EPR, ENDOR, and Special TRIPLE measurements of P•+ in wild type and modified reaction centers from Rb. sphaeroides

James Allen, J. M. Cordova, C. C. Jolley, T. A. Murray, J. W. Schneider, Neal Woodbury, Joann Williams, J. Niklas, G. Klihm, M. Reus, W. Lubitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The influence of the protein environment on the primary electron donor, P, a bacteriochlorophyll a dimer, of reaction centers from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, has been investigated using electron paramagnetic resonance and electron nuclear double resonance spectroscopy. These techniques were used to probe the effects on P that are due to alteration of three amino acid residues, His L168, Asn L170, and Asn M199. The introduction of Glu at L168, Asp at L170, or Asp at M199 changes the oxidation/reduction midpoint potential of P in a pH-dependent manner (Williams et al. (2001) Biochemistry 40, 15403-15407). For the double mutant His L168 to Glu and Asn at L170 to Asp, excitation results in electron transfer along the A-side branch of cofactors at pH 7.2, but at pH 9.5, a long-lived state involving B-side cofactors is produced (Haffa et al. (2004) J Phys Chem B 108, 4-7). Using electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, the mutants with alterations of each of the three individual residues and a double mutant, with changes at L168 and L170, were found to have increased linewidths of 10.1-11.0 G compared to the linewidth of 9.6 G for wild type. The Special TRIPLE spectra were pH dependent, and at pH 8, the introduction of aspartate at L170 increased the spin density ratio, ρ LM, to 6.1 while an aspartate at the symmetry related position, M199, decreased the ratio to 0.7 compared to the value of 2.1 for wild type. These results indicate that the energy of the two halves of P changes by about 100 meV due to the mutations and are consistent with the interpretation that electrostatic interactions involving these amino acid residues contribute to the switch in pathway of electron transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Bacteriochlorophyll
  • Electron paramagnetic resonance
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Oxidized bacteriochlorophyll dimer
  • Purple bacteria
  • Reaction centers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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