Main content area

The structure of FCPb, a light-harvesting complex in the diatom Cyclotella meneghiniana

Röding, Anja, Boekema, Egbert, Büchel, Claudia
Photosynthesis research 2018 v.135 no.1-3 pp. 203-211
Bacillariophyceae, Cyclotella meneghiniana, carotenoids, chlorophyll, chlorophyll binding proteins, electron microscopy, moieties, polypeptides, sequence homology
Diatoms possess fucoxanthin chlorophyll proteins (FCP) as light-harvesting systems. These membrane intrinsic proteins bind fucoxanthin as major carotenoid and Chl c as accessory chlorophyll. The relatively high sequence homology to higher plant light-harvesting complex II gave rise to the assumption of a similar overall structure. From centric diatoms like Cyclotella meneghiniana, however, two major FCP complexes can be isolated. FCPa, composed of Fcp2 and Fcp6 subunits, was demonstrated to be trimeric, whereas FCPb, known to contain Fcp5 polypeptides, is of higher oligomeric state. No molecular structure of either complex is available so far. Here we used electron microscopy and single particle analysis to elucidate the overall architecture of FCPb. The complexes are built from trimers as basic unit, assembling into nonameric moieties. The trimer itself is smaller, i.e. more compact than LHCII, but the main structural features are conserved.