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Photosynth Res. 2009 Mar;99(3):185-93. doi: 10.1007/s11120-008-9388-9. Epub 2008 Nov 25.

Effect of monogalactosyldiacylglycerol on the interaction between photosystem II core complex and its antenna complexes in liposomes of thylakoid lipids.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Photosynthesis and Environmental Molecular Physiology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 20 Nanxincun, Beijing, 100093, China.


The non-bilayer lipid monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) is the most abundant type of lipid in the thylakoid membrane and plays an important role in regulating the structure and function of photosynthetic membrane proteins. In this study, we have reconstituted the isolated major light-harvesting complexes of photosystem II (PSII) (LHCIIb) and a preparation consisting of PSII core complexes and minor LHCII of PSII (PSIICC) into liposomes that consisted of digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol (SQDG) and phosphatidylglycerol (PG), with or without MGDG. Transmission electron microscopy and freeze-fracture studies showed unilamellar proteoliposomes, and demonstrated that most of the MGDG is incorporated into bilayer structures. The impact of MGDG on the functional interaction between LHCIIb and PSIICC was investigated by low temperature (77 K) fluorescence emission spectra and the photochemical activity of PSII. The additional incorporation of LHCIIb into liposomes containing PSIICC markedly increased oxygen evolution of PSIICC. Excitation at 480 nm of chlorophyll (Chl) b in LHCIIb stimulated a characteristic fluorescence emission of the Chl a in PSII (684.2 nm), rather than that of the Chl a in LHCIIb (680 nm) in the LHCIIb-PSIICC proteoliposomes, which indicated that the energy was transferred from LHCIIb to PSIICC in liposome membranes. Increasing the percentage of MGDG in the PSIICC-LHCIIb proteoliposomes enhanced the photochemical activity of PSII, due to a more efficient energy transfer from LHCIIb to PSIICC and, thus, an enlarged antenna cross section of PSII.

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