The light-harvesting apparatus of the purple bacterial photosynthetic unit consists of a pool of peripheral light-harvesting complexes that transfer excitation energy to a reaction center (RC) via the surrounding pigment-protein complex LH1. Recent electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy studies have revealed that RC-LH1 units of Rhodobacter (Rba.) sphaeroides form membrane-bending dimeric complexes together with the polypeptide PufX. We present a structural model for these RC-LH1-PufX dimeric complexes constructed using the molecular dynamics flexible fitting method based on an EM density map. The arrangement of the LH1 BChls displays a distortion near the proposed location of the PufX polypeptide. The resulting atomic model for BChl arrays is used to compute the excitonic properties of the dimeric RC-LH1 complex. A comparison is presented between the structural and excitonic features of the S-shaped dimeric BChl array of Rba. sphaeroides and the circular BChl arrangement found in other purple bacteria.
- Membrane curvature
- Molecular dynamics/flexible fitting
- Purple bacteria
- Reaction center
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Physics and Astronomy(all)