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

Genes of the R-phycocyanin II locus of marine Synechococcus spp., and comparison of protein-chromophore interactions in phycocyanins differing in bilin composition.

R-phycocyanin II (RPCII) is a recently discovered member of the phycocyanin family of photosynthetic light-harvesting proteins. Genes encoding the alpha and beta subunits of RPCII were cloned and sequenced from marine Synechococcus sp. strains WH8020 and WH8103. The deduced amino acid sequences of RPCII were compared to two other types of phycocyanin, C-phycocyanin (CPC) and phycoerythrocyanin (PEC). These three types vary in the composition of their covalently bound bilin prosthetic groups. In terms of amino acid sequence identity RPCII is highly homologous to CPC and PEC, suggesting that the known three-dimensional structures of the latter two are representative of RPCII. Thus the amino acid residues contacting the three bilins of RPCII could be inferred and compared to those in CPC and PEC. Certain residues were identified among the three phycocyanins as possibly correlating with specific bilin isomers. In overall sequence RPCII and CPC are more homologous to one another than either is to PEC. This probably reflects functional homology in the roles of RPCII and CPC in the transfer of light energy to the core of the phycobilisome, a function not attributed to PEC. The genomes of Synechococcus sp. strains WH8020, WH8103 and WH7803 share homologous open reading frames in the vicinity of RPCII genes. The nucleotide sequence extending 3' from RPCII genes in strain WH8020 revealed two open reading frames homologous to components of an alpha CPC phycocyanobilin lyase. These open reading frames may encode a lyase specific for the attachment of phycoerythrobilin to alpha RPCII.[1]


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