Original paper

Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 93, Issue 1, pp 27-43

First online:

The presence of multidomain linkers determines the bundle-shape structure of the phycobilisome of the cyanobacterium Gloeobacter violaceus PCC 7421

  • David W. KrogmannAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, Purdue University
  • , Bertha Pérez-GómezAffiliated withDepartmento de Bioquímica, Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados-IPN
  • , Emma Berta Gutiérrez-CirlosAffiliated withUnidad de Biomedicina FES-Iztacala UNAM
  • , Alicia Chagolla-LópezAffiliated withCinvestav-Unidad Irapuato
  • , Luis González de la VaraAffiliated withCinvestav-Unidad Irapuato
  • , Carlos Gómez-LojeroAffiliated withDepartmento de Bioquímica, Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados-IPN Email author 

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The complete genome sequence of Gloeobacter violaceus [Nakamura et al. (2003a, b) DNA Res 10:37–45, 181–201] allows us to understand better the structure of the phycobilisomes (PBS) of this cyanobacterium. Genomic analysis revealed peculiarities in these PBS: the presence of genes for two multidomain linker proteins, a core membrane linker with four repetitive sequences (REP domains), the absence of rod core linkers, two sets of phycocyanin (PC) α and β subunits, two copies of a rod PC associated linker (CpcC), and two rod cap associated linkers (CpcD). Also, there is one ferredoxin–NADP+ oxidoreductase with only two domains. The PBS proteins were investigated by gel electrophoresis, amino acid sequencing and peptide mass fingerprinting (PMF). The two unique multidomain linkers contain three REP domains with high similarity and these were found to be in tandem and were separated by dissimilar Arms. One of these, with a mass of 81 kDa, is found in heavy PBS fragments rich in PC. We propose that it links six PC hexamers in two parallel rows in the rods. The other unique linker has a mass of 91 kDa and is easily released from the heavy fragments of PBS. We propose that this links the rods to the core. The presence of these multidomain linkers could explain the bundle shaped rods of the PBS. The presence of 4 REP domains in the core membrane linker protein (129 kDa) was established by PMF. This core linker may hold together 16 AP trimers of the pentacylindrical core, or alternatively, a tetracylindrical core of the PBS of G. violaceus.


Cyanobacterium Gloeobacter violaceus Phycobilisome Multidomain linkers