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Photosynth Res. 2004;81(3):215-25.

Structure and function of the water-soluble carotenoid-binding proteins of cyanobacteria.

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Molecular Biology Institute, UCLA, Box 951570, Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1570, USA,


The orange carotenoid protein (OCP) and its derivative, the red carotenoid protein (RCP), appear to play important photoprotective roles in cyanobacteria. Structural and functional characterization is gradually elucidating the specific details of how carotenoid-protein interactions, including the role of six methionine residues oriented toward the pigment, contribute to the spectral and functional properties of these proteins.

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