Species-specific differences of the spectroscopic properties of P700: Analysis of the influence of non-conserved amino acid residues by site-directed mutagenesis of photosystem I from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii

Heike Witt, Enrica Bordignon, Donatella Carbonera, Jan P. Dekker, Navassard Karapetyan, Christian Teutloff, Andrew Webber, Wolfgang Lubitz, Eberhard Schlodder

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We applied optical spectroscopy, magnetic resonance techniques, and redox titrations to investigate the properties of the primary electron donor P700 in photosystem I (PS I) core complexes from cyanobacteria (Thermosynechococcus elongatus, Spirulina platensis, and Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803), algae (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii CC2696), and higher plants (Spinacia oleracea). Remarkable species-specific differences of the optical properties of P700 were revealed monitoring the (3P700-P700) and (P700+-P700) absorbance and CD difference spectra. The main bleaching band in the Q y region differs in peak position and line width for the various species. In cyanobacteria the absorbance of P700 extends more to the red compared with algae and higher plants which is favorable for energy transfer from red core antenna chlorophylls to P700 in cyanobacteria. The amino acids in the environment of P700 are highly conserved with two distinct deviations. In C. reinhardtii a Tyr is found at position PsaB659 instead of a Trp present in all other organisms, whereas in Synechocystis a Phe is found instead of a Trp at the homologous position PsaA679. We constructed several mutants in C. reinhardtii CC2696. Strikingly, no PS I could be detected in the mutant YW B659 indicating steric constraints unique to this organism. In the mutants WA A679 and YA B659 significant changes of the spectral features in the ( 3P700-P700), the (P700+-P700) absorbance difference and in the (P700+-P700) CD difference spectra are induced. The results indicate structural differences among PS I from higher plants, algae, and cyanobacteria and give further insight into specific protein-cofactor interactions contributing to the optical spectra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46760-46771
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 21 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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