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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The binding of Xanthophylls to the bulk light-harvesting complex of photosystem II of higher plants. A specific requirement for carotenoids with a 3-hydroxy-beta-end group.

The pigment composition of the light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) of higher plants is highly conserved. The bulk complex (LHCIIb) binds three xanthophyll molecules in combination with chlorophyll (Chl) a and b. The structural requirements for binding xanthophylls to LHCIIb have been examined using an in vitro reconstitution procedure. Reassembly of the monomeric recombinant LHCIIb was performed using a wide range of native and nonnative xanthophylls, and a specific requirement for the presence of a hydroxy group at C-3 on a single beta-end group was identified. The presence of additional substituents (e.g. at C-4) did not interfere with xanthophyll binding, but they could not, on their own, support reassembly. cis isomers of zeaxanthin, violaxanthin, and lutein were not bound, whereas all-trans-neoxanthin and different chiral forms of lutein and zeaxanthin were incorporated into the complex. The C-3 and C-3' diols lactucaxanthin (a carotenoid native to many plant LHCs) and eschscholtzxanthin (a retro-carotenoid) both behaved very differently from lutein and zeaxanthin in that they would not support complex reassembly when used alone. Lactucaxanthin could, however, be bound when lutein was also present, and it showed a high affinity for xanthophyll binding site N1. In the presence of lutein, lactucaxanthin was readily bound to at least one lutein-binding site, suggesting that the ability to bind to the complex and initiate protein folding may be dependent on different structural features of the carotenoid molecule. The importance of carotenoid end group structure and ring-to-chain conformation around the C-6-C-7 torsion angle of the carotenoid molecule in binding and complex reassembly is discussed.[1]


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