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Biochemistry. 1994 Apr 12;33(14):4401-9.

Characterization of the chloroplast cytochrome b6f complex as a structural and functional dimer.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.


Size analysis of the cytochrome b6f complex by FPLC Superose-12 chromatography and Blue Native PAGE indicated a predominantly dimeric component with M(r) = (1.9-2.5) x 10(5). The true dimer molecular weight including bound lipid, but not detergent, was estimated to be 2.3 x 10(5). Size and shape analysis by negative-stain single-particle electron microscopy indicated that the preparation of dimeric complexes contains a major population that has a protein cross section 40% larger than the monomer, binds more negative stain, and has a geometry with a distinct 2-fold axis of symmetry compared to the monomeric complex. The dimeric species is more stable at higher ionic strength with respect to conversion to the monomeric species. SDS-PAGE of monomer and dimer preparations indicated that both contain the four major polypeptides in approximately equal stoichiometry and also contain the petG M(r) 4000 subunit. One bound chlorophyll a per monomer, part of the bound lipid, is present in monomer and dimer. The in vitro electron-transport activity (decyl-PQH2-->PC-ferricyanide) of the separated dimer was comparable to that of the isolated b6f complex and was 4-5-fold greater than that of the monomer preparation, whose activity could be attributed to residual dimer. No difference in the properties of the dimer and monomer was detected by SDS-PAGE or redox difference spectrophotometry that could account for the difference in activities. However, the concentration of the Rieske [2Fe-2S] center was found by EPR analysis of the gy = 1.90 signal to be lower in the monomer fraction by a factor of 3.5 relative to the dimer.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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