Energy transfer pathways in the CP24 and CP26 antenna complexes of higher plant photosystem II: a comparative study.
ABSTRACT: Antenna complexes are key components of plant photosynthesis, the process that converts sunlight, CO2, and water into oxygen and sugars. We report the first (to our knowledge) femtosecond transient absorption study on the light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes CP26 (Lhcb5) and CP24 (Lhcb6) of Photosystem II. The complexes are excited at three different wavelengths in the chlorophyll (Chl) Qy region. Both complexes show a single subpicosecond Chl b to Chl a transfer process. In addition, a reduction in the population of the intermediate states (in the 660-670 nm range) as compared to light-harvesting complex II is correlated in CP26 to the absence of both Chls a604 and b605. However, Chl forms around 670 nm are still present in the Chl a Qy range, which undergoes relaxation with slow rates (10-15 ps). This reduction in intermediate-state amplitude CP24 shows a distinctive narrow band at 670 nm connected with Chls b and decaying to the low-energy Chl a states in 3-5 ps. This 670 nm band, which is fully populated in 0.6 ps together with the Chl a low-energy states, is proposed to originate from Chl 602 or 603. In this study, we monitored the energy flow within two minor complexes, and our results may help elucidate these structures in the future.
Project description:Plant photosynthesis relies on the capacity of chlorophylls and carotenoids to absorb light. One of the roles of carotenoids is to harvest green-blue light and transfer the excitation energy to the chlorophylls. The corresponding dynamics were investigated here for the first time, to our knowledge, in the CP26 and CP24 minor antenna complexes. The results for the two complexes differ substantially. In CP26 fast transfer (80 fs) occurs from the carotenoid S(2) state to chlorophylls a absorbing at 675 and 678 nm, whereas transfer from the hot S(1) state to the lowest energy chlorophylls is observed in <1 ps. In CP24, energy transfer from the S(2) state leads in 80 fs to the population of chlorophylls b and high-energy chlorophylls a absorbing at 670 nm, whereas the low-energy chlorophylls a are populated only in several picoseconds. The results suggest that CP26 has a structural and functional organization similar to that of LHCII, whereas CP24 differs substantially from the other Lhc complexes, especially regarding the lutein L1 binding domain. No energy transfer from the carotenoid S(1) state to chlorophylls was observed in either complex, suggesting that this state is energetically below the chlorophyll Qy state and therefore may play a role in the quenching of chlorophyll excitations.
Project description:The role of individual photosynthetic antenna complexes of Photosystem II (PSII) both in membrane organization and excitation energy transfer have been investigated. Thylakoid membranes from wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana, and three mutants lacking light-harvesting complexes CP24, CP26, or CP29, respectively, were studied by picosecond-fluorescence spectroscopy. By using different excitation/detection wavelength combinations it was possible for the first time, to our knowledge, to separate PSI and PSII fluorescence kinetics. The sub-100 ps component, previously ascribed entirely to PSI, turns out to be due partly to PSII. Moreover, the migration time of excitations from antenna to PSII reaction center (RC) was determined for the first time, to our knowledge, for thylakoid membranes. It is four times longer than for PSII-only membranes, due to additional antenna complexes, which are less well connected to the RC. The results in the absence of CP26 are very similar to those of wild-type, demonstrating that the PSII organization is not disturbed. However, the kinetics in the absence of CP29 and, especially, of CP24 show that a large fraction of the light-harvesting complexes becomes badly connected to the RCs. Interestingly, the excited-state lifetimes of the disconnected light-harvesting complexes seem to be substantially quenched.
Project description:The minor light-harvesting complexes CP24, CP26, and CP29 have been proposed to play a key role in the zeaxanthin (Zx)-dependent high light-induced regulation (NPQ) of excitation energy in higher plants. To characterize the detailed roles of these minor complexes in NPQ and to determine their specific quenching effects we have studied the ultrafast fluorescence kinetics in knockout (ko) mutants koCP26, koCP29, and the double mutant koCP24/CP26. The data provide detailed insight into the quenching processes and the reorganization of the Photosystem (PS) II supercomplex under quenching conditions. All genotypes showed two NPQ quenching sites. Quenching site Q1 is formed by a light-induced functional detachment of parts of the PSII supercomplex and a pronounced quenching of the detached antenna parts. The antenna remaining bound to the PSII core was also quenched substantially in all genotypes under NPQ conditions (quenching site Q2) as compared with the dark-adapted state. The latter quenching was about equally strong in koCP26 and the koCP24/CP26 mutants as in the WT. Q2 quenching was substantially reduced, however, in koCP29 mutants suggesting a key role for CP29 in the total NPQ. The observed quenching effects in the knockout mutants are complicated by the fact that other minor antenna complexes do compensate in part for the lack of the CP24 and/or CP29 complexes. Their lack also causes some LHCII dissociation already in the dark.
Project description:Photosystem II (PS II) is unique among photosynthetic reaction centers in having secondary electron donors that compete with the primary electron donors for reduction of P680(+). We have characterized the photooxidation and dark decay of the redox-active accessory chlorophylls (Chl) and beta-carotenes (Car) in oxygen-evolving PS II core complexes by near-IR absorbance and EPR spectroscopies at cryogenic temperatures. In contrast to previous results for Mn-depleted PS II, multiple near-IR absorption bands are resolved in the light-minus-dark difference spectra of oxygen-evolving PS II core complexes including two fast-decaying bands at 793 and 814 nm and three slow-decaying bands at 810, 825, and 840 nm. We assign these bands to chlorophyll cation radicals (Chl(+)). The fast-decaying bands observed after illumination at 20 K could be generated again by reilluminating the sample. Quantization by EPR gives a yield of 0.85 radicals per PS II, and the yield of oxidized cytochrome b 559 by optical difference spectroscopy is 0.15 per PS II. Potential locations of Chl(+) and Car(+) species, and the pathways of secondary electron transfer based on the rates of their formation and decay, are discussed. This is the first evidence that Chls in the light-harvesting proteins CP43 and CP47 are oxidized by P680(+) and may have a role in Chl fluorescence quenching. We also suggest that a possible role for negatively charged lipids (phosphatidyldiacylglycerol and sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol identified in the PS II structure) could be to decrease the redox potential of specific Chl and Car cofactors. These results provide new insight into the alternate electron-donation pathways to P680(+).
Project description:Time-resolved fluorescence measurements were performed on isolated core and intact Photosystem I (PS I) particles and stroma membranes from Arabidopsis thaliana to characterize the type of energy-trapping kinetics in higher plant PS I. Target analysis confirms the previously proposed "charge recombination" model. No bottleneck in the energy flow from the bulk antenna compartments to the reaction center has been found. For both particles a trap-limited kinetics is realized, with an apparent charge separation lifetime of approximately 6 ps. No red chlorophylls (Chls) are found in the PS I-core complex from A. thaliana. Rather, the observed red-shifted fluorescence (700-710 nm range) originates from the reaction center. In contrast, two red Chl compartments, located in the peripheral light-harvesting complexes, are resolved in the intact PS I particles (decay lifetimes 33 and 95 ps, respectively). These two red states have been attributed to the two red states found in Lhca 3 and Lhca 4, respectively. The influence of the red Chls on the slowing of the overall trapping kinetics in the intact PS I complex is estimated to be approximately four times larger than the effect of the bulk antenna enlargement.
Project description:The light-harvesting 2 complex (LH2) of the purple phototrophic bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides is a highly efficient, light-harvesting antenna that allows growth under a wide-range of light intensities. In order to expand the spectral range of this antenna complex, we first used a series of competition assays to measure the capacity of the non-native pigments 3-acetyl chlorophyll (Chl) a, Chl?d, Chl?f or bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) b to replace native BChl?a in the B800 binding site of LH2. We then adjusted the B800 site and systematically assessed the binding of non-native pigments. We find that Arg-10 of the LH2 ? polypeptide plays a crucial role in binding specificity, by providing a hydrogen-bond to the 3-acetyl group of native and non-native pigments. Reconstituted LH2 complexes harbouring the series of (B)Chls were examined by transient absorption and steady-state fluorescence spectroscopies. Although slowed 10-fold to ~6?ps, energy transfer from Chl?a to B850 BChl?a remained highly efficient. We measured faster energy-transfer time constants for Chl?d (3.5?ps) and Chl?f (2.7?ps), which have red-shifted absorption maxima compared to Chl?a. BChl?b, red-shifted from the native BChl?a, gave extremely rapid (?0.1?ps) transfer. These results show that modified LH2 complexes, combined with engineered (B)Chl biosynthesis pathways in vivo, have potential for retaining high efficiency whilst acquiring increased spectral range.
Project description:Chlorophyll (Chl) b serves an essential function in accumulation of light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) in plants. In this article, this role of Chl b is explored by considering the properties of Chls and the ligands with which they interact in the complexes. The overall properties of the Chls, not only their spectral features, are altered as consequences of chemical modifications on the periphery of the molecules. Important modifications are introduction of oxygen atoms at specific locations and reduction or desaturation of sidechains. These modifications influence formation of coordination bonds by which the central Mg atom, the Lewis acid, of Chl molecules interacts with amino acid sidechains, as the Lewis base, in proteins. Chl a is a versatile Lewis acid and interacts principally with imidazole groups but also with sidechain amides and water. The 7-formyl group on Chl b withdraws electron density toward the periphery of the molecule and consequently the positive Mg is less shielded by the molecular electron cloud than in Chl a. Chl b thus tends to form electrostatic bonds with Lewis bases with a fixed dipole, such as water and, in particular, peptide backbone carbonyl groups. The coordination bonds are enhanced by H-bonds between the protein and the 7-formyl group. These additional strong interactions with Chl b are necessary to achieve assembly of stable LHCs.
Project description:Low temperature, steady-state, optical spectroscopic methods were used to study the spectral features of peridinin-chlorophyll-protein (PCP) complexes in which recombinant apoprotein has been refolded in the presence of peridinin and either chlorophyll a (Chl a), chlorophyll b (Chl b), chlorophyll d (Chl d), 3-acetyl-chlorophyll a (3-acetyl-Chl a) or bacteriochlorophyll a (BChl a). Absorption spectra taken at 10 K provide better resolution of the spectroscopic bands than seen at room temperature and reveal specific pigment-protein interactions responsible for the positions of the Qy bands of the chlorophylls. The study reveals that the functional groups attached to Ring I of the two protein-bound chlorophylls modulate the Qy and Soret transition energies. Fluorescence excitation spectra were used to compute energy transfer efficiencies of the various complexes at room temperature and these were correlated with previously reported ultrafast, time-resolved optical spectroscopic dynamics data. The results illustrate the robust nature and value of the PCP complex, which maintains a high efficiency of antenna function even in the presence of non-native chlorophyll species, as an effective tool for elucidating the molecular details of photosynthetic light-harvesting.
Project description:Light-harvesting pigment-protein complexes of photosystem II of plants have a dual function: they efficiently use absorbed energy for photosynthesis at limiting sunlight intensity and dissipate the excess energy at saturating intensity for photoprotection. Recent single-molecule spectroscopy studies on the trimeric LHCII complex showed that environmental control of the intrinsic protein disorder could in principle explain the switch between their light-harvesting and photoprotective conformations in vivo. However, the validity of this proposal depends strongly on the specificity of the protein dynamics. Here, a similar study has been performed on the minor monomeric antenna complexes of photosystem II (CP29, CP26, and CP24). Despite their high structural homology, similar pigment content and organization compared to LHCII trimers, the environmental response of these proteins was found to be rather distinct. A much larger proportion of the minor antenna complexes were present in permanently weakly fluorescent states under most conditions used; however, unlike LHCII trimers the distribution of the single-molecule population between the strongly and weakly fluorescent states showed no significant sensitivity to low pH, zeaxanthin, or low detergent conditions. The results support a unique role for LHCII trimers in the regulation of light harvesting by controlled fluorescence blinking and suggest that any contribution of the minor antenna complexes to photoprotection would probably involve a distinct mechanism.
Project description:Excess light causes damage to the photosynthetic apparatus of plants and algae primarily via reactive oxygen species. Singlet oxygen can be formed by interaction of chlorophyll (Chl) triplet states, especially in the Photosystem II reaction center, with oxygen. Whether Chls in the light-harvesting antenna complexes play direct role in oxidative photodamage is less clear. In this work, light-induced photobleaching of Chls in the major trimeric light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) is investigated in different molecular environments - protein aggregates, embedded in detergent micelles or in reconstituted membranes (proteoliposomes). The effects of intense light treatment were analyzed by absorption and circular dichroism spectroscopy, steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence and EPR spectroscopy. The rate and quantum yield of photobleaching was estimated from the light-induced Chl absorption changes. Photobleaching occurred mainly in Chl a and was accompanied by strong fluorescence quenching of the remaining unbleached Chls. The rate of photobleaching increased by 140% when LHCII was embedded in lipid membranes, compared to detergent-solubilized LHCII. Removing oxygen from the medium or adding antioxidants largely suppressed the bleaching, confirming its oxidative mechanism. Singlet oxygen formation was monitored by EPR spectroscopy using spin traps and spin labels to detect singlet oxygen directly and indirectly, respectively. The quantum yield of Chl a photobleaching in membranes and detergent was found to be 3.4 × 10-5 and 1.4 × 10-5, respectively. These values compare well with the yields of ROS production estimated from spin-trap EPR spectroscopy (around 4 × 10-5 and 2 × 10-5). A kinetic model is proposed, quantifying the generation of Chl and carotenoid triplet states and singlet oxygen. The high quantum yield of photobleaching, especially in the lipid membrane, suggest that direct photodamage of the antenna occurs with rates relevant to photoinhibition in vivo. The results represent further evidence that the molecular environment of LHCII has profound impact on its functional characteristics, including, among others, the susceptibility to photodamage.