Effects of aggregation on the excitation dynamics of LH2 from Thermochromatium tepidum in aqueous phase and in chromatophores.
ABSTRACT We carried out femtosecond magic-angle and polarized pump-probe spectroscopies for the light-harvesting complex 2 (LH2) from Thermochromatium (Tch.) tepidum in aqueous phase and in chromatophores. To examine the effects of LH2 aggregation on the dynamics of excitation energy transfer, dominant monodispersed and aggregated LH2s were prepared by controlling the surfactant concentrations. The aqueous preparations solubilized with different concentrations of n-dodecyl-β-D-maltoside (DDM) show similar visible-to-near-infrared absorption spectra, but distinctively different aggregation states, as revealed by using dynamic light scattering. The B800 → B850 intra-LH2 energy transfer time was determined to be 1.3 ps for isolated LH2, which, upon aggregation in aqueous phase or clustering in chromatophores, shortened to 1.1 or 0.9 ps, respectively. The light-harvesting complex 1 (LH1) of this thermophilic purple sulfur bacterium contains bacteriochlorophyll a absorbing at 915 nm (B915), and the LH2(B850) → LH1(B915) intercomplex transfer time in chromatophores was found to be 6.6 ps. For chromatophores, a depolarization time of 21 ps was derived from the anisotropy kinetics of B850*, which is attributed to the migration of B850* excitation before being trapped by LH1. In addition, the B850* annihilation is accelerated upon LH2 aggregation in aqueous phase, but it is much less severe upon LH2 clustering in the intracytoplasmic membrane. These results are helpful in understanding the light-harvesting function of a bacterial photosynthetic membrane incorporating different types of antenna complexes.