The spectroscopic and photochemical properties of locked-15,15'-cis-spheroidene in solution and incorporated into the reaction center of rhodobacter sphaeroides r-26.1

James A. Bautista, Veeradej Chynwat, Agnes Cua, Frans Jos Jansen, Johan Lugtenburg, David Gosztola, Michael R. Wasielewski, Harry A. Frank

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The spectroscopic and photochemical properties of the synthetic carotenoid, locked-15,15'-cis-spheroidene, were studied by absorption, fluorescence, circular dichroism, fast transient absorption and electron spin resonance spectroscopies in solution and after incorporation into the reaction center of Rhodobacter (Rb.) sphaeroides R-26.1. HPLC purification of the synthetic molecule reveals the presence of several di-cis geometric isomers in addition to the mono-cis isomer of locked-15,15'-cis-spheroidene. In solution, the absorption spectrum of the purified mono-cis sample was red-shifted and showed a large cis-peak at 351 nm compared to unlocked all-trans spheroidene. Molecular modeling and semi-empirical calculations reveal how geometric isomerization and structural factors affect the room temperature spectra. The spectroscopic studies of the purified locked-15,15'-mono-cis molecule in solution reveal a more stable manifold of excited states compared to the unlocked spheroidene. Reaction centers of Rb. sphaeroides R-26.1 in which the locked-15,15'-cis-spheroidene was incorporated show no difference in either the spectroscopic properties or photochemistry compared to reaction centers in which unlocked spheroidene was incorporated or to Rb. sphaeroides wild type strain 2.4.1 reaction centers which naturally contain spheroidene. The data suggest that the natural selection of a cis-isomer of spheroidene for incorporation into native reaction centers of Rb. sphaeroides wild type strain 2.4.1 is more determined by the structure or assembly of the reaction center protein than by any special quality of the cis-isomer of the carotenoid that would affect its ability to participate in triplet energy transfer or carry out photoprotection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-65
Number of pages17
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1998



  • Carotenoid
  • Electron spin resonance
  • Energy transfer
  • Geometric isomerization
  • Optical spectroscopy
  • Photoprotection
  • Triplet state

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

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