Statistical considerations on the formation of circular photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes from Rhodopseudomonas palustris
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Depending on growth conditions, some species of purple photosynthetic bacteria contain peripheral light-harvesting (LH2) complexes that are heterogeneous owing to the presence of different protomers (containing different αβ-apoproteins). Recent spectroscopic studies of Rhodopseudomonas palustris grown under low-light conditions suggest the presence of a C3-symmetric LH2 nonamer comprised of two distinct protomers. The software program Cyclaplex, which enables generation and data-mining of virtual libraries of molecular rings formed upon combinatorial reactions, has been used to delineate the possible number and type of distinct nonamers as a function of numbers of distinct protomers. The yield of the C3-symmetric nonamer from two protomers (A and B in varying ratios) has been studied under the following conditions: (1) statistical, (2) enriched (preclusion of the B-B sequence), and (3) seeded (pre-formation of an A-B-A block). The yield of C3-symmetric nonamer is at most 0.98 % under statistical conditions versus 5.6 % under enriched conditions, and can be dominant under conditions of pre-seeding with an A-B-A block. In summary, the formation of any one specific nonamer even from only two protomers is unlikely on statistical grounds but must stem from enhanced free energy of formation or a directed assembly process by as-yet unknown factors.
KeywordsBacterial photosynthesis Light-harvesting Heterogeneous Oligomer Diversity Simulation Self-assembly
Light-harvesting complex 2
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