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

Characterization of the Porphyridium cruentum Chl a-binding LHC by in vitro reconstitution: LHCaR1 binds 8 Chl a molecules and proportionately more carotenoids than CAB proteins.

The Porphyridium cruentum light harvesting complex (LHC) binds Chl a, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene and comprises at least 6 polypeptides of a multigene family. We describe the first in vitro reconstitution of a red algal light-harvesting protein (LHCaR1) with Chl a/carotenoid extracts from P. cruentum. The reconstituted pigment complex (rLHCaR1) is spectrally similar to the native LHC I, with an absorption maximum at 670 nm, a 77 K fluorescence emission peak at 677 nm (ex. 440 nm), and similar circular dichroism spectra. Molar ratios of 4.0 zeaxanthin, 0.3 beta-carotene and 8.2 Chl a per polypeptide for rLHCaR1 are similar to those of the native LHC I complex (3.1 zeaxanthin, 0.5 beta-carotene, 8.5 Chl a). The binding of 8 Chl a molecules per apoprotein is consistent with 8 putative Chl-binding sites in the predicted transmembrane helices of LHCaR1. Two of the putative Chl a binding sites (helix 2) in LHCaR1 were assigned to Chl b in Chl a/b-binding (CAB) LHC II [Kühlbrandt et al. (1994) Nature 367: 614-21]. This suggests either that discrimination for binding of Chl a or Chl b is not very specific at these sites or that specificity of binding sites evolved separately in CAB proteins. LHCaR1 can be reconstituted with varying ratios of carotenoids, consistent with our previous observation that the carotenoid to Chl ratio is substantially higher in P. cruentum grown under high irradiance. Also notable is that zeaxanthin does not act as an accessory light-harvesting pigment, even though it is highly likely that it occupies the position assigned to lutein in the CAB LHCs.[1]


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