Molecule of the Month: Photosynthetic Supercomplexes
Light is captured by huge supercomplexes of photosystems and antenna systems.
Adjusting the Antenna
Exploring the Structure
Photosystem II Supercomplex
Light-harvesting complexes are filled with light-absorbing cofactors, with just barely enough protein to hold them all together. In this image (PDB entry 5xnl), the protein chains are shown with a backbone representation to make it easier to see all the cofactors arrayed inside. Chlorophylls are shown in bright green, and other colored cofactor molecules, like lutein and beta-carotene, are shown in pink. To explore this structure in more detail, click on the image for an interactive jmol.
Topics for Further Discussion
- You can explore the structures of the many cofactors in these complexes in the "Small Molecules" section of each PDB entry page.
- Take a look at the cryoEM data for these structures at the EMDataResource--there is a link at the top of each PDB entry page.
Related PDB-101 Resources
- Browse Biology of Plants
- Browse Biological Energy
- 6kac, 6kad: Sheng, X., Watanabe, A., Li, A., Kim, E., Song, C., Murata, K., Song, D., Minagawa, J., Liu, Z. (2019) Structural insight into light harvesting for photosystem II in green algae. Nat.Plants 5: 1320-1330
- 6nwa: Toporik, H., Li, J., Williams, D., Chiu, P.L., Mazor, Y. (2019) The structure of the stress-induced photosystem I-IsiA antenna supercomplex. Nat.Struct.Mol.Biol. 26: 443-449
- 5zji: Pan, X., Ma, J., Su, X., Cao, P., Chang, W., Liu, Z., Zhang, X., Li, M. (2018) Structure of the maize photosystem I supercomplex with light-harvesting complexes I and II. Science 360: 1109-1113
- 5xnl: Su, X., Ma, J., Wei, X., Cao, P., Zhu, D., Chang, W., Liu, Z., Zhang, X., Li, M. (2017) Structure and assembly mechanism of plant C2S2M2-type PSII-LHCII supercomplex. Science 357: 815-820
- Dudkina, N.V., Folea, I.M., Boekema, E.J. (2015) Towards a structural and functional characterization of photosynthetic and mitochondrial supercomplexes. Micron 72, 39-51.
April 2020, David Goodselldoi:10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2020_4