Light-harvesting complexes from purple sulfur bacteria Allochromatium minutissimum assembled without carotenoids
Effect of carotenoid (Car) biosynthesis inhibitor diphenylamine (DPA) on purple sulfur bacteria Allochromatium (Alc) minutissimum cell growth has been investigated. Cell growth in the presence of maximum concentration of DPA results in practically complete suppression (∼99%) of carotenoids (Cars) according to the spectrophotometric, HPLC and CD data. Phytoene does not replace the colored carotenoids in these cells. Also Phytoene does not accumulate in large amounts in the cells treated with DPA. A new method for calculating the content of Cars in the complexes from the cells with inhibited Car synthesis including the number of empty Car’s “pockets” has been used. Our results together with published data devoted to DPA action on the cell growth of purple bacteria revealed that Phytoene was not accumulated in the cells treated with DPA. We have concluded that (i) DPA completely inhibits or strongly reduces synthesis of the colored Cars in the cells of purple bacteria, (ii) Phytoene is the main one among the trace amounts of the other Cars in the case of significant inhibition of Car biosynthesis (80–90% or higher).The amount of the LH2 complexes presented in the membranes of Alc minutissimum was found to be little dependent on DPA. From DPA-grown cultures it was possible to isolate Car-less both the LH1 (as LH1–RC complex) and the LH2 complexes. Electronic absorption properties of BChl’s were very similar to those isolated from the control cells. It is shown by HPLC data that the 100 LH2 complexes from cells of Alc minutissimum, in which the synthesis of Car was depressed, contained ∼9 Car molecules and 5 Phytoene molecules. Thus, only nine (with 1 Car molecule per a complex) or less (if more than one Car molecule per a complex) of the 100 LH2 complexes contain molecules of Cars. It means that 90 or more LH2 complexes from each 100 ones are assembled without any Cars. This is in strong contrast with the previous results obtained with purple non-sulfur bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides, where the amount of LH2 presented in the membrane was directly correlated to the amount of the carotenoids synthesized (H.P. Lang, C.N. Hunter, The relationship between carotenoid biosynthesis and the assembly of the light harvesting LH2 complex in Rhodobacter sphaeroides, Biochem. J. 298 (1994) 197–205). Our results show that although the presence of Car molecules is important for the stability of the LH2 complexes the overall native structure can be maintained without any Cars at least in the case of purple sulfur bacteria.
► The LH2 complexes structure can be maintained without any carotenoids. ► Phytoene does not replace carotenoids in cells treated with diphenylamine. ► Phytoene does not accumulate in large amounts in these cells. ► Method for calculating of the carotenoids content including the empty Car’s “pockets” was used.
Journal: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology - Volume 108, 1 March 2012, Pages 1–7