Self-assembled monolayer of light-harvesting core complexes of photosynthetic bacteria on an amino-terminated ITO electrode.
ABSTRACT: Light-harvesting antenna core (LH1-RC) complexes isolated from Rhodospirillum rubrum and Rhodopseudomonas palustris were successfully self-assembled on an ITO electrode modified with 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane. Near infra-red (NIR) absorption, fluorescence, and IR spectra of these LH1-RC complexes indicated that these LH1-RC complexes on the electrode were stable on the electrode. An efficient energy transfer and photocurrent responses of these LH1-RC complexes on the electrode were observed upon illumination of the LH1 complex at 880 nm.
Project description:The X-ray crystal structure of the Rhodopseudomonas (Rps.) palustris reaction center-light harvesting 1 (RC-LH1) core complex revealed the presence of a sixth protein component, variably referred to in the literature as helix W, subunit W or protein W. The position of this protein prevents closure of the LH1 ring, possibly to allow diffusion of ubiquinone/ubiquinol between the RC and the cytochrome bc1 complex in analogous fashion to the well-studied PufX protein from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. The identity and function of helix W have remained unknown for over 13years; here we use a combination of biochemistry, mass spectrometry, molecular genetics and electron microscopy to identify this protein as RPA4402 in Rps. palustris CGA009. Protein W shares key conserved sequence features with PufX homologs, and although a deletion mutant was able to grow under photosynthetic conditions with no discernible phenotype, we show that a tagged version of protein W pulls down the RC-LH1 complex. Protein W is not encoded in the photosynthesis gene cluster and our data indicate that only approximately 10% of wild-type Rps. palustris core complexes contain this non-essential subunit; functional and evolutionary consequences of this observation are discussed. The ability to purify uniform RC-LH1 and RC-LH1-protein W preparations will also be beneficial for future structural studies of these bacterial core complexes.
Project description:Energy transfer (ET) between B850 and B875 molecules in light harvesting complexes LH2 and LH1/RC (reaction center) complexes has been investigated in membranes of Rhodopseudomonas palustris grown under high- and low-light conditions. In these bacteria, illumination intensity during growth strongly affects the type of LH2 complexes synthesized, their optical spectra, and their amount of energetic disorder. We used a specially built femtosecond spectrometer, combining tunable narrowband pump with broadband white-light probe pulses, together with an analytical method based on derivative spectroscopy for disentangling the congested transient absorption spectra of LH1 and LH2 complexes. This procedure allows real-time tracking of the forward (LH2 ? LH1) and backward (LH2?LH1) ET processes and unambiguous determination of the corresponding rate constants. In low-light grown samples, we measured lower ET rates in both directions with respect to high-light ones, which is explained by reduced spectral overlap between B850 and B875 due to partial redistribution of oscillator strength into a higher energetic exciton transition. We find that the low-light adaptation in R. palustris leads to a reduced elementary backward ET rate, in accordance with the low probability of two simultaneous excitations reaching the same LH1/RC complex under weak illumination. Our study suggests that backward ET is not just an inevitable consequence of vectorial ET with small energetic offsets, but is in fact actively managed by photosynthetic bacteria.
Project description:All purple photosynthetic bacteria contain RC-LH1 'Core' complexes. The structure of this complex from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, Rhodopseudomonas palustris and Thermochromatium tepidum has been solved using X-ray crystallography. Recently, the application of single particle cryo-EM has revolutionised structural biology and the structure of the RC-LH1 'Core' complex from Blastochloris viridis has been solved using this technique, as well as the complex from the non-purple Chloroflexi species, Roseiflexus castenholzii. It is apparent that these structures are variations on a theme, although with a greater degree of structural diversity within them than previously thought. Furthermore, it has recently been discovered that the only phototrophic representative from the phylum Gemmatimonadetes, Gemmatimonas phototrophica, also contains a RC-LH1 'Core' complex. At present only a low-resolution EM-projection map exists but this shows that the Gemmatimonas phototrophica complex contains a double LH1 ring. This short review compares these different structures and looks at the functional significance of these variations from two main standpoints: energy transfer and quinone exchange.
Project description:Rhodopseudomonas palustris is a species of purple phototrophic bacterium. In these species, solar energy is captured by reaction centre-light harvesting 1 (RC-LH1) complexes which reside in membranes within the cells. The RC comprises three protein subunits: H, M, L and is encircled by a ring of LH1-α and LH1-β subunit pairs. Approximately 10% of these complexes in the wild-type (WT) strain include an additional subunit called protein-W. In this project, we have determined cryo-EM structures for RC-LH1 complexes both with and without protein-W. To enable the purification of RC-LH1-W with 100% occupancy of protein-W, strain expressing a C-terminally His-tagged W was engineered. For complexes lacking W, a knockout strain was used. Proteomic analysis was employed to validate these strains and establish that the WT and W-His expressed similar levels of W relative to RC-LH1.
Project description:Rhodopseudomonas palustris is a species of purple photosynthetic bacteria that has a multigene family of puc genes that encode the alpha and beta apoproteins, which form the LH2 complexes. A genetic dissection strategy has been adopted in order to try and understand which spectroscopic form of LH2 these different genes produce. This paper presents a characterisation of one of the deletion mutants generated in this program, the pucBAd only mutant. This mutant produces an unusual spectroscopic form of LH2 that only has a single large NIR absorption band at 800 nm. Spectroscopic and pigment analyses on this complex suggest that it has basically a similar overall structure as that of the wild-type HL LH2 complex. The mutant has the unique phenotype where the mutant LH2 complex is only produced when cells are grown at LL. At HL the mutant only produces the LH1-RC core complex.
Project description:The individual components of the photosynthetic unit (PSU), the light-harvesting complexes (LH2 and LH1) and the reaction center (RC), are structurally and functionally known in great detail. An important current challenge is the study of their assembly within native membranes. Here, we present AFM topographs at 12 A resolution of native membranes containing all constituents of the PSU from Rhodospirillum photometricum. Besides the major technical advance represented by the acquisition of such highly resolved data of a complex membrane, the images give new insights into the organization of this energy generating apparatus in Rsp. photometricum: (i) there is a variable stoichiometry of LH2, (ii) the RC is completely encircled by a closed LH1 assembly, (iii) the LH1 assembly around the RC forms an ellipse, (iv) the PSU proteins cluster together segregating out of protein free lipid bilayers, (v) core complexes cluster although enough LH2 are present to prevent core-core contacts, and (vi) there is no cytochrome bc1 complex visible in close proximity to the RCs. The functional significance of all these findings is discussed.
Project description:In this paper the fluorescence-excitation spectra of individual LH1-RC complexes (Rhodopseudomonas acidophila) at 1.2 K are presented. All spectra show a limited number of broad bands with a characteristic polarization behavior, indicating that the excitations are delocalized over a large number of pigments. A significant variation in the number of bands, their bandwidths, and polarization behavior is observed. Only 30% of the spectra carry a clear signature of delocalized excited states of a circular structure of the pigments. The large spectral variety suggests that besides site heterogeneity also structural heterogeneity determines the optical spectrum of the individual LH1-RC complexes. Further research should reveal if such heterogeneity is a native property of the complex or induced during the experimental procedures.
Project description:Survivability under carbon-starvation conditions was investigated in four species of purple phototrophic bacteria: Rhodopseudomonas palustris, Rhodobacter sphaeroides, Rhodospirillum rubrum, and Rubrivivax gelatinosus. All these test organisms survived longer in the light than in the dark. ATP levels in the cultures were maintained in the light, which indicated that survivability was supported by photosynthesis. Survivability and tolerance against hypertonic stress in the dark was higher in Rhodopseudomonas palustris, which is widely distributed in natural environments including soils, than in the three other species.
Project description:Electron microscopy and single-particle averaging were performed on isolated reaction centre (RC)-antenna complexes (RC-LH1-PufX complexes) of Rhodobaca bogoriensis strain LBB1, with the aim of establishing the LH1 antenna conformation, and, in particular, the structural role of the PufX protein. Projection maps of dimeric complexes were obtained at 13 Å resolution and show the positions of the 2 × 14 LH1 ?- and ?-subunits. This new dimeric complex displays two open, C-shaped LH1 aggregates of 13 ?? polypeptides partially surrounding the RCs plus two LH1 units forming the dimer interface in the centre. Between the interface and the two half rings are two openings on each side. Next to the openings, there are four additional densities present per dimer, considered to be occupied by four copies of PufX. The position of the RC in our model was verified by comparison with RC-LH1-PufX complexes in membranes. Our model differs from previously proposed configurations for Rhodobacter species in which the LH1 ribbon is continuous in the shape of an S, and the stoichiometry is of one PufX per RC.
Project description:Photosynthesis converts absorbed solar energy to a protonmotive force, which drives ATP synthesis. The membrane network of chlorophyll-protein complexes responsible for light absorption, photochemistry and quinol (QH2) production has been mapped in the purple phototrophic bacterium Rhodobacter (Rba.) sphaeroides using atomic force microscopy (AFM), but the membrane location of the cytochrome bc1 (cytbc1) complexes that oxidise QH2 to quinone (Q) to generate a protonmotive force is unknown. We labelled cytbc1 complexes with gold nanobeads, each attached by a Histidine10 (His10)-tag to the C-terminus of cytc1. Electron microscopy (EM) of negatively stained chromatophore vesicles showed that the majority of the cytbc1 complexes occur as dimers in the membrane. The cytbc1 complexes appeared to be adjacent to reaction centre light-harvesting 1-PufX (RC-LH1-PufX) complexes, consistent with AFM topographs of a gold-labelled membrane. His-tagged cytbc1 complexes were retrieved from chromatophores partially solubilised by detergent; RC-LH1-PufX complexes tended to co-purify with cytbc1 whereas LH2 complexes became detached, consistent with clusters of cytbc1 complexes close to RC-LH1-PufX arrays, but not with a fixed, stoichiometric cytbc1-RC-LH1-PufX supercomplex. This information was combined with a quantitative mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of the RC, cytbc1, ATP synthase, cytaa3 and cytcbb3 membrane protein complexes, to construct an atomic-level model of a chromatophore vesicle comprising 67 LH2 complexes, 11 LH1-RC-PufX dimers & 2 RC-LH1-PufX monomers, 4 cytbc1 dimers and 2 ATP synthases. Simulation of the interconnected energy, electron and proton transfer processes showed a half-maximal ATP turnover rate for a light intensity equivalent to only 1% of bright sunlight. Thus, the photosystem architecture of the chromatophore is optimised for growth at low light intensities.