Photosystem I of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii contains nine light-harvesting complexes (Lhca) located on one side of the core

Bartlomiej Drop, Mariam Webber-Birungi, Fabrizia Fusetti, Roman Kourǐl, Kevin Redding, Egbert J. Boekema, Roberta Croce

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87 Scopus citations


In this work we have purified the Photosystem I (PSI) complex of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii to homogeneity. Biochemical, proteomic, spectroscopic, and structural analyses reveal the main properties of this PSI-LHCI supercomplex. The data show that the largest purified complex is composed of one core complex and nine Lhca antennas and that it contains all Lhca gene products. A projection map at 15 Å resolution obtained by electron microscopy reveals that the Lhcas are organized on one side of the core in a double half-ring arrangement, in contrast with previous suggestions. A series of stable disassembled PSI-LHCI intermediates was purified. The analysis of these complexes suggests the sequence of the assembly/disassembly process. It is shown that PSI-LHCI of C. reinhardtii is larger but far less stable than the complex from higher plants. Lhca2 and Lhca9 (the red-most antenna complexes), although present in the largest complex in 1:1 ratio with the core, are only loosely associated with it. This can explain the large variation in antenna composition of PSI-LHCI from C. reinhardtii found in the literature. The analysis of several subcomplexes with reduced antenna size allows determination of the position of Lhca2 and Lhca9 and leads to a proposal for a model of the organization of the Lhcas within the PSI-LHCI supercomplex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44878-44887
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 30 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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