Photosynthetic reaction centers from purple bacteria exhibit an approximate twofold symmetry axis, which relates both the cofactors and the L and M subunits. For the reaction center from Rhodobacter sphaeroides, deviations from this twofold symmetry axis have been quantitated by superposing, by a 180 degrees rotation, the cofactors of the B branch onto the A branch and the M subunit onto the L subunit. An alignment of the sequences of the L and M subunits from four purple bacteria, one green bacterium, and the D1 and D2 subunits of a photosystem II-containing green alga is presented. The residues that are conserved in all six species are shown in relation to the structure of Rb. sphaeroides and their possible role in the function of the reaction center is discussed. A method is presented for characterizing the exposure of alpha-helices to the membrane based on the periodicity of conserved residues. This method may prove useful for modeling the three-dimensional structures of membrane proteins.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1988|
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