In purple photosynthetic bacteria the initial steps of light energy transduction take place in an RC–LH1 complex formed by the photochemical reaction centre (RC) and the LH1 light harvesting pigment-protein. In Rhodobacter sphaeroides, the RC–LH1 complex assembles in a dimeric form in which two RCs are surrounded by an S-shaped LH1 antenna. There is currently debate over the detailed architecture of this dimeric RC–LH1 complex, with particular emphasis on the location and precise function of a minor polypeptide component termed PufX. It has been hypothesised that the membrane-spanning helical region of PufX contains a GxxxG dimerisation motif that facilitates the formation of a dimer of PufX at the interface of the RC–LH1 dimer, and more specifically that the formation of this PufX dimer seeds assembly of the remaining RC–LH1 dimer (J. Busselez et al., 2007). In the present work this hypothesis was tested by site directed mutagenesis of the glycine residues proposed to form the GxxxG motif. Mutation of these glycines to leucine did not decrease the propensity of the RC–LH1 complex to assemble in a dimeric form, as would be expected from experimental studies of the effect of mutation on GxxxG motifs in other membrane proteins. Indeed increased yields of dimer were seen in two of the glycine-to-leucine mutants constructed. It is concluded that the PufX from Rhodobacter sphaeroides does not contain a genuine GxxxG helix dimerisation motif.
|Translated title of the contribution||Dimerisation of the Rhodobacter sphaeroides RC-LH1 photosynthetic complex is not facilitated by a GxxxG motif in the PufX polypeptide|
|Pages (from-to)||1812 - 1819|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Bioenergetics|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2010|