Spin-labeled photosynthetic reaction centers fromRhodobacter sphaeroides studied by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations
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A new strategy has been applied that combines molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to study the structure and conformational dynamics of the spin-labeled photosynthetic reaction center (RC) ofRhodobacter sphaeroides. This protein serves here as a model system to demonstrate the applicability of this new methodology. The RC contains five native cysteines and EPR experiments show that only one cysteine, located on the H subunit, is accessible for spin labeling. The EPR spectra calculated from MD simulation trajectories of spin labels bound to the native cysteines C156 and C234 in subunit H reveal that only the spin label side chain at position 156 provides a spectrum which agrees with the experimental EPR spectrum.