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Nature. 1994 Feb 17;367(6464):614-21.

Atomic model of plant light-harvesting complex by electron crystallography.

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  • 1European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Germany.


The structure of the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-protein complex, an integral membrane protein, has been determined at 3.4 A resolution by electron crystallography of two-dimensional crystals. Two of the three membrane-spanning alpha-helices are held together by ion pairs formed by charged residues that also serve as chlorophyll ligands. In the centre of the complex, chlorophyll a is in close contact with chlorophyll b for rapid energy transfer, and with two carotenoids that prevent the formation of toxic singlet oxygen.

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