Cross-species investigation of the functions of the Rhodobacter PufX polypeptide and

LI Crouch, MR Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


In well-characterised species of the Rhodobacter (Rba.) genus of purple photosynthetic bacteria it is known that the photochemical reaction centre (RC) is intimately-associated with an encircling LH1 antenna pigment protein, and this LH1 antenna is prevented from completely surrounding the RC by a single copy of the PufX protein. In Rba. veldkampii only monomeric RC–LH1 complexes are assembled in the photosynthetic membrane, whereas in Rba. sphaeroides and Rba. blasticus a dimeric form is also assembled in which two RCs are surrounded by an S-shaped LH1 antenna. The present work established that dimeric RC–LH1 complexes can also be isolated from Rba. azotoformans and Rba. changlensis, but not from Rba. capsulatus or Rba. vinaykumarii. The compositions of the monomers and dimers isolated from these four species of Rhodobacter were similar to those of the well-characterised RC–LH1 complexes present in Rba. sphaeroides. Pigment proteins were also isolated from strains of Rba. sphaeroides expressing chimeric RC–LH1 complexes. Replacement of either the Rba. sphaeroides LH1 antenna or PufX with its counterpart from Rba. capsulatus led to a loss of the dimeric form of the RC–LH1 complex, but the monomeric form had a largely unaltered composition, even in strains in which the expression level of LH1 relative to the RC was reduced. The chimeric RC–LH1 complexes were also functional, supporting bacterial growth under photosynthetic conditions. The findings help to tease apart the different functions of PufX in different species of Rhodobacter, and a specific protein structural arrangement that allows PufX to fulfil these three functions is proposed.
Translated title of the contributionCross-species investigation of the functions of the Rhodobacter PufX polypeptide and
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336 - 352
Number of pages17
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics
Volume1817 (2)
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

Bibliographical note

Other: First published on-line 3rd November 2011


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