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

Surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering spectroscopy of bacterial photosynthetic membranes. The carotenoid of Rhodospirillum rubrum.

Resonance Raman scattering by the carotenoid, spirilloxanthin (Spx), in a suspension of chromatophores (cytoplasmic side out) isolated from the photosynthetic bacterium, Rhodospirillum rubrum, is greatly enhanced when the membranes are adsorbed onto the surface of an anodized Ag electrode. The phenomenon is the basis for surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS) spectroscopy. The Spx SERRS peaks observed were at 1505-1510, 1150-1155, and 1000-1005 cm-1 with laser excitation wavelengths ranging between 457.9 and 568.2 nm. Similar peaks were not observed with spheroplasts (periplasmic side out) isolated from the same species. The difference in signal detected in chromatophores and spheroplasts is not due to differences in membrane surface charge, presence of residual cell wall on the spheroplast surface, lack of adhesion of spheroplasts to metals, or large differences in pigment content per unit membrane area. Instead, the results indicate an asymmetric distribution of Spx in vivo across the membrane (i.e., it is located on the cytoplasmic side of the membrane). The results also demonstrate that the SERRS effect is extremely distance sensitive, and the thickness of a single bacterial membrane (separating the Ag electrode from the carotenoid) is sufficient to prevent detection of Spx spectra. Studies of chromatophores from the F24 strain (a reaction centerless mutant) have pin-pointed B880 antenna complex as the source of the Spx SERRS spectra, and a schematic model of the minimal structural unit of B880 is presented. This work demonstrates the potential of the SERRS technique as a probe for surface topology of pigmented membranes.[1]


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