It has become increasingly clear that dynamics plays a major role in the function of many protein systems. One system that has proven particularly facile for studying the effects of dynamics on protein-mediated chemistry is the bacterial photosynthetic reaction center from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Previous experimental and computational analysis have suggested that the dynamics of the protein matrix surrounding the primary quinone acceptor, QA, may be particularly important in electron transfer involving this cofactor. One can substantially increase the flexibility of this region by removing one of the reaction center subunits, the H-subunit. Even with this large change in structure, photoinduced electron transfer to the quinone still takes place. To evaluate the effect of H-subunit removal on electron transfer to QA, we have compared the kinetics of electron transfer and associated spectral evolution for the LM dimer with that of the intact reaction center complex on picosecond to millisecond time scales. The transient absorption spectra associated with all measured electron transfer reactions are similar, with the exception of a broadening in the QX transition and a blue-shift in the QY transition bands of the special pair of bacteriochlorophylls (P) in the LM dimer. The kinetics of the electron transfer reactions not involving quinones are unaffected. There is, however, a 4-fold decrease in the electron transfer rate from the reduced bacteriopheophytin to QA in the LM dimer compared to the intact reaction center and a similar decrease in the recombination rate of the resulting charge-separated state (P+QA-). These results are consistent with the concept that the removal of the H-subunit results in increased flexibility in the region around the quinone and an associated shift in the reorganization energy associated with charge separation and recombination.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry