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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2001 Oct 30;1507(1-3):5-31.

Structure of photosystem I.

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Max Volmer Laboratorium für Biophysikalische Chemie Institut für Chemie, Technische Universität Berlin, Germany.


In plants and cyanobacteria, the primary step in oxygenic photosynthesis, the light induced charge separation, is driven by two large membrane intrinsic protein complexes, the photosystems I and II. Photosystem I catalyses the light driven electron transfer from plastocyanin/cytochrome c(6) on the lumenal side of the membrane to ferredoxin/flavodoxin at the stromal side by a chain of electron carriers. Photosystem I of Synechococcus elongatus consists of 12 protein subunits, 96 chlorophyll a molecules, 22 carotenoids, three [4Fe4S] clusters and two phylloquinones. Furthermore, it has been discovered that four lipids are intrinsic components of photosystem I. Photosystem I exists as a trimer in the native membrane with a molecular mass of 1068 kDa for the whole complex. The X-ray structure of photosystem I at a resolution of 2.5 A shows the location of the individual subunits and cofactors and provides new information on the protein-cofactor interactions. [P. Jordan, P. Fromme, H.T. Witt, O. Klukas, W. Saenger, N. Krauss, Nature 411 (2001) 909-917]. In this review, biochemical data and results of biophysical investigations are discussed with respect to the X-ray crystallographic structure in order to give an overview of the structure and function of this large membrane protein.

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