Structure of a symmetric photosynthetic reaction center-photosystem

Christopher Gisriel, Iosifina Sarrou, Bryan Ferlez, John H. Golbeck, Kevin Edward Redding, Raimund Fromme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Citations (Scopus)


Reaction centers are pigment-protein complexes that drive photosynthesis by converting light into chemical energy. It is believed that they arose once froma homodimeric protein. The symmetry of a homodimer is broken in heterodimeric reaction-center structures, such as those reported previously. The 2.2-angstrom resolution x-ray structure of the homodimeric reaction center-photosystem from the phototroph Heliobacterium modesticaldum exhibits perfect C2 symmetry. The core polypeptide dimer and two small subunits coordinate 54 bacteriochlorophylls and 2 carotenoids that capture and transfer energy to the electron transfer chain at the center, which performs charge separation and consists of 6 (bacterio)chlorophylls and an iron-sulfur cluster; unlike other reaction centers, it lacks a bound quinone. This structure preserves characteristics of the ancestral reaction center, providing insight into the evolution of photosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1025
Number of pages5
Issue number6355
Publication statusPublished - Sep 8 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Structure of a symmetric photosynthetic reaction center-photosystem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Gisriel, C., Sarrou, I., Ferlez, B., Golbeck, J. H., Redding, K. E., & Fromme, R. (2017). Structure of a symmetric photosynthetic reaction center-photosystem. Science, 357(6355), 1021-1025.