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

Transmembrane traffic in the cytochrome b6f complex.

Crystal structures and their implications for function are described for the energy transducing hetero-oligomeric dimeric cytochrome b6f complex of oxygenic photosynthesis from the thermophilic cyanobacterium, Mastigocladus laminosus, and the green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. The complex has a cytochrome b core and a central quinone exchange cavity, defined by the two monomers that are very similar to those in the respiratory cytochrome bc1 complex. The pathway of quinol/quinone ( Q/QH2) transfer emphasizes the labyrinthine internal structure of the complex, including an 11x12 A portal through which Q/QH2, containing a 45-carbon isoprenoid chain, must pass. Three prosthetic groups are present in the b6f complex that are not found in the related bc1 complex: a chlorophyll (Chl) a, a beta-carotene, and a structurally unique covalently bound heme that does not possess amino acid side chains as axial ligands. It is hypothesized that this heme, exposed to the cavity and a neighboring plastoquinone and close to the positive surface potential of the complex, can function in cyclic electron transport via anionic ferredoxin.[1]


  1. Transmembrane traffic in the cytochrome b6f complex. Cramer, W.A., Zhang, H., Yan, J., Kurisu, G., Smith, J.L. Annu. Rev. Biochem. (2006) [Pubmed]
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