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Eur J Biochem. 1993 Mar 1;212(2):297-303.

Carotenoid-binding proteins of photosystem II.

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Dipartimento di Biologia, Università di Padova, Italy.


The distribution of the photosynthetic pigments of the chlorophyll-binding proteins or photosystem-II membranes, isolated from dark-adapted maize leaves was determined. Most (80%) of a xanthophyll, violaxanthin, was found in the three minor chlorophyll-a/b proteins CP24, CP26 and CP29 whose function is unknown. Violaxanthin is the precursor of zeaxanthin, which is involved in dissipating excess excitation energy into heat [Demmig-Adams, B. (1991) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1020, 1-24] under conditions of high transmembrane pH gradient [Gilmore, A. M. & Yamamoto, H. Y. (1992) Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 89, 1899-1903]. We propose that a role for the minor photosystem-II chlorophyll-a/b proteins is the regulation of energy transfer to the reaction centre. It was also confirmed that the photosystem II reaction centre (D1-D2-cytochrome b559) contains beta-carotene as the only carotenoid. However, the two other chlorophyll-a-binding proteins of photosystem II, CP47 and CP43, bind not only beta-carotene, but also the xanthophyll lutein, previously thought to be restricted to chlorophyll-a/b proteins.

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