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

Structural properties of the D1 and surrounding photosystem II polypeptides as revealed by their interaction with cross-linking reagents.

Treatment of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii thylakoids with cross-linking reagents including glutaraldehyde causes polymerization of all thylakoid polypeptides, but not of the reaction center II polypeptide D1 unless the thylakoids are presolubilized by octyl beta-D-glucoside (Adir, N., and Ohad, I. (1986) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 850, 264-274). The results presented here show that this is a general property of D1 as it can be demonstrated in thylakoids of cyanophytes, Dasicladaceae, green algae, and C3 and C4 plants. Solubilization of the membranes by ionic detergents, deoxycholate, lauryl sucrose, or dodecyl beta-D-maltoside is not effective in inducing cross-linking of the D1 polypeptides by glutaraldehyde. The most effective alkyl glucosides were those with 7-9 carbon alkyl chains. The same behavior toward glutaraldehyde was exhibited by the unprocessed D1 precursor and by the palmitoylated D1 protein. Based on the refractility of the D1 protein to cross-linking reagents, a procedure was developed for its isolation from cross-linked thylakoids by lithium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Isolated D1 retained its behavior toward cross-linking by glutaraldehyde and generated tryptic fragments similar to those obtained following trypsin treatment of intact thylakoids. Denaturation of isolated D1 protein by acetone facilitates cross-linking by glutaraldehyde and extensive degradation by trypsin. The photosystem II polypeptides are differentially cross-linked with increasing concentrations of glutaraldehyde, the most susceptible being the 28- and 23-kDa components of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a-b protein complex and the core complex 44- and 51-kDa polypeptides, and the least affected being the cytochrome b559, the D2 protein, and a 24-kDa component of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a-b protein complex. These results reflect the relative position and interaction of the photosystem II polypeptides within the complex and suggest that strong and specific hydrophobic interactions may be responsible for the tight and stable conformation of D1. This may be based mostly on the conserved amino acid sequences of D1 and possibly plays a role in the process of D1 integration and removal from the reaction center during its light-dependent turnover.[1]


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