and its apoproteins, nevertheless, the Qy transitions of the bound bacteriochlorophylls in LH2 were almost unaffected, which indicated that the formation of the ∼423 nm peak was related to MPE-LH2 protein interaction. MPE did not bind to sites involved in the spectral tuning of BChls, but the conformation of integral LH2 was affected by MPE association, the alkaline stability of U-LH2 was lower than T-LH2, and the fluorescence intensity at 860 nm was decreased after MPE combination.

  13. Highly efficient energy transfer from a carbonyl carotenoid to chlorophyll a in the main light harvesting complex of Chromera velia.

    PubMed

    Durchan, Milan; Keşan, Gürkan; Slouf, Václav; Fuciman, Marcel; Staleva, Hristina; Tichý, Josef; Litvín, Radek; Bína, David; Vácha, František; Polívka, Tomáš

    2014-10-01

    We report on energy transfer pathways in the main light-harvesting complex of photosynthetic relative of apicomplexan parasites, Chromera velia. This complex, denoted CLH, belongs to the family of FCP proteins and contains chlorophyll (Chl) a, violaxanthin, and the so far unidentified carbonyl carotenoid related to isofucoxanthin. The overall carotenoid-to-Chl-a energy transfer exhibits efficiency over 90% which is the largest among the FCP-like proteins studied so far. Three spectroscopically different isofucoxanthin-like molecules were identified in CLH, each having slightly different energy transfer efficiency that increases from isofucoxanthin-like molecules absorbing in the blue part of the spectrum to those absorbing in the reddest part of spectrum. Part of the energy transfer from carotenoids proceeds via the ultrafast S2 channel of both the violaxanthin and isofucoxanthin-like carotenoid, but major energy transfer pathway proceeds via the S1/ICT state of the isofucoxanthin-like carotenoid. Two S1/ICT-mediated channels characterized by time constants of ~0.5 and ~4ps were found. For the isofucoxanthin-like carotenoid excited at 480nm the slower channel dominates, while those excited at 540nm employs predominantly the fast 0.5ps channel. Comparing these data with the excited-state properties of the isofucoxanthin-like carotenoid in solution we conclude that, contrary to other members of the FCP family employing carbonyl carotenoids, CLH complex suppresses the charge transfer character of the S1/ICT state of the isofucoxanthin-like carotenoid to achieve the high carotenoid-to-Chl-a energy transfer efficiency.

  14. BPROMPT: A consensus server for membrane protein prediction.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Paul D; Attwood, Teresa K; Flower, Darren R

    2003-07-01

    Protein structure prediction is a cornerstone of bioinformatics research. Membrane proteins require their own prediction methods due to their intrinsically different composition. A variety of tools exist for topology prediction of membrane proteins, many of them available on the Internet. The server described in this paper, BPROMPT (Bayesian PRediction Of Membrane Protein Topology), uses a Bayesian Belief Network to combine the results of other prediction methods, providing a more accurate consensus prediction. Topology predictions with accuracies of 70% for prokaryotes and 53% for eukaryotes were achieved. BPROMPT can be accessed at http://www.jenner.ac.uk/BPROMPT.

  15. Membrane-Protein Crystallography and Potentiality for Drug Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Atsuko

    Structure-based drug design for membrane proteins is far behind that for soluble proteins due to difficulty in crystallographic structure determination, despite the fact that about 60% of FDA-approved drugs target membrane proteins located at the cell surface. Stable homologs for a membrane protein of interest, such as prokaryotic neurotransmitter transporter homolog LeuT, might enable cooperative analyses by crystallography and functional assays, provide useful information for functional mechanisms, and thus serve as important probes for drug design based on mechanisms as well as structures.

  16. Concentrating membrane proteins using asymmetric traps and AC electric fields.

    PubMed

    Cheetham, Matthew R; Bramble, Jonathan P; McMillan, Duncan G G; Krzeminski, Lukasz; Han, Xiaojun; Johnson, Benjamin R G; Bushby, Richard J; Olmsted, Peter D; Jeuken, Lars J C; Marritt, Sophie J; Butt, Julea N; Evans, Stephen D

    2011-05-04

    Membrane proteins are key components of the plasma membrane and are responsible for control of chemical ionic gradients, metabolite and nutrient transfer, and signal transduction between the interior of cells and the external environment. Of the genes in the human genome, 30% code for membrane proteins (Krogh et al. J. Mol. Biol.2001, 305, 567). Furthermore, many FDA-approved drugs target such proteins (Overington et al. Nat. Rev. Drug Discovery 2006, 5, 993). However, the structure-function relationships of these are notably sparse because of difficulties in their purification and handling outside of their membranous environment. Methods that permit the manipulation of membrane components while they are still in the membrane would find widespread application in separation, purification, and eventual structure-function determination of these species (Poo et al. Nature 1977, 265, 602). Here we show that asymmetrically patterned supported lipid bilayers in combination with AC electric fields can lead to efficient manipulation of charged components. We demonstrate the concentration and trapping of such components through the use of a "nested trap" and show that this method is capable of yielding an approximately 30-fold increase in the average protein concentration. Upon removal of the field, the material remains trapped for several hours as a result of topographically restricted diffusion. Our results indicate that this method can be used for concentrating and trapping charged membrane components while they are still within their membranous environment. We anticipate that our approach could find widespread application in the manipulation and study of membrane proteins.

  17. Membrane protein production in Escherichia coli cell-free lysates.

    PubMed

    Henrich, Erik; Hein, Christopher; Dötsch, Volker; Bernhard, Frank

    2015-07-08

    Cell-free protein production has become a core technology in the rapidly spreading field of synthetic biology. In particular the synthesis of membrane proteins, highly problematic proteins in conventional cellular production systems, is an ideal application for cell-free expression. A large variety of artificial as well as natural environments for the optimal co-translational folding and stabilization of membrane proteins can rationally be designed. The high success rate of cell-free membrane protein production allows to focus on individually selected targets and to modulate their functional and structural properties with appropriate supplements. The efficiency and robustness of lysates from Escherichia coli strains allow a wide diversity of applications and we summarize current strategies for the successful production of high quality membrane protein samples.

  18. Phenotypic effects of membrane protein overexpression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melén, Karin; Blomberg, Anders; von Heijne, Gunnar

    2006-07-01

    Large-scale protein overexpression phenotype screens provide an important complement to the more common gene knockout screens. Here, we have targeted the so far poorly understood Saccharomyces cerevisiae membrane proteome and report growth phenotypes for a strain collection overexpressing 600 C-terminally tagged integral membrane proteins grown both under normal and three different stress conditions. Although overexpression of most membrane proteins reduce the growth rate in synthetic defined medium, we identify a large number of proteins that, when overexpressed, confer specific resistance to various stress conditions. Our data suggest that regulation of glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor biosynthesis and the Na+/K+ homeostasis system constitute major downstream targets of the yeast PKA/RAS pathway and point to a possible connection between the early secretory pathway and the cells' response to oxidative stress. We also have quantified the expression levels for >550 membrane proteins, facilitating the choice of well expressing proteins for future functional and structural studies. caffeine | paraquat | salt tolerance | yeast

  19. The Origin and Early Evolution of Membrane Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pohorille, Andrew; Schweighofer, Karl; Wilson, Michael A.

    2005-01-01

    Membrane proteins mediate functions that are essential to all cells. These functions include transport of ions, nutrients and waste products across cell walls, capture of energy and its transduction into the form usable in chemical reactions, transmission of environmental signals to the interior of the cell, cellular growth and cell volume regulation. In the absence of membrane proteins, ancestors of cell (protocells), would have had only very limited capabilities to communicate with their environment. Thus, it is not surprising that membrane proteins are quite common even in simplest prokaryotic cells. Considering that contemporary membrane channels are large and complex, both structurally and functionally, a question arises how their presumably much simpler ancestors could have emerged, perform functions and diversify in early protobiological evolution. Remarkably, despite their overall complexity, structural motifs in membrane proteins are quite simple, with a-helices being most common. This suggests that these proteins might have evolved from simple building blocks. To explain how these blocks could have organized into functional structures, we performed large-scale, accurate computer simulations of folding peptides at a water-membrane interface, their insertion into the membrane, self-assembly into higher-order structures and function. The results of these simulations, combined with analysis of structural and functional experimental data led to the first integrated view of the origin and early evolution of membrane proteins.

  20. Membrane protein insertion: mixing eukaryotic and prokaryotic concepts.

    PubMed

    Schleiff, Enrico; Soll, Jürgen

    2005-11-01

    Proteins are translocated across or inserted into membranes by machines that are composed of soluble and membrane-anchored subunits. The molecular action of these machines and their evolutionary origin are at present the focus of intense research. For instance, our understanding of the mode of insertion of beta-barrel membrane proteins into the outer membrane of endosymbiotically derived organelles has increased rapidly during the past few years. In particular, the identification of the Omp85/YaeT-involving pathways in Neisseria meningitidis, Escherichia coli and cyanobacteria, and homologues of Omp85/YaeT in chloroplasts and mitochondria, has provided new clues about the ancestral beta-barrel protein insertion pathway. This review focuses on recent advances in the elucidation of the evolutionarily conserved concepts that underlie the translocation and insertion of beta-barrel membrane proteins.

  1. Amyloid Aggregation and Membrane Disruption by Amyloid Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramamoorthy, Ayyalusamy

    2013-03-01

    Amyloidogenesis has been the focus of intense basic and clinical research, as an increasing number of amyloidogenic proteins have been linked to common and incurable degenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, type II diabetes, and Parkinson's. Recent studies suggest that the cell toxicity is mainly due to intermediates generated during the assembly process of amyloid fibers, which have been proposed to attack cells in a variety of ways. Disruption of cell membranes is believed to be one of the key components of amyloid toxicity. However, the mechanism by which this occurs is not fully understood. Our research in this area is focused on the investigation of the early events in the aggregation and membrane disruption of amyloid proteins, Islet amyloid polypeptide protein (IAPP, also known as amylin) and amyloid-beta peptide, on the molecular level. Structural insights into the mechanisms of membrane disruption by these amyloid proteins and the role of membrane components on the membrane disruption will be presented.

  2. Polyclonal Antibody Production for Membrane Proteins via Genetic Immunization

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Debra T.; Robida, Mark D.; Craciunescu, Felicia M.; Loskutov, Andrey V.; Dörner, Katerina; Rodenberry, John-Charles; Wang, Xiao; Olson, Tien L.; Patel, Hetal; Fromme, Petra; Sykes, Kathryn F.

    2016-01-01

    Antibodies are essential for structural determinations and functional studies of membrane proteins, but antibody generation is limited by the availability of properly-folded and purified antigen. We describe the first application of genetic immunization to a structurally diverse set of membrane proteins to show that immunization of mice with DNA alone produced antibodies against 71% (n = 17) of the bacterial and viral targets. Antibody production correlated with prior reports of target immunogenicity in host organisms, underscoring the efficiency of this DNA-gold micronanoplex approach. To generate each antigen for antibody characterization, we also developed a simple in vitro membrane protein expression and capture method. Antibody specificity was demonstrated upon identifying, for the first time, membrane-directed heterologous expression of the native sequences of the FopA and FTT1525 virulence determinants from the select agent Francisella tularensis SCHU S4. These approaches will accelerate future structural and functional investigations of therapeutically-relevant membrane proteins. PMID:26908053

  3. Metaproteomic analysis of biocake proteins to understand membrane fouling in a submerged membrane bioreactor.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Zhongbo; Meng, Fangang; He, Xiang; Chae, So-Ryong; An, Yujia; Jia, Xiaoshan

    2015-01-20

    Metaproteomic analyses, including two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) separation and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-time-of-flight (TOF)/TOF mass spectrometer (MS) detection, were used to trace and identify biocake proteins on membranes in a bench-scale submerged membrane bioreactor (MBR). 2D-PAGE images showed that proteins in the biocake (S3) at a low transmembrane pressure (TMP) level (i.e., before the TMP jump) had larger gray intensities in the pH 5.5–7.0 region regardless of the membrane flux, similar to soluble microbial product (SMP) proteins. However, the biocake (S2 and S4) at a high TMP level (i.e., after the TMP jump) had many more proteins in the pH range of 4.0–5.5, similar to extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) proteins. Such similarities between biocake proteins and SMP or EPS proteins can be useful for tracing the sources of proteins resulting in membrane fouling. In total, 183 differentially abundant protein spots were marked in the three biocakes (S2, S3, and S4). However, only 32 protein spots co-occurred in the 2D gels of the three biocakes, indicating that membrane fluxes and TMP evolution levels had significant effects on the abundance of biocake proteins. On the basis of the MS and MS/MS data, 23 of 71 protein spots were successfully identified. Of the 23 proteins, outer membrane proteins (Omp) were a major contributor (60.87%). These Omps were mainly from potential surface colonizers such as Aeromonas, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, and Thauera. Generally, the metaproteomic analysis is a useful alternative to trace the sources and compositions of biocake proteins on the levels of molecules and bacteria species that can provide new insight into membrane fouling.

  4. Proteomic analysis of protein adsorption capacity of different haemodialysis membranes.

    PubMed

    Urbani, Andrea; Lupisella, Santina; Sirolli, Vittorio; Bucci, Sonia; Amoroso, Luigi; Pavone, Barbara; Pieroni, Luisa; Sacchetta, Paolo; Bonomini, Mario

    2012-04-01

    Protein-adsorptive properties are a key feature of membranes used for haemodialysis treatment. Protein adsorption is vital to the biocompatibility of a membrane material and influences membrane's performance. The object of the present study is to investigate membrane biocompatibility by correlating the adsorbed proteome repertoire with chemical feature of the membrane surfaces. Dialyzers composed of either cellulose triacetate (Sureflux 50 L, effective surface area 0.5 m(2); Nipro Corporation, Japan) or the polysulfone-based helixone (FX40, effective surface area 0.4 m(2); Fresenius Medical Care AG, Germany) materials were employed to develop an ex vivo apparatus to study protein adsorption. Adsorbed proteins were eluted by a strong chaotropic buffer condition and investigated by a proteomic approach. The profiling strategy was based on 2D-electrophoresis separation of desorbed protein coupled to MALDI-TOF/TOF analysis. The total protein adsorption was not significantly different between the two materials. An average of 179 protein spots was visualised for helixone membranes while a map of retained proteins of cellulose triacetate membranes was made up of 239 protein spots. The cellulose triacetate material showed a higher binding capacity for albumin and apolipoprotein. In fact, a number of different protein spots belonging to the gene transcript of albumin were visible in the cellulose triacetate map. In contrast, helixone bound only a small proportion of albumin, while proved to be particularly active in retaining protein associated with the coagulation cascade, such as the fibrinogen isoforms. Our data indicate that proteomic techniques are a useful approach for the investigation of proteins surface-adsorbed onto haemodialysis membranes, and may provide a molecular base for the interpretation of the efficacy and safety of anticoagulation treatment during renal replacement therapy.

  5. Host membrane proteins involved in the replication of tobamovirus RNA.

    PubMed

    Ishibashi, Kazuhiro; Miyashita, Shuhei; Katoh, Etsuko; Ishikawa, Masayuki

    2012-12-01

    Eukaryotic positive-strand RNA viruses replicate their genomes in membrane-bound replication complexes composed of viral replication proteins and negative-strand RNA templates. These replication proteins are programmed to exhibit RNA polymerase and other replication-related activities only in replication complexes to avoid inducing double-stranded RNA-mediated host defenses. Host membrane components (e.g. proteins and lipids) should play important roles in the activation of replication proteins. Two host membrane proteins are components of the replication complex and activate the replication proteins of tobamoviruses. Interaction analyses using deletion mutants constructed based on structural information suggest a conformational change in replication proteins during the formation of a protein complex with RNA 5'-capping activity.

  6. Methods for Mapping of Interaction Networks Involving Membrane Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Hooker, Brian S.; Bigelow, Diana J.; Lin, Chiann Tso

    2007-11-23

    Numerous approaches have been taken to study protein interactions, such as tagged protein complex isolation followed by mass spectrometry, yeast two-hybrid methods, fluorescence resonance energy transfer, surface plasmon resonance, site-directed mutagenesis, and crystallography. Membrane protein interactions pose significant challenges due to the need to solubilize membranes without disrupting protein-protein interactions. Traditionally, analysis of isolated protein complexes by high-resolution 2D gel electrophoresis has been the main method used to obtain an overall picture of proteome constituents and interactions. However, this method is time consuming, labor intensive, detects only abundant proteins and is not suitable for the coverage required to elucidate large interaction networks. In this review, we discuss the application of various methods to elucidate interactions involving membrane proteins. These techniques include methods for the direct isolation of single complexes or interactors as well as methods for characterization of entire subcellular and cellular interactomes.

  7. MALDI tissue profiling of integral membrane proteins from ocular tissues.

    PubMed

    Thibault, Danielle B; Gillam, Christopher J; Grey, Angus C; Han, Jun; Schey, Kevin L

    2008-06-01

    MALDI tissue profiling and imaging have become valuable tools for rapid, direct analysis of tissues to investigate spatial distributions of proteins, potentially leading to an enhanced understanding of the molecular basis of disease. Sample preparation methods developed to date for these techniques produce protein expression profiles from predominantly hydrophilic, soluble proteins. The ability to obtain information about the spatial distribution of integral membrane proteins is critical to more fully understand their role in physiological processes, including transport, adhesion, and signaling. In this article, a sample preparation method for direct tissue profiling of integral membrane proteins is presented. Spatially resolved profiles for the abundant lens membrane proteins aquaporin 0 (AQP0) and MP20, and the retinal membrane protein opsin, were obtained using this method. MALDI tissue profiling results were validated by analysis of dissected tissue prepared by traditional membrane protein processing methods. Furthermore, direct tissue profiling of lens membrane proteins revealed age related post-translational modifications, as well as a novel modification that had not been detected using conventional tissue homogenization methods.

  8. β-Barrel membrane protein assembly by the Bam complex.

    PubMed

    Hagan, Christine L; Silhavy, Thomas J; Kahne, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    β-barrel membrane proteins perform important functions in the outer membranes (OMs) of Gram-negative bacteria and of the mitochondria and chloroplasts of eukaryotes. The protein complexes that assemble these proteins in their respective membranes have been identified and shown to contain a component that has been conserved from bacteria to humans. β-barrel proteins are handled differently from α-helical membrane proteins in the cell in order to efficiently transport them to their final locations in unfolded but folding-competent states. The mechanism by which the assembly complex then binds, folds, and inserts β-barrels into the membrane is not well understood, but recent structural, biochemical, and genetic studies have begun to elucidate elements of how the complex provides a facilitated pathway for β-barrel assembly. Ultimately, studies of the mechanism of β-barrel assembly and comparison to the better-understood process of α-helical membrane protein assembly will reveal whether there are general principles that guide the folding and insertion of all membrane proteins.

  9. Studies of Structure and Dynamics of Light Harvesting Complex 1 of R. Sphaeroides by Solid State NMR

    SciTech Connect

    McDermott, Ann E

    2014-11-14

    Studies of the structure and dynamics of a light harvesting complex from photosynthetic bacteria are described. Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance methods, we explored the idea that optical properties are modulated via a conformational switch in the BChl chromophores, in a way that provides benefits for the efficiency of energy conversion.

  10. Dynamic Nuclear Polarization of membrane proteins: covalently bound spin-labels at protein-protein interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Wylie, Benjamin J; Dzikovski, Boris G.; Pawsey, Shane; Caporini, Marc; Rosay, Melanie; Freed, Jack H.; McDermott, Ann E.

    2016-01-01

    We demonstrate that dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) of membrane proteins in lipid bilayers may be achieved using a novel polarizing agent: pairs of spin labels covalently bound to a protein of interest interacting at an intermolecular interaction surface. For gramicidin A, nitroxide tags attached to the N-terminal intermolecular interface region become proximal only when bimolecular channels forms in the membrane. We obtained signal enhancements of 6-fold for the dimeric protein. The enhancement affect was comparable to that of a doubly tagged sample of gramicidin C, with intramolecular spin pairs. This approach could be a powerful and selective means for signal enhancement in membrane proteins, and for recognizing intermolecular interfaces. PMID:25828256

  11. Diversification of the light-harvesting complex gene family via intra- and intergenic duplications in the coral symbiotic alga Symbiodinium.

    PubMed

    Maruyama, Shinichiro; Shoguchi, Eiichi; Satoh, Nori; Minagawa, Jun

    2015-01-01

    The light-harvesting complex (LHC) is an essential component in light energy capture and transduction to facilitate downstream photosynthetic reactions in plant and algal chloroplasts. The unicellular dinoflagellate alga Symbiodinium is an endosymbiont of cnidarian animals, including corals and sea anemones, and provides carbohydrates generated through photosynthesis to host animals. Although Symbiodinium possesses a unique LHC gene family, called chlorophyll a-chlorophyll c2-peridinin protein complex (acpPC), its genome-level diversity and evolutionary trajectories have not been investigated. Here, we describe a phylogenetic analysis revealing that many of the LHCs are encoded by highly duplicated genes with multi-subunit polyprotein structures in the nuclear genome of Symbiodinium minutum. This analysis provides an extended list of the LHC gene family in a single organism, including 80 loci encoding polyproteins composed of 145 LHC subunits recovered in the phylogenetic tree. In S. minutum, 5 phylogenetic groups of the Lhcf-type gene family, which is exclusively conserved in algae harboring secondary plastids of red algal origin, were identified. Moreover, 5 groups of the Lhcr-type gene family, of which members are known to be associated with PSI in red algal plastids and secondary plastids of red algal origin, were identified. Notably, members classified within a phylogenetic group of the Lhcf-type (group F1) are highly duplicated, which may explain the presence of an unusually large number of LHC genes in this species. Some gene units were homologous to other units within single loci of the polyprotein genes, whereas intergenic homologies between separate loci were conspicuous in other cases, implying that gene unit 'shuffling' by gene conversion and/or genome rearrangement might have been a driving force for diversification. These results suggest that vigorous intra- and intergenic gene duplication events have resulted in the genomic framework of

  12. The electrical interplay between proteins and lipids in membranes.

    PubMed

    Richens, Joanna L; Lane, Jordan S; Bramble, Jonathan P; O'Shea, Paul

    2015-09-01

    All molecular interactions that are relevant to cellular and molecular structures are electrical in nature but manifest in a rich variety of forms that each has its own range and influences on the net effect of how molecular species interact. This article outlines how electrical interactions between the protein and lipid membrane components underlie many of the activities of membrane function. Particular emphasis is placed on spatially localised behaviour in membranes involving modulation of protein activity and microdomain structure. The interactions between membrane lipids and membrane proteins together with their role within cell biology represent an enormous body of work. Broad conclusions are not easy given the complexities of the various systems and even consensus with model membrane systems containing two or three lipid types is difficult. By defining two types of broad lipid-protein interaction, respectively Type I as specific and Type II as more non-specific and focussing on the electrical interactions mostly in the extra-membrane regions it is possible to assemble broad rules or a consensus of the dominant features of the interplay between these two fundamentally important classes of membrane component. This article is part of a special issue entitled: Lipid-protein interactions.

  13. Membrane proteins of dense lysosomes from Chinese hamster ovary cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chance, S.C.

    1987-01-01

    In this work membrane proteins from lysosomes were studied in order to gain more information on the biogenesis and intracellular sorting of this class of membrane proteins. Membrane proteins were isolated from a purified population of lysosomes. These proteins were then examined for various co- and post-translational modifications which could serve as potential intracellular sorting signals. Biochemical analysis using marker enzymatic activities detected no plasma membrane, Golgi, endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, mitochondria, or cytosol. Analysis after incorporation of ({sup 3}H)thymidine or ({sup 3}H)uridine detected no nuclei or ribosomes. A fraction containing integral membrane proteins was obtained from the dense lysosomes by extraction with Triton X-114. Twenty-three polypeptides which incorporated both ({sup 35}S)methionine and ({sup 3}H)leucine were detected by SDS PAGE in this membrane fraction, and ranged in molecular weight from 30-130 kDa. After incorporation by cells of various radioactive metabolic precursors, the membrane fraction from dense lysosomes was examined and was found to be enriched in mannose, galactose, fucose, palmitate, myristate, and sulfate, but was depleted in phosphate. The membrane fraction from dense lysosomes was then analyzed by SDS PAGE to determine the apparent molecular weights of modified polypepties.

  14. Genetically Encoded Protein Sensors of Membrane Potential.

    PubMed

    Storace, Douglas; Rad, Masoud Sepehri; Han, Zhou; Jin, Lei; Cohen, Lawrence B; Hughes, Thom; Baker, Bradley J; Sung, Uhna

    2015-01-01

    Organic voltage-sensitive dyes offer very high spatial and temporal resolution for imaging neuronal function. However these dyes suffer from the drawbacks of non-specificity of cell staining and low accessibility of the dye to some cell types. Further progress in imaging activity is expected from the development of genetically encoded fluorescent sensors of membrane potential. Cell type specificity of expression of these fluorescent protein (FP) voltage sensors can be obtained via several different mechanisms. One is cell type specificity of infection by individual virus subtypes. A second mechanism is specificity of promoter expression in individual cell types. A third, depends on the offspring of transgenic animals with cell type specific expression of cre recombinase mated with an animal that has the DNA for the FP voltage sensor in all of its cells but its expression is dependent on the recombinase activity. Challenges remain. First, the response time constants of many of the new FP voltage sensors are slower (2-10 ms) than those of organic dyes. This results in a relatively small fractional fluorescence change, ΔF/F, for action potentials. Second, the largest signal presently available is only ~40% for a 100 mV depolarization and many of the new probes have signals that are substantially smaller. Large signals are especially important when attempting to detect fast events because the shorter measurement interval results in a relatively small number of detected photons and therefore a relatively large shot noise (see Chap. 1). Another kind of challenge has occurred when attempts were made to transition from one species to another or from one cell type to another or from cell culture to in vivo measurements.Several laboratories have recently described a number of novel FP voltage sensors. Here we attempt to critically review the current status of these developments in terms of signal size, time course, and in vivo function.

  15. Structural Aspects of Bacterial Outer Membrane Protein Assembly.

    PubMed

    Calmettes, Charles; Judd, Andrew; Moraes, Trevor F

    2015-01-01

    The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is predominantly populated by β-Barrel proteins and lipid anchored proteins that serve a variety of biological functions. The proper folding and assembly of these proteins is essential for bacterial viability and often plays a critical role in virulence and pathogenesis. The β-barrel assembly machinery (Bam) complex is responsible for the proper assembly of β-barrels into the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, whereas the localization of lipoproteins (Lol) system is required for proper targeting of lipoproteins to the outer membrane.

  16. Tight binding of proteins to membranes from older human cells.

    PubMed

    Truscott, Roger J W; Comte-Walters, Susana; Ablonczy, Zsolt; Schwacke, John H; Berry, Yoke; Korlimbinis, Anastasia; Friedrich, Michael G; Schey, Kevin L

    2011-12-01

    The lens is an ideal model system for the study of macromolecular aging and its consequences for cellular function, since there is no turnover of lens fibre cells. To examine biochemical processes that take place in the lens and that may also occur in other long-lived cells, membranes were isolated from defined regions of human lenses that are synthesised at different times during life, and assayed for the presence of tightly bound cytosolic proteins using quantitative iTRAQ proteomics technology. A majority of lens beta crystallins and all gamma crystallins became increasingly membrane bound with age, however, the chaperone proteins alpha A and alpha B crystallin, as well as the thermally-stable protein, βB2 crystallin, did not. Other proteins such as brain-associated signal protein 1 and paralemmin 1 became less tightly bound in the older regions of the lens. It is evident that protein-membrane interactions change significantly with age. Selected proteins that were formerly cytosolic become increasingly tightly bound to cell membranes with age and are not removed even by treatment with 7 M urea. It is likely that such processes reflect polypeptide denaturation over time and the untoward binding of proteins to membranes may alter membrane properties and contribute to impairment of communication between older cells.

  17. Single-Molecule Microscopy and Force Spectroscopy of Membrane Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engel, Andreas; Janovjak, Harald; Fotiadis, Dimtrios; Kedrov, Alexej; Cisneros, David; Müller, Daniel J.

    Single-molecule atomic force microscopy (AFM) provides novel ways to characterize the structure-function relationship of native membrane proteins. High-resolution AFM topographs allow observing the structure of single proteins at sub-nanometer resolution as well as their conformational changes, oligomeric state, molecular dynamics and assembly. We will review these feasibilities illustrating examples of membrane proteins in native and reconstituted membranes. Classification of individual topographs of single proteins allows understanding the principles of motions of their extrinsic domains, to learn about their local structural flexibilities and to find the entropy minima of certain conformations. Combined with the visualization of functionally related conformational changes these insights allow understanding why certain flexibilities are required for the protein to function and how structurally flexible regions allow certain conformational changes. Complementary to AFM imaging, single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) experiments detect molecular interactions established within and between membrane proteins. The sensitivity of this method makes it possible to measure interactions that stabilize secondary structures such as transmembrane α-helices, polypeptide loops and segments within. Changes in temperature or protein-protein assembly do not change the locations of stable structural segments, but influence their stability established by collective molecular interactions. Such changes alter the probability of proteins to choose a certain unfolding pathway. Recent examples have elucidated unfolding and refolding pathways of membrane proteins as well as their energy landscapes.

  18. Thermodynamics of the beta(2) association in light-harvesting complex I of Rhodospirillum rubrum. Implication of peptide identity in dimer stability.

    PubMed

    Seguin, Jérôme; Mayer, Claudine; Robert, Bruno; Arluison, Véronique

    2008-03-01

    The core light-harvesting LH1 protein from Rhodospirillum rubrum can dissociate reversibly in the presence of n-octyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside into smaller subunit forms, exhibiting a dramatic blue-shift in absorption. During this process, two main species are observed: a dimer that absorbs at 820 nm (B820) and a monomer absorbing at 777 nm (B777). In the presence of n-octyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside, we have previously shown that the B820 form is not only constituted by the alphabeta heterodimer alone, but that it exists in an equilibrium between the alphabeta heterodimer and beta(2) homodimer states. We investigated the dissociation equilibrium for both oligomeric B820 forms. Using a theoretical model for alphabeta and beta(2), we conclude that the B820 homodimer is stabilized by both hydrophobic effects (entropy) and non-covalent bonds (enthalpy). We discuss a possible interpretation of the energy changes.

  19. Fully Quantified Spectral Imaging Reveals in Vivo Membrane Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    King, Christopher; Stoneman, Michael; Raicu, Valerica; Hristova, Kalina

    2016-01-01

    Here we introduce the Fully Quantified Spectral Imaging (FSI) method as a new tool to probe the stoichiometry and stability of protein complexes in biological membranes. The FSI method yields two dimensional membrane concentrations and FRET efficiencies in native plasma membranes. It can be used to characterize the association of membrane proteins: to differentiate between monomers, dimers, or oligomers, to produce binding (association) curves, and to measure the free energies of association in the membrane. We use the FSI method to study the lateral interactions of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor 2 (VEGFR2), a member of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) superfamily, in plasma membranes, in vivo. The knowledge gained through the use of the new method challenges the current understanding of VEGFR2 signaling. PMID:26787445

  20. Stabilization of membranes upon interaction of amphipathic polymers with membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Picard, Martin; Duval-Terrié, Caroline; Dé, Emmanuelle; Champeil, Philippe

    2004-01-01

    Amphipathic polymers derived from polysaccharides, namely hydrophobically modified pullulans, were previously suggested to be useful as polymeric substitutes of ordinary surfactants for efficient and structure-conserving solubilization of membrane proteins, and one such polymer, 18C10, was optimized for solubilization of proteins derived from bacterial outer membranes (Duval-Terrié et al. 2003). We asked whether a similar ability to solubilize proteins could also be demonstrated in eukaryotic membranes, namely sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) fragments, the major protein of which is SERCA1a, an integral membrane protein with Ca2+-dependent ATPase and Ca2+-pumping activity. We found that 18C10-mediated solubilization of these SR membranes did not occur. Simultaneously, however, we found that low amounts of this hydrophobically modified pullulan were very efficient at preventing long-term aggregation of these SR membranes. This presumably occurred because the negatively charged polymer coated the membranous vesicles with a hydrophilic corona (a property shared by many other amphipathic polymers), and thus minimized their flocculation. Reminiscent of the old Arabic gum, which stabilizes Indian ink by coating charcoal particles, the newly designed amphipathic polymers might therefore unintentionally prove useful also for stabilization of membrane suspensions. PMID:15459343

  1. Production of okara and soy protein concentrates using membrane technology.

    PubMed

    Vishwanathan, K H; Govindaraju, K; Singh, Vasudeva; Subramanian, R

    2011-01-01

    Microfiltration (MF) membranes with pore sizes of 200 and 450 nm and ultrafiltration (UF) membranes with molecular weight cut off of 50, 100, and 500 kDa were assessed for their ability to eliminate nonprotein substances from okara protein extract in a laboratory cross-flow membrane system. Both MF and UF improved the protein content of okara extract to a similar extent from approximately 68% to approximately 81% owing to the presence of protein in the feed leading to the formation of dynamic layer controlling the performance rather than the actual pore size of membranes. Although normalized flux in MF-450 (117 LMH/MPa) was close to UF-500 (118 LMH/MPa), the latter was selected based on higher average flux (47 LMH) offering the advantage of reduced processing time. Membrane processing of soy extract improved the protein content from 62% to 85% much closer to the target value. However, the final protein content in okara (approximately 80%) did not reach the target value (90%) owing to the greater presence of soluble fibers that were retained by the membrane. Solubility curve of membrane okara protein concentrate (MOPC) showed lower solubility than soy protein concentrate and a commercial isolate in the entire pH range. However, water absorption and fat-binding capacities of MOPC were either superior or comparable while emulsifying properties were in accordance with its solubility. The results of this study showed that okara protein concentrate (80%) could be produced using membrane technology without loss of any true proteins, thus offering value addition to okara, hitherto underutilized. Practical Application: Okara, a byproduct obtained during processing soybean for soymilk, is either underutilized or unutilized in spite of the fact that its protein quality is as good as that of soy milk and tofu. Membrane-processed protein products have been shown to possess superior functional properties compared to conventionally produced protein products. However, the

  2. Membrane Proteins Are Dramatically Less Conserved than Water-Soluble Proteins across the Tree of Life

    PubMed Central

    Sojo, Victor; Dessimoz, Christophe; Pomiankowski, Andrew; Lane, Nick

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are crucial in transport, signaling, bioenergetics, catalysis, and as drug targets. Here, we show that membrane proteins have dramatically fewer detectable orthologs than water-soluble proteins, less than half in most species analyzed. This sparse distribution could reflect rapid divergence or gene loss. We find that both mechanisms operate. First, membrane proteins evolve faster than water-soluble proteins, particularly in their exterior-facing portions. Second, we demonstrate that predicted ancestral membrane proteins are preferentially lost compared with water-soluble proteins in closely related species of archaea and bacteria. These patterns are consistent across the whole tree of life, and in each of the three domains of archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes. Our findings point to a fundamental evolutionary principle: membrane proteins evolve faster due to stronger adaptive selection in changing environments, whereas cytosolic proteins are under more stringent purifying selection in the homeostatic interior of the cell. This effect should be strongest in prokaryotes, weaker in unicellular eukaryotes (with intracellular membranes), and weakest in multicellular eukaryotes (with extracellular homeostasis). We demonstrate that this is indeed the case. Similarly, we show that extracellular water-soluble proteins exhibit an even stronger pattern of low homology than membrane proteins. These striking differences in conservation of membrane proteins versus water-soluble proteins have important implications for evolution and medicine. PMID:27501943

  3. Dynamics of Membrane Proteins within Synthetic Polymer Membranes with Large Hydrophobic Mismatch.

    PubMed

    Itel, Fabian; Najer, Adrian; Palivan, Cornelia G; Meier, Wolfgang

    2015-06-10

    The functioning of biological membrane proteins (MPs) within synthetic block copolymer membranes is an intriguing phenomenon that is believed to offer great potential for applications in life and medical sciences and engineering. The question why biological MPs are able to function in this completely artificial environment is still unresolved by any experimental data. Here, we have analyzed the lateral diffusion properties of different sized MPs within poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS)-containing amphiphilic block copolymer membranes of membrane thicknesses between 9 and 13 nm, which results in a hydrophobic mismatch between the membrane thickness and the size of the proteins of 3.3-7.1 nm (3.5-5 times). We show that the high flexibility of PDMS, which provides membrane fluidities similar to phospholipid bilayers, is the key-factor for MP incorporation.

  4. Solid-State NMR-Restrained Ensemble Dynamics of a Membrane Protein in Explicit Membranes.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xi; Jo, Sunhwan; Qi, Yifei; Marassi, Francesca M; Im, Wonpil

    2015-04-21

    Solid-state NMR has been used to determine the structures of membrane proteins in native-like lipid bilayer environments. Most structure calculations based on solid-state NMR observables are performed using simulated annealing with restrained molecular dynamics and an energy function, where all nonbonded interactions are represented by a single, purely repulsive term with no contributions from van der Waals attractive, electrostatic, or solvation energy. To our knowledge, this is the first application of an ensemble dynamics technique performed in explicit membranes that uses experimental solid-state NMR observables to obtain the refined structure of a membrane protein together with information about its dynamics and its interactions with lipids. Using the membrane-bound form of the fd coat protein as a model membrane protein and its experimental solid-state NMR data, we performed restrained ensemble dynamics simulations with different ensemble sizes in explicit membranes. For comparison, a molecular dynamics simulation of fd coat protein was also performed without any restraints. The average orientation of each protein helix is similar to a structure determined by traditional single-conformer approaches. However, their variations are limited in the resulting ensemble of structures with one or two replicas, as they are under the strong influence of solid-state NMR restraints. Although highly consistent with all solid-state NMR observables, the ensembles of more than two replicas show larger orientational variations similar to those observed in the molecular dynamics simulation without restraints. In particular, in these explicit membrane simulations, Lys(40), residing at the C-terminal side of the transmembrane helix, is observed to cause local membrane curvature. Therefore, compared to traditional single-conformer approaches in implicit environments, solid-state NMR restrained ensemble simulations in explicit membranes readily characterize not only protein

  5. Overexpression of membrane proteins from higher eukaryotes in yeasts.

    PubMed

    Emmerstorfer, Anita; Wriessnegger, Tamara; Hirz, Melanie; Pichler, Harald

    2014-09-01

    Heterologous expression and characterisation of the membrane proteins of higher eukaryotes is of paramount interest in fundamental and applied research. Due to the rather simple and well-established methods for their genetic modification and cultivation, yeast cells are attractive host systems for recombinant protein production. This review provides an overview on the remarkable progress, and discusses pitfalls, in applying various yeast host strains for high-level expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins. In contrast to the cell lines of higher eukaryotes, yeasts permit efficient library screening methods. Modified yeasts are used as high-throughput screening tools for heterologous membrane protein functions or as benchmark for analysing drug-target relationships, e.g., by using yeasts as sensors. Furthermore, yeasts are powerful hosts for revealing interactions stabilising and/or activating membrane proteins. We also discuss the stress responses of yeasts upon heterologous expression of membrane proteins. Through co-expression of chaperones and/or optimising yeast cultivation and expression strategies, yield-optimised hosts have been created for membrane protein crystallography or efficient whole-cell production of fine chemicals.

  6. Architecture and Function of Mechanosensitive Membrane Protein Lattices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kahraman, Osman; Koch, Peter D.; Klug, William S.; Haselwandter, Christoph A.

    2016-01-01

    Experiments have revealed that membrane proteins can form two-dimensional clusters with regular translational and orientational protein arrangements, which may allow cells to modulate protein function. However, the physical mechanisms yielding supramolecular organization and collective function of membrane proteins remain largely unknown. Here we show that bilayer-mediated elastic interactions between membrane proteins can yield regular and distinctive lattice architectures of protein clusters, and may provide a link between lattice architecture and lattice function. Using the mechanosensitive channel of large conductance (MscL) as a model system, we obtain relations between the shape of MscL and the supramolecular architecture of MscL lattices. We predict that the tetrameric and pentameric MscL symmetries observed in previous structural studies yield distinct lattice architectures of MscL clusters and that, in turn, these distinct MscL lattice architectures yield distinct lattice activation barriers. Our results suggest general physical mechanisms linking protein symmetry, the lattice architecture of membrane protein clusters, and the collective function of membrane protein lattices.

  7. Transport proteins of the plant plasma membrane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Assmann, S. M.; Haubrick, L. L.; Evans, M. L. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    Recently developed molecular and genetic approaches have enabled the identification and functional characterization of novel genes encoding ion channels, ion carriers, and water channels of the plant plasma membrane.

  8. Molecular interactions between proteins and synthetic membrane polymer films

    SciTech Connect

    Pincet, F.; Perez, E.; Belfort, G.

    1995-04-01

    To help understand the effects of protein adsorption on membrane filtration performance, we have measured the molecular interactions between cellulose acetate films and two proteins with different properties (ribonuclease A and human serum albumin) with a surface force apparatus. Comparison of forces between two protein layers with those between a protein layer and a cellulose acetate (CA) film shows that, at high pH, both proteins retained their native conformation on interacting with the CA film while at the isoelectric point (pI) or below the tertiary structure of proteins was disturbed. These measurements provide the first molecular evidence that disruption of protein tertiary structure could be responsible for the reduced permeation flows observed during membrane filtration of protein solutions and suggest that operating at high pH values away from the pI of proteins will reduce such fouling. 60 refs., 9 figs., 5 tabs.

  9. Organization and dynamics of SNARE proteins in the presynaptic membrane

    PubMed Central

    Milovanovic, Dragomir; Jahn, Reinhard

    2015-01-01

    Our view of the lateral organization of lipids and proteins in the plasma membrane has evolved substantially in the last few decades. It is widely accepted that many, if not all, plasma membrane proteins and lipids are organized in specific domains. These domains vary widely in size, composition, and stability, and they represent platforms governing diverse cell functions. The presynaptic plasma membrane is a well-studied example of a membrane which undergoes rearrangements, especially during exo- and endocytosis. Many proteins and lipids involved in presynaptic function are known, and major efforts have been made to understand their spatial organization and dynamics. Here, we focus on the mechanisms underlying the organization of SNAREs, the key proteins of the fusion machinery, in distinct domains, and we discuss the functional significance of these clusters. PMID:25852575

  10. Prediction of buried helices in multispan alpha helical membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Adamian, Larisa; Liang, Jie

    2006-04-01

    Analysis of a database of structures of membrane proteins shows that membrane proteins composed of 10 or more transmembrane (TM) helices often contain buried helices that are inaccessible to phospholipids. We introduce a method for identifying TM helices that are least phospholipid accessible and for prediction of fully buried TM helices in membrane proteins from sequence information alone. Our method is based on the calculation of residue lipophilicity and evolutionary conservation. Given that the number of buried helices in a membrane protein is known, our method achieves an accuracy of 78% and a Matthew's correlation coefficient of 0.68. A server for this tool (RANTS) is available online at http://gila.bioengr.uic.edu/lab/.

  11. Mixing and Matching Detergents for Membrane Protein NMR Structure Determination

    SciTech Connect

    Columbus, Linda; Lipfert, Jan; Jambunathan, Kalyani; Fox, Daniel A.; Sim, Adelene Y.L.; Doniach, Sebastian; Lesley, Scott A.

    2009-10-21

    One major obstacle to membrane protein structure determination is the selection of a detergent micelle that mimics the native lipid bilayer. Currently, detergents are selected by exhaustive screening because the effects of protein-detergent interactions on protein structure are poorly understood. In this study, the structure and dynamics of an integral membrane protein in different detergents is investigated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The results suggest that matching of the micelle dimensions to the protein's hydrophobic surface avoids exchange processes that reduce the completeness of the NMR observations. Based on these dimensions, several mixed micelles were designed that improved the completeness of NMR observations. These findings provide a basis for the rational design of mixed micelles that may advance membrane protein structure determination by NMR.

  12. Curvature forces in membrane lipid-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Brown, Michael F

    2012-12-11

    Membrane biochemists are becoming increasingly aware of the role of lipid-protein interactions in diverse cellular functions. This review describes how conformational changes in membrane proteins, involving folding, stability, and membrane shape transitions, potentially involve elastic remodeling of the lipid bilayer. Evidence suggests that membrane lipids affect proteins through interactions of a relatively long-range nature, extending beyond a single annulus of next-neighbor boundary lipids. It is assumed the distance scale of the forces is large compared to the molecular range of action. Application of the theory of elasticity to flexible soft surfaces derives from classical physics and explains the polymorphism of both detergents and membrane phospholipids. A flexible surface model (FSM) describes the balance of curvature and hydrophobic forces in lipid-protein interactions. Chemically nonspecific properties of the lipid bilayer modulate the conformational energetics of membrane proteins. The new biomembrane model challenges the standard model (the fluid mosaic model) found in biochemistry texts. The idea of a curvature force field based on data first introduced for rhodopsin gives a bridge between theory and experiment. Influences of bilayer thickness, nonlamellar-forming lipids, detergents, and osmotic stress are all explained by the FSM. An increased awareness of curvature forces suggests that research will accelerate as structural biology becomes more closely entwined with the physical chemistry of lipids in explaining membrane structure and function.

  13. Single-molecule force spectroscopy of membrane proteins from membranes freely spanning across nanoscopic pores.

    PubMed

    Petrosyan, Rafayel; Bippes, Christian A; Walheim, Stefan; Harder, Daniel; Fotiadis, Dimitrios; Schimmel, Thomas; Alsteens, David; Müller, Daniel J

    2015-05-13

    Single-molecule force spectroscopy (SMFS) provides detailed insight into the mechanical (un)folding pathways and structural stability of membrane proteins. So far, SMFS could only be applied to membrane proteins embedded in native or synthetic membranes adsorbed to solid supports. This adsorption causes experimental limitations and raises the question to what extent the support influences the results obtained by SMFS. Therefore, we introduce here SMFS from native purple membrane freely spanning across nanopores. We show that correct analysis of the SMFS data requires extending the worm-like chain model, which describes the mechanical stretching of a polypeptide, by the cubic extension model, which describes the bending of a purple membrane exposed to mechanical stress. This new experimental and theoretical approach allows to characterize the stepwise (un)folding of the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin and to assign the stability of single and grouped secondary structures. The (un)folding and stability of bacteriorhodopsin shows no significant difference between freely spanning and directly supported purple membranes. Importantly, the novel experimental SMFS setup opens an avenue to characterize any protein from freely spanning cellular or synthetic membranes.

  14. Repair of Nerve Cell Membrane Damage by Calcium-Dependent, Membrane-Binding Proteins (Revised)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-01

    family exhibit a “ bivalent ” activity resulting in the aggregation of membranes coincident with the binding of the annexin to the membrane [7,8]. Such...10. [12] D.J. Selkoe, Alzheimer’s disease: genes , proteins, and therapy, Physiol Rev 81 (2001) 741-766. [13] A. Demuro, I. Parker, G.E. Stutzmann

  15. Membranes: a meeting point for lipids, proteins and therapies

    PubMed Central

    Escribá, Pablo V; González-Ros, José M; Goñi, Félix M; Kinnunen, Paavo K J; Vigh, Lászlo; Sánchez-Magraner, Lissete; Fernández, Asia M; Busquets, Xavier; Horváth, Ibolya; Barceló-Coblijn, Gwendolyn

    2008-01-01

    Abstract Membranes constitute a meeting point for lipids and proteins. Not only do they define the entity of cells and cytosolic organelles but they also display a wide variety of important functions previously ascribed to the activity of proteins alone. Indeed, lipids have commonly been considered a mere support for the transient or permanent association of membrane proteins, while acting as a selective cell/organelle barrier. However, mounting evidence demonstrates that lipids themselves regulate the location and activity of many membrane proteins, as well as defining membrane microdomains that serve as spatio-temporal platforms for interacting signalling proteins. Membrane lipids are crucial in the fission and fusion of lipid bilayers and they also act as sensors to control environmental or physiological conditions. Lipids and lipid structures participate directly as messengers or regulators of signal transduction. Moreover, their alteration has been associated with the development of numerous diseases. Proteins can interact with membranes through lipid co-/post-translational modifications, and electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions, van der Waals forces and hydrogen bonding are all involved in the associations among membrane proteins and lipids. The present study reviews these interactions from the molecular and biomedical point of view, and the effects of their modulation on the physiological activity of cells, the aetiology of human diseases and the design of clinical drugs. In fact, the influence of lipids on protein function is reflected in the possibility to use these molecular species as targets for therapies against cancer, obesity, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular pathologies and other diseases, using a new approach called membrane-lipid therapy. PMID:18266954

  16. Membranes: a meeting point for lipids, proteins and therapies.

    PubMed

    Escribá, Pablo V; González-Ros, José M; Goñi, Félix M; Kinnunen, Paavo K J; Vigh, Lászlo; Sánchez-Magraner, Lissete; Fernández, Asia M; Busquets, Xavier; Horváth, Ibolya; Barceló-Coblijn, Gwendolyn

    2008-06-01

    Membranes constitute a meeting point for lipids and proteins. Not only do they define the entity of cells and cytosolic organelles but they also display a wide variety of important functions previously ascribed to the activity of proteins alone. Indeed, lipids have commonly been considered a mere support for the transient or permanent association of membrane proteins, while acting as a selective cell/organelle barrier. However, mounting evidence demonstrates that lipids themselves regulate the location and activity of many membrane proteins, as well as defining membrane microdomains that serve as spatio-temporal platforms for interacting signalling proteins. Membrane lipids are crucial in the fission and fusion of lipid bilayers and they also act as sensors to control environmental or physiological conditions. Lipids and lipid structures participate directly as messengers or regulators of signal transduction. Moreover, their alteration has been associated with the development of numerous diseases. Proteins can interact with membranes through lipid co-/post-translational modifications, and electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions, van der Waals forces and hydrogen bonding are all involved in the associations among membrane proteins and lipids. The present study reviews these interactions from the molecular and biomedical point of view, and the effects of their modulation on the physiological activity of cells, the aetiology of human diseases and the design of clinical drugs. In fact, the influence of lipids on protein function is reflected in the possibility to use these molecular species as targets for therapies against cancer, obesity, neurodegenerative disorders, cardiovascular pathologies and other diseases, using a new approach called membrane-lipid therapy.

  17. [Molecular interactions of membrane proteins and erythrocyte deformability].

    PubMed

    Boivin, P

    1984-06-01

    The structural and functional properties of the erythrocytic membrane constitute one of the essential elements of the red cell deformability. They intervene not only in the flexibility of the membrane, but also in the surface/volume relation and, through transmembrane exchanges, in the internal viscosity of the red cells. These properties depend essentially on the molecular composition of the elements which constitute the membrane, and on their interactions. The shape of the red cell and the flexibility of its membrane depend, to a great extent, on the membrane skeleton, whose main components are spectrin, actin, and protein 4.1. The spectrin basic molecule is a heterodimer, but there occur interactions between dimers in vitro as well as in vivo, which lead to the formation of tetrameric and oligomeric structures of higher complexity. Disturbances of these interactions, such as have been observed in pathological cases, lead to an instability of the membrane, a loss of membrane fragments, and a decrease in the surface/volume relation, with, as a consequence, a reduced deformability. The stability of the membrane skeleton also depends on the interactions between spectrin and protein 4.1. These interactions occur through a binding site on the beta chain of spectrin apparently close to actin and calmodulin binding sites. Other interactions occur between the hydrophobic segment of spectrin and membrane lipids. The cytoskeleton is bound to the transmembrane proteins: by ankyrin to the internal segment of protein band 3, and by protein 4.1 to a glycoprotein named glycoconnectin. There seems to exist other, more direct, lower affinity bindings between the cytoskeleton on the one hand, and band 3 and glycophorin transmembrane proteins on the other hand, whose lateral mobilities are modified when the structure of the skeleton is perturbed. The membrane proteins, which are in contact with the cytosol, interact with the cytosolic proteins, in particular with certain enzymes

  18. Forster Energy Transfer Theory as Reflected in the Structures of Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Sener, Melih; Strumpfer, Johan; Hsin, Jen; Chandler, Danielle; Scheuring, Simon; Hunter, C. Neil; Schulten, Klaus

    2011-02-22

    Förster's theory of resonant energy transfer underlies a fundamental process in nature, namely the harvesting of sunlight by photosynthetic life forms. The theoretical framework developed by Förster and others describes how electronic excitation migrates in the photosynthetic apparatus of plants, algae, and bacteria from light absorbing pigments to reaction centers where light energy is utilized for the eventual conversion into chemical energy. The demand for highest possible efficiency of light harvesting appears to have shaped the evolution of photosynthetic species from bacteria to plants which, despite a great variation in architecture, display common structural themes founded on the quantum physics of energy transfer as described first by Förster. Herein, Förster’s theory of excitation transfer is summarized, including recent extensions, and the relevance of the theory to photosynthetic systems as evolved in purple bacteria, cyanobacteria, and plants is demonstrated. Förster's energy transfer formula, as used widely today in many fields of science, is also derived.

  19. Toward extending photosynthetic biosignatures: quantum dynamics calculation of light harvesting complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Komatsu, Yu; Umemura, Masayuki; Shoji, Mitsuo; Kayanuma, Megumi; Yabana, Kazuhiro; Shiraishi, Kenji

    For detecting life from reflectance spectra on extrasolar planets, several indicators called surface biosignatures have been proposed. One of them is the vegetation red edge (VRE) which derives from surface vegetation. VRE is observed in 700-750 nm on the Earth, but there is no guarantee that exovegetation show the red edge in this wavelength. Therefore it is necessary to check the validity of current standards of VRE as the signatures. In facts, M stars (cooler than Sun) will be the main targets in future missions, it is significantly important to know on the fundamental mechanisms in photosynthetic organism such as purple bacteria which absorb longer wavelength radiation. We investigated light absorptions and excitation energy transfers (EETs) in light harvesting complexes in purple bacteria (LH2s) by using quantum dynamics simulations. In LH2, effective EET is accomplished by corporative electronic excitation of the pigments. In our theoretical model, a dipole-dipole approximation was used for the electronic interactions between pigment excitations. Quantum dynamics simulations were performed according to Liouville equation to examine the EET process. The calculated oscillator strength and the transfer time between LH2 were good agreement with the experimental values. As the system size increases, the absorption bands shifted longer and the transfer velocities became larger. When two pigments in a LHC were exchanged to another pigments with lower excitation energy, faster and intensive light collection were observed.

  20. Optoelectronic energy transfer at novel biohybrid interfaces using light harvesting complexes from Chloroflexus aurantiacus.

    PubMed

    Sridharan, Arati; Muthuswamy, Jit; Pizziconi, Vincent B

    2009-06-02

    In nature, nanoscale supramolecular light harvesting complexes initiate the photosynthetic energy collection process at high quantum efficiencies. In this study, the distinctive antenna structure from Chloroflexus aurantiacusthe chlorosomeis assessed for potential exploitation in novel biohybrid optoelectronic devices. Electrochemical characterization of bacterial fragments containing intact chlorosomes with the photosynthetic apparatus show an increase in the charge storage density near the working electrode upon light stimulation and suggest that chlorosomes contribute approximately one-third of the overall photocurrent. Further, isolated chlorosomes (without additional photosynthetic components, e.g., reaction centers, biochemical mediators) produce a photocurrent (approximately 8-10 nA) under light saturation conditions. Correlative experiments indicate that the main chlorosome pigment, bacteriochlorophyll-c, contributes to the photocurrent via an oxidative mechanism. The results reported herein are the first to demonstrate that isolated chlorosomes (lipid-enclosed sacs of pigments) directly transduce light energy in an electrochemical manner, laying an alternative, biomimetic approach for designing photosensitized interfaces in biofuel cells and biomedical devices, such as bioenhanced retinal prosthetics.

  1. Highly Efficient Photon Upconversion in Self-Assembled Light-Harvesting Molecular Systems

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Taku; Yanai, Nobuhiro; Monguzzi, Angelo; Kimizuka, Nobuo

    2015-01-01

    To meet the world’s demands on the development of sunlight-powered renewable energy production, triplet–triplet annihilation-based photon upconversion (TTA–UC) has raised great expectations. However, an ideal highly efficient, low-power, and in-air TTA–UC has not been achieved. Here, we report a novel self-assembly approach to achieve this, which enabled highly efficient TTA–UC even in the presence of oxygen. A newly developed lipophilic 9,10-diphenylanthracene-based emitter molecule functionalized with multiple hydrogen-bonding moieties spontaneously coassembled with a triplet sensitizer in organic media, showing efficient triplet sensitization and subsequent triplet energy migration among the preorganized chromophores. This supramolecular light-harvesting system shows a high UC quantum yield of 30% optimized at low excitation power in deaerated conditions. Significantly, the UC emission largely remains even in an air-saturated solution, and this approach is facilely applicable to organogel and solid-film systems. PMID:26057321

  2. Photophysical characterization of low-molecular weight organogels for energy transfer and light harvesting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atsbeha, T.; Bussotti, L.; Cicchi, S.; Foggi, P.; Ghini, G.; Lascialfari, L.; Marcelli, A.

    2011-05-01

    The choice of a donor and an acceptor with suitable optical and self-assembly properties is essential in the design of organogel-based light harvesting systems. Organogels can provide supramolecular structures capable of enhancing energy transfer processes. In this work, we present the characterization of N-(naphthalene-1-carboxyamide)-(3 S,4 S)-pyrrolidin-(3,4)-bisdodecyl-carbamoyldiester ( 1) and N-(4-nitrobenzofurazan-7-amino)-(3 S,4 S)-pyrrolidin-(3,4)-bisdodecyl-carbamoyldiester ( 2) which are used as donor and acceptor moieties, respectively. The donor molecule is hardly capable to form a gelon its own but it can be assembled at reasonable concentrations with the acceptor gelator to form a two-component donor-acceptor organogels in cyclohexane. Stable organogels are formed from cyclohexane for gelator concentrations as low as ≈10 -3 M. UV-vis and steady-state fluorescence spectroscopies were used to provide a characterization of their molecular interactions. The optical changes observed during the cooling of two-component solutions of these systems are indicative of typical sol-gel transitions. The occurrence of excitation energy transfer processes in the gels is confirmed by comparison of their excitation and absorption spectra.

  3. Enhancement of coherent energy transport by disorder and temperature in light harvesting processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiong, Shi-Jie; Xiong, Ye; Zhao, Yang

    2012-09-01

    We investigate the influence of static disorder and thermal excitations on excitonic energy transport in the light-harvesting apparatus of photosynthetic systems by solving the Schrödinger equation and taking into account the coherent hoppings of excitons, the rates of exciton creation and annihilation in antennas and reaction centers, and the coupling to thermally excited phonons. The antennas and reaction centers are modeled, respectively, as the sources and drains which provide the channels for creation and annihilation of excitons. Phonon modes below a maximum frequency are coupled to the excitons that are continuously created in the antennas and depleted in the reaction centers, and the phonon population in these modes obeys the Bose-Einstein distribution at a given temperature. It is found that the energy transport is not only robust against the static disorder and the thermal noise, but it can also be enhanced by increasing the randomness and temperature in most parameter regimes. Relevance of our work to the highly efficient energy transport in photosynthetic systems is discussed.

  4. Hetero-type dual photoanodes for unbiased solar water splitting with extended light harvesting.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jin Hyun; Jang, Ji-Wook; Jo, Yim Hyun; Abdi, Fatwa F; Lee, Young Hye; van de Krol, Roel; Lee, Jae Sung

    2016-12-14

    Metal oxide semiconductors are promising photoelectrode materials for solar water splitting due to their robustness in aqueous solutions and low cost. Yet, their solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiencies are still not high enough for practical applications. Here we present a strategy to enhance the efficiency of metal oxides, hetero-type dual photoelectrodes, in which two photoanodes of different bandgaps are connected in parallel for extended light harvesting. Thus, a photoelectrochemical device made of modified BiVO4 and α-Fe2O3 as dual photoanodes utilizes visible light up to 610 nm for water splitting, and shows stable photocurrents of 7.0±0.2 mA cm(-2) at 1.23 VRHE under 1 sun irradiation. A tandem cell composed with the dual photoanodes-silicon solar cell demonstrates unbiased water splitting efficiency of 7.7%. These results and concept represent a significant step forward en route to the goal of >10% efficiency required for practical solar hydrogen production.

  5. Periodically arranged colloidal gold nanoparticles for enhanced light harvesting in organic solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirsafaei, Mina; Fernandes Cauduro, André Luis; Kunstmann-Olsen, Casper; Davidson, Adam Michael; Hassing, Søren; Hedegaard, Martin A. B.; Rubahn, Horst-Günter; Adam, Jost; Madsen, Morten

    2016-04-01

    Although organic solar cells show intriguing features such as low-cost, mechanical flexibility and light weight, their efficiency is still low compared to their inorganic counterparts. One way of improving their efficiency is by the use of light-trapping mechanisms from nano- or microstructures, which makes it possible to improve the light absorption and charge extraction in the device's active layer. Here, periodically arranged colloidal gold nanoparticles are demonstrated experimentally and theoretically to improve light absorption and thus enhance the efficiency of organic solar cells. Surface-ordered gold nanoparticle arrangements are integrated at the bottom electrode of organic solar cells. The resulting optical interference and absorption effects are numerically investigated in bulk hetero-junction solar cells based on the Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) and Transfer Matrix Method (TMM) and as a function of size and periodicity of the plasmonic arrangements. In addition, light absorption enhancement in the organic active layer is investigated experimentally following integration of the nanoparticle arrangements. The latter are fabricated using a lithography-free stamping technique, creating a centimeter scaled area with nanoparticles having a defined inter-particle spacing. Our study reveals the light harvesting ability of template-assisted nanoparticle assemblies in organic solar cells. As the approach is easily scalable, it is an efficient and transferable method for large-scale, low cost device fabrication.

  6. A Hidden State in Light-Harvesting Complex II Revealed By Multipulse Spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    van Oort, Bart; van Grondelle, Rienk; van Stokkum, Ivo H M

    2015-04-23

    Light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) is pivotal both for collecting solar radiation for photosynthesis, and for protection against photodamage under high light intensities (via a process called nonphotochemical quenching, NPQ). Aggregation of LHCII is associated with fluorescence quenching, and is used as an in vitro model system of NPQ. However, there is no agreement on the nature of the quencher and on the validity of aggregation as a model system. Here, we use ultrafast multipulse spectroscopy to populate a quenched state in unquenched (unaggregated) LHCII. The state shows characteristic features of lutein and chlorophyll, suggesting that it is an excitonically coupled state between these two compounds. This state decays in approximately 10 ps, making it a strong competitor for photodamage and photochemical quenching. It is observed in trimeric and monomeric LHCII, upon re-excitation with pulses of different wavelengths and duration. We propose that this state is always present, but is scarcely populated under low light intensities. Under high light intensities it may become more accessible, e.g. by conformational changes, and then form a quenching channel. The same state may be the cause of fluorescence blinking observed in single-molecule spectroscopy of LHCII trimers, where a small subpopulation is in an energetically higher state where the pathway to the quencher opens up.

  7. Guest-induced photophysical property switching of artificial light-harvesting dendrimers.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Young-Hwan; Son, Minjung; Yoon, Hongsik; Kim, Pyosang; Lee, Do-Hyung; Kim, Dongho; Jang, Woo-Dong

    2014-07-01

    An artificial light-harvesting multiporphyrin dendrimer (8P(Zn)P(FB)) composed of a focal freebase porphyrin (P(FB)) with eight zinc(II) porphyrin (P(Zn)) wings exhibited unique photophysical property switching in response to specific guest molecule binding. UV/Vis titration studies indicated stable 1:2 host-guest complex formation between 8P(Zn)P(FB) and meso-tetrakis(4-pyridyl)-porphyrin (TPyP) for which the first and second association constants were estimated to be >10(8) M(-1) and 3.0×10(7) M(-1), respectively. 8P(Zn)P(FB) originally shows 94% energy transfer efficiency from P(Zn) to the focal P(FB). By the formation of the host-guest complex (8P(Zn)P(FB)⋅2TPyP) the emission intensity of 8P(Zn)P(FB) is significantly decreased, and an ultrafast charge separation state is generated. The energy transfer process from P(Zn) wings to the P(FB) core in 8P(Zn)P(FB) is almost entirely switched to an electron transfer process by the formation of 8P(Zn)P(FB)⋅2TPyP.

  8. Evolution of low-light adapted peripheral light-harvesting complexes in strains of Rhodopseudomonas palustris.

    PubMed

    Kotecha, Abhay; Georgiou, Theonie; Papiz, Miroslav Z

    2013-03-01

    Purple bacteria have peripheral light-harvesting (PLH) complexes adapted to high-light (LH2) and low-light (LH3, LH4) growth conditions. The latter two have only been fully characterised in Rhodopseudomonas acidophila 7050 and Rhodopseudomonas palustris CGA009, respectively. It is known that LH4 complexes are expressed under the control of two light sensing bacteriophytochromes (BphPs). Recent genomic sequencing of a number of Rps. palustris strains has provided extensive information on PLH genes. We show that both LH3 and LH4 complexes are present in Rps. palustris and have evolved in the same operon controlled by the two adjacent BphPs. Two rare marker genes indicate that a gene cluster CL2, containing LH