Studies of the location and function of isoprenoid quinones in chlorosomes from green sulfur bacteria

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The chlorosome antenna of the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobium tepidum essentially consists of aggregated bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) c enveloped in a glycolipid monolayer. Small amounts of protein and the isoprenoid quinones chlorobiumquinone (CK) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7) are also present. Treatment of isolated chlorosomes from Cb. tepidum with sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) did not affect the quinones, demonstrating that these are located in a site which is inaccessible to SDS, probably in the interior of the chlorosomes. About half of the quinones were removed by Triton X-100. The non-ionic character of Triton probably allowed it to extract components from within the chlorosomes. MK-10 in chlorosomes from the green filamentous bacterium Chloroflexus aurantiacus was likewise found to be located in the chlorosome interior. The excitation transfer in isolated chlorosomes from Cb. tepidum is redox-regulated. We found a ratio of BChl c fluorescenceintensity under reducing conditions (Fred) to that under oxidizing conditions (Fox) of approximately 40. The chlorosomal BChl a fluorescence was also redox-regulated. When the chlorosomal BChl c–BChl c interactions were disrupted by 1-hexanol, the BChl c Fred/Fox ratiodecreased to approximately 3. When CK and MK-7 were extracted from isolated chlorosomes with hexane, the BChl c Fred/Fox ratio also decreased to approximately 3. A BChl c Fred/Fox ratio of 3–5 was furthermore observed in aggregates of pure BChl c and in chlorosomes from Cfx. aurantiacus which do not contain CK. We therefore suggest that BChl c aggregates inherently exhibit a small redox-dependent fluorescence (Fred/Fox ≈ 3) and that the large redox-dependent fluorescence observed in chlorobial chlorosomes (Fred/Fox ≈ 40) is CK-dependent.

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