[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A biochemical and structural analysis is presented of fractions that were obtained by a quick and mild solubilization of thylakoid
membranes from spinach with the non-ionic detergent n-dodecyl-α,D-maltoside, followed by a partial purification using gel filtration chromatography. The largest fractions consisted
of paired, appressed membrane fragments with an average diameter of about 360 nm and contain Photosystem II (PS II) and its
associated light-harvesting antenna (LHC II), but virtually no Photosystem I, ATP synthase and cytochrome b
f complex. Some of the membranes show a semi-regular ordering of PS II in rows at an average distance of about 26.3 nm, and
from a partially disrupted grana membrane fragment we show that the supercomplexes of PS II and LHC II represent the basic
structural unit of PS II in the grana membranes. The numbers of free LHC II and PS II core complexes were very high and very
low, respectively. The other macromolecular complexes of the thylakoid membrane occurred almost exclusively in dispersed forms.
Photosystem I was observed in monomeric or multimeric PS I-200 complexes and there are no indications for free LHC I complexes.
An extensive analysis by electron microscopy and image analysis of the CF0F1 ATP synthase complex suggests locations of the δ (on top of the F1 headpiece) and ∈ subunits (in the central stalk) and reveals that in a substantial part of the complexes the F1 headpiece is bended considerably from the central stalk. This kinking is very likely not an artefact of the isolation procedure
and may represent the complex in its inactive, oxidized form.
Photosynthesis Research 04/2012; 64(2):155-166. · 3.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Self-aggregation of isolated plant light-harvesting complexes (LHCs) upon detergent extraction is associated with fluorescence quenching and is used as an in vitro model to study the photophysical processes of nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). In the NPQ state, in vivo induced under excess solar light conditions, harmful excitation energy is safely dissipated as heat. To prevent self-aggregation and probe the conformations of LHCs in a lipid environment devoid from detergent interactions, we assembled LHCII trimer complexes into lipid nanodiscs consisting of a bilayer lipid matrix surrounded by a membrane scaffold protein (MSP). The LHCII nanodiscs were characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy and found to be in an unquenched, fluorescent state. Remarkably, the absorbance spectra of LHCII in lipid nanodiscs show fine structure in the carotenoid and Q(y) region that is different from unquenched, detergent-solubilized LHCII but similar to that of self-aggregated, quenched LHCII in low-detergent buffer without magnesium ions. The nanodisc data presented here suggest that 1), LHCII pigment-protein complexes undergo conformational changes upon assembly in nanodiscs that are not correlated with downregulation of its light-harvesting function; and 2), these effects can be separated from quenching and aggregation-related phenomena. This will expand our present view of the conformational flexibility of LHCII in different microenvironments.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The thylakoid membrane system is a complex membrane system that organizes and reorganizes itself to provide plants optimal chemical energy from sunlight under different and varying environmental conditions. Grana membranes are part of this system and contain the light-driven water-splitting enzyme Photosystem II (PSII) and light-harvesting antenna complexes. Here, we present a direct visualization of PSII complexes within grana membranes from spinach. By means of jumping mode atomic force microscopy in liquid, minimal forces were applied between the scanning tip and membrane or protein, allowing complexes to be imaged with high detail. We observed four different packing arrangements of PSII complexes, which occur primarily as dimers: co-linear crystalline rows, nanometric domains of straight or skewed rows, and disordered domains. Upon storing surface-adhered membranes at low temperature prior to imaging, large-scale reorganizations of supercomplexes between PSII and light-harvesting complex II could be induced. The highest resolution images show the existence of membrane domains without obvious topography extending beyond supercomplexes. These observations illustrate the possibility for diffusion of proteins and smaller molecules within these densely packed membranes.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2011; 286(45):39164-71. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In many natural habitats, growth of cyanobacteria may be limited by a low concentration of iron. Cyanobacteria respond to this condition by expressing a number of iron-stress-inducible genes, of which the isiA gene encodes a chlorophyll-binding protein known as IsiA or CP43'. IsiA monomers assemble into ring-shaped polymers that encircle trimeric or monomeric photosystem I (PSI), or are present in supercomplexes without PSI, in particular upon prolonged iron starvation. In this report, we present steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence measurements of isolated IsiA aggregates that have been purified from an iron-starved psaFJ-minus mutant of Synechocystis PCC 6803. We show that these aggregates have a fluorescence quantum yield of approximately 2% compared to that of chlorophyll a in acetone, and that the dominating fluorescence lifetimes are 66 and 210 ps, more than 1 order of magnitude shorter than that of free chlorophyll a. Comparison of the temperature dependence of the fluorescence yields and spectra of the isolated aggregates and of the cells from which they were obtained suggests that these aggregates occur naturally in the iron-starved cells. We suggest that IsiA aggregates protect cyanobacterial cells against the deleterious effects of light.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have investigated the structure of the higher plant light harvesting complex of photosystem I (LHCI) by analyzing PSI-LHCI particles isolated from a set of Arabidopsis plant lines, each lacking a specific Lhca (Lhca1-4) polypeptide. Functional antenna size measurements support the recent finding that there are four Lhca proteins per PSI in the crystal structure [Ben-Shem, A., Frolow, F., and Nelson, N. (2003) Nature 426, 630-635]. According to HPLC analyses the number of pigment molecules bound within the LHCI is higher than expected from reconstitution studies or analyses of isolated native LHCI. Comparison of the spectra of the particles from the different lines reveals chlorophyll absorption bands peaking at 696, 688, 665, and 655 nm that are not present in isolated PSI or LHCI. These bands presumably originate from "gap" or "linker" pigments that are cooperatively coordinated by the Lhca and/or PSI proteins, which we have tentatively localized in the PSI-LHCI complex.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A highly purified cytochrome b(6)f complex from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 selectively binds one chlorophyll a and one carotenoid in analogy to the recent published structure from two other b(6)f complexes. The unknown function of these pigments was elucidated by spectroscopy and site-directed mutagenesis. Low-temperature redox difference spectroscopy showed red shifts in the chlorophyll and carotenoid spectra upon reduction of cytochrome b(6), which indicates coupling of these pigments with the heme groups and thereby with the electron transport. This is supported by the correlated kinetics of these redox reactions and also by the distinct orientation of the chlorophyll molecule with respect to the heme cofactors as shown by linear dichroism spectroscopy. The specific role of the carotenoid echinenone for the cytochrome b(6)f complex of Synechocystis 6803 was elucidated by a mutant lacking the last step of echinenone biosynthesis. The isolated mutant complex preferentially contained a carotenoid with 0, 1 or 2 hydroxyl groups (most likely 9-cis isomers of beta-carotene, a monohydroxy carotenoid and zeaxanthin, respectively) instead. This indicates a substantial role of the carotenoid - possibly for strucure and assembly - and a specificity of its binding site which is different from those in most other oxygenic photosynthetic organisms. In summary, both pigments are probably involved in the structure, but may also contribute to the dynamics of the cytochrome b(6)f complex.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Due to the low solubility of iron, cyanobacteria need to have adaptation mechanisms of their photosynthetic apparatus. IsiA (iron-stress-inducible protein A) has been found as a ring of 18 subunits surrounding PSI trimers under limited stress conditions (Boekema et al., Nature 2001, Bibby et al., Nature 2001). Under prolonged iron deficiency, aggregates of many IsiA subunits are synthesized, some of them not associated with PSI (Yeremenko et al. Biochemistry 2004). We purified IsiA aggregates in the absence of PSI, and found that they contain chlorophyll a, ß-carotene and zeaxanthin. The IsiA aggregates show an extraordinary temperature dependence of the fluorescence emission yield at 687 nm, which was also observed in the membranes from which the aggregates were extracted. At room temperature, the fluorescence quantum yield of IsiA aggregates is much smaller than that of monomeric chlorophyll a in acetone. Time-resolved fluorescence experiments revealed a main lifetime for IsiA aggregates in the hundreds of pico-seconds time range. These results suggest that IsiA aggregates are directly involved in non-photochemical quenching and confirm the photoprotection ability of IsiA under stress conditions.
Journal of Organic Chemistry - J ORG CHEM. 01/2005;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied the aggregation state of Photosystem II in stacked and unstacked thylakoid membranes from spinach after a quick and mild solubilization with the non-ionic detergent n-dodecyl-alpha,D-maltoside, followed by analysis by diode-array-assisted gel filtration chromatography and electron microscopy. The results suggest that Photosystem II (PS II) isolates either as a paired, appressed membrane fragment or as a dimeric PS II-LHC II supercomplex upon mild solubilization of stacked thylakoid membranes or PS II grana membranes, but predominantly as a core monomer upon mild solubilization of unstacked thylakoid membranes. Analysis of paired grana membrane fragments reveals that the number of PS II dimers is strongly reduced in single membranes at the margins of the grana membrane fragments. We suggest that unstacking of thylakoid membranes results in a spontaneous disintegration of the PS II-LHC II supercomplexes into separated PS II core monomers and peripheral light-harvesting complexes.
Photosynthesis Research 02/2002; 72(2):203-10. · 3.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The organization of Arabidopsis thaliana photosystem II (PSII) and its associated light-harvesting antenna (LHCII) was studied in isolated PSII-LHCII supercomplexes and native membrane-bound crystals by transmission electron microscopy and image analysis. Over 4000 single-particle projections of PSII-LHCII supercomplexes were analyzed. In comparison to spinach supercomplexes [Boekema, E.J., van Roon, H., van Breemen, J.F.L. & Dekker, J.P. (1999) Eur. J. Biochem. 266, 444-452] some striking differences were revealed: a much larger number of supercomplexes from Arabidopsis contain copies of M-type LHCII trimers. M-type trimers can also bind in the absence of the more common S-type trimers. No binding of l-type trimers could be detected. Analysis of native membrane-bound PSII crystals revealed a novel type of crystal with a unit cell of 25.6 x 21.4 nm (angle 77 degrees ), which is larger than any of the PSII lattices observed before. The data show that the unit cell is built up from C2S2M2 supercomplexes, rather than from C2S2M supercomplexes observed in native membrane crystals from spinach [Boekema, E.J., Van Breemen, J.F.L., Van Roon, H. & Dekker, J.P. (2000) J. Mol. Biol. 301, 1123-1133]. It is concluded from both the single particle analysis and the crystal analysis that the M-type trimers bind more strongly to PSII core complexes in Arabidopsis than in spinach.
European Journal of Biochemistry 12/2001; 268(23):6020-8. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a structural characterization by electron microscopy of green plant photosystem I solubilized by the mild detergent n-dodecyl-alpha-D-maltoside. It is shown by immunoblotting that the isolated complexes contain all photosystem I core proteins and all peripheral light-harvesting proteins. The electron microscopic analysis is based on a large data set of 14 000 negatively stained single-particle projections and reveals that most of the complexes are oval-shaped monomers. The monomers have a tendency to associate into artificial dimers, trimers, and tetramers in which the monomers are oppositely oriented. Classification of the dimeric complexes suggests that some of the monomers lack a part of the peripheral antenna. On the basis of a comparison with projections from trimeric photosystem I complexes from cyanobacteria, we conclude that light-harvesting complex I only binds to the core complex at the side of the photosystem I F/J subunits and does not cause structural hindrances for the type of trimerization observed in cyanobacterial photosystem I.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Photosystem II is a multisubunit pigment-protein complex embedded in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts. It consists of a large number of intrinsic membrane proteins involved in light-harvesting and electron-transfer processes and of a number of extrinsic proteins required to stabilize photosynthetic oxygen evolution. We studied the structure of dimeric supercomplexes of photosystem II and its associated light-harvesting antenna by electron microscopy and single-particle image analysis. Comparison of averaged projections from native complexes and complexes without extrinsic polypeptides indicates that the removal of 17 and 23 kDa extrinsic subunits induces a shift of about 1.2 nm in the position of the monomeric peripheral antenna protein CP29 toward the central part of the supercomplex. Removal of the 33 kDa extrinsic protein induces an inward shift of the strongly bound trimeric light-harvesting complex II (S-LHCII) of about 0.9 nm, and in addition destabilizes the monomer-monomer interactions in the central core dimer, leading to structural rearrangements of the core monomers. It is concluded that the extrinsic subunits keep the S-LHCII and CP29 subunits in proper positions at some distance from the central part of the photosystem II core dimer to ensure a directed transfer of excitation energy through the monomeric peripheral antenna proteins CP26 and CP29 and/or to maintain sequestered domains of inorganic cofactors required for oxygen evolution.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The chloroplast thylakoid membrane of green plants is organized in stacked grana membranes and unstacked stroma membranes. We investigated the structural organization of Photosystem II (PSII) in paired grana membrane fragments by transmission electron microscopy. The membrane fragments were obtained by a short treatment of thylakoid membranes with the mild detergent n-dodecyl-alpha, d-maltoside and are thought to reflect the grana membranes in a native state. The membranes frequently show crystalline macrodomains in which PSII is organized in rows spaced by either 26.3 nm (large-spaced crystals) or 23 nm (small-spaced crystals). The small-spaced crystals are less common but better ordered. Image analysis of the crystals by an aperiodic approach revealed the precise positions of the core parts of PSII in the lattices, as well as features of the peripheral light-harvesting antenna. Together, they indicate that the so-called C(2)S(2) and C(2)S(2)M supercomplexes form the basic motifs of the small-spaced and large-spaced crystals, respectively. An analysis of a pair of membranes with a well-ordered large-spaced crystal reveals that many PSII complexes in one layer face only light-harvesting complexes (LHCII) in the other layer. The implications of this type of organization for the efficient transfer of excitation energy from LHCII to PSII and for the stacking of grana membranes are discussed.
Journal of Molecular Biology 10/2000; 301(5):1123-33. · 3.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an extended analysis of the organization of green plant photosystem II and its associated light-harvesting antenna using electron microscopy and image analysis. The analysis is based on a large dataset of 16 600 projections of negatively stained PSII-LHCII supercomplexes and megacomplexes prepared by means of three different pretreatments. In addition to our previous work on this system [Boekema, E.J., van Roon, H., Calkoen, F., Bassi, R. and Dekker, J.P. (1999) Biochemistry 38, 2233-2239], the following results were obtained. The rotational orientation of trimeric LHCII at the S, M and L binding positions was determined. It was found that compared to the S trimer, the M and L trimers are rotationally shifted by about -20 degrees and -50 degrees, respectively. The number of projections with empty CP29, CP26 and CP24 binding sites was found to be about 0, 18 and 4%, respectively. We suggest that CP26 and CP24 are not required for the binding of trimeric LHCII at any of the three binding positions. A new type of megacomplex was observed with a characteristic windmill-like shape. This type III megacomplex consists of two C2S2 supercomplexes connected at their CP26 tips. Structural variation in the region of the central dimeric photosystem II complex was found to occur at one specific position near the periphery of the complex. We attribute this variation to the partial absence of an extrinsic polypeptide or one or more small intrinsic membrane proteins.
European Journal of Biochemistry 01/2000; 266(2):444-52. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an extended analysis of the organization of green plant photosystem II and its associated light-harvesting antenna using electron microscopy and image analysis. The analysis is based on a large dataset of 16 600 projections of negatively stained PSII–LHCII supercomplexes and megacomplexes prepared by means of three different pretreatments. In addition to our previous work on this system [Boekema, E.J., van Roon, H., Calkoen, F., Bassi, R. and Dekker, J.P. (1999) Biochemistry38, 2233–2239], the following results were obtained.The rotational orientation of trimeric LHCII at the S, M and L binding positions was determined. It was found that compared to the S trimer, the M and L trimers are rotationally shifted by about −20° and −50°, respectively.The number of projections with empty CP29, CP26 and CP24 binding sites was found to be about 0, 18 and 4%, respectively. We suggest that CP26 and CP24 are not required for the binding of trimeric LHCII at any of the three binding positions.A new type of megacomplex was observed with a characteristic windmill-like shape. This type III megacomplex consists of two C2S2 supercomplexes connected at their CP26 tips.Structural variation in the region of the central dimeric photosystem II complex was found to occur at one specific position near the periphery of the complex. We attribute this variation to the partial absence of an extrinsic polypeptide or one or more small intrinsic membrane proteins.
European Journal of Biochemistry. 11/1999; 266(2):444 - 452.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a structural characterization by electron microscopy and image analysis of a supramolecular complex consisting of seven trimeric light-harvesting complex II proteins. The complex was readily observed in partially-solubilized Tris-washed photosystem II membranes from spinach but was also found to occur, with a low frequency, in oxygen-evolving photosystem II membranes. The structure reveals six peripheral trimers with the same rotational orientation and a central trimer with the opposite orientation. We conclude that the heptamer represents a naturally occurring aggregation state of part of the light-harvesting complex II trimers in the thylakoid membranes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Photosystem II is a multisubunit pigment-protein complex embedded in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts. It utilizes light for photochemical energy conversion, and is heavily involved in the regulation of the energy flow. We investigated the structural organization of photosystem II and its associated light-harvesting antenna by electron microscopy, multivariate statistical analysis, and classification procedures on partially solubilized photosystem II membranes from spinach. Observation by electron microscopy shortly after a mild disruption of freshly prepared membranes with the detergent n-dodecyl-alpha,D-maltoside revealed the presence of several large supramolecular complexes. In addition to the previously reported supercomplexes [Boekema, E. J., van Roon, H., and Dekker, J. P. (1998) FEBS Lett. 424, 95-99], we observed complexes with the major trimeric chlorophyll a/b protein (LHCII) in a third, L-type of binding position (C2S2M0-2L1-2), and two different types of megacomplexes, both identified as dimeric associations of supercomplexes with LHCII in two types of binding sites (C4S4M2-4). We conclude that the association of photosystem II and its associated light-harvesting antenna is intrinsically heterogeneous, and that the minor CP26 and CP24 proteins play a crucial role in the supramolecular organization of the complete photosystem. We suggest that different types of organization form the structural basis for photosystem II to specifically react to changing light and stress conditions, by providing different routes of excitation energy transfer.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we report the structural characterization of photosystem II complexes obtained from partially solubilized photosystem II membranes. Direct observation by electron microscopy, within a few minutes after a mild disruption of the membranes with the detergent n-dodecyl-alpha,D-maltoside, revealed the presence of several large supramolecular complexes. Images of these complexes were subjected to multivariate statistical analysis and classification procedures, resolving a new complex consisting of the previously characterized dimeric supercomplex of photosystem II and light-harvesting complex II [Boekema et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 92 (1995) 175-179] and two additional, symmetrically organized protein masses each containing a second type of trimeric light-harvesting II complex. We conclude that large and labile integral membrane proteins, such as photosystem II, can be quickly structurally characterized without extensive purification.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pigment composition of the isolated photosystem II reaction center complex in its most stable and pure form currently is a matter of considerable debate. In this contribution, we present a new method based on a combination of gel filtration chromatography and diode array detection to analyze the composition of photosystem II reaction center preparations. We show that the method is very sensitive for the detection of contaminants such as the core antenna protein CP47, pigment-free and denatured reaction center proteins, and unbound chlorophyll and pheophytin molecules. We also present a method by which the photosystem II reaction center complex is highly purified without using Triton X-100, and we show that in this preparation the contamination with CP47 is less than 0.1%. The results strongly indicate that the photosystem II reaction center complex in its most stable and pure form binds six chlorophyll a, two pheophytin a, and two beta-carotene molecules and that the main effect of Triton X-100 is the extraction of beta-carotene from the complex. Analysis of 4 K absorption and emission spectra indicates that the spectroscopic properties of this preparation are similar to those obtained by a short Triton X-100 treatment. In contrast, preparations obtained by long Triton X-100 treatment show decreased absorption of the shoulder at 684 nm in the 4 K absorption spectrum and an increased number of pigments that trap excitation energy at very low temperatures. We conclude that the 684 nm shoulder in the 4 K absorption spectrum should at least in part be attributed to the primary electron donor of photosystem II.