Spin Labeling of Photosynthetic Systems

  • Igor V. Borovykh
  • Heinz-Jürgen Steinhoff
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 26)

Site-directed spin labeling EPR (SDSL-EPR) spectroscopy has become a powerful method for probing the structure and conformational dynamics of proteins. The strength of the method is obvious especially for those proteins which are not amenable to the atomic-resolution techniques as multidimensional NMR spectroscopy or X-ray crystallography. SDSL-EPR can provide information on the secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of proteins at the level of the backbone fold with the extra advantage that the measurements can be performed under conditions relevant to function of proteins. Conformational changes that may accompany the function of the protein can be followed on a biologically relevant time scale. In addition, the application of SDSL-EPR is not limited by the size of the protein and large proteins and protein complexes can be studied.

In this chapter the application of SDSL-EPR to photosynthesis is described. Because of the fast development of this spectroscopic technique and due to the limited number of applications to photosynthetic systems the basics of SDSL-EPR spectroscopy will be described with references to and examples from the most recent publications where SDSL-EPR has been applied to different biological systems (Sections II–IV). Section V summarizes the application of spin labeling and SDSL-EPR to photosynthesis. The Section starts with a short historical overview and then summarizes the application of SDSL-EPR and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to probe the local structure and dynamics of the spin labeled photosynthetic reaction center protein from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Information obtained by inter-spin distance measurements shine light on details of the global structure of the reaction center protein and of the N-terminal domain of a major light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b protein from higher plants.


Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spin Label Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Photosynthetic System Reaction Center Protein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Igor V. Borovykh
    • 1
  • Heinz-Jürgen Steinhoff
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of BiophysicsWageningen UniversityNetherlands
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsUniversity of OsnabrückGermany

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