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Eur J Biochem. 1991 Jul 15;199(2):317-23.

Membrane-bound cytochromes in Chloroflexus aurantiacus studied by EPR.

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Départment de Biologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire, CE Saclay, Gif sur Yvette, France.


The heme components of chlorosome-depleted membranes of the green-gliding bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus were studied by EPR spectroscopy. The four major species, which are present in approximately equimolar quantities, are characterized by the following gz values, redox midpoint potentials and orientations of heme planes with respect to the plane of the membrane: gz = 3.40, Em = +280 mV, 30 degrees; gz = 3.33, Em = 0 mV, 45 degrees; gz = 3.03, Em = +95 mV, 40-50 degrees and gz = 2.95, Em = +150 mV, 90 degrees. These four hemes were attributed to cytochrome c554, the membrane-bound immediate electron donor to the photosynthetic reaction centre in Chloroflexus. All hemes except that with the highest potential were able to undergo photooxidation at 4 K. The photooxidation of the lowest potential heme was stable, whereas that of the +95 mV and the +150 mV hemes reversed on increasing the temperature to 100 K in darkness, due to charge recombination. The ability to photooxidize these hemes at 4 K was lost upon aging of samples. The results demonstrate that a reaction-centre-associated tetraheme cytochrome subunit, analogous to that of purple bacteria, is also present in C. aurantiacus.

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