Author(s): Kiley P, Zhao X, Vaughn M, Baldo MA, Bruce BD,
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Abstract We used a class of designed peptide detergents to stabilize photosystem I (PS-I) upon extended drying under N2 on a gold-coated-Ni-NTA glass surface. PS-I is a chlorophyll-containing membrane protein complex that is the primary reducer of ferredoxin and the electron acceptor of plastocyanin. We isolated the complex from the thylakoids of spinach chloroplasts using a chemical detergent. The chlorophyll molecules associated with the PS-I complex provide an intrinsic steady-state emission spectrum between 650 and 800 nm at -196.15 degrees C that reflects the organization of the pigment-protein interactions. In the absence of detergents, a large blue shift of the fluorescence maxima from approximately 735 nm to approximately 685 nm indicates a disruption in light-harvesting subunit organization, thus revealing chlorophyll-protein interactions. The commonly used membrane protein-stabilizing detergents, N-dodecyl-beta-D-maltoside and N-octyl-beta-D-glucoside, only partially stabilized the approximately 735-nm complex with approximately 685-nm spectroscopic shift. However, prior to drying, addition of the peptide detergent acetyl-AAAAAAK at increasing concentration significantly stabilized the PS-I complex. Moreover, in the presence of acetyl-AAAAAAK, the PS-I complex is stable in a dried form at room temperature for at least 3 wk. Another peptide detergent, acetyl-VVVVVVD, also stabilized the complex but to a lesser extent. These observations suggest that the peptide detergents may effectively stabilize membrane proteins in the solid-state. These designed peptide detergents may facilitate the study of diverse types of membrane proteins.
This article was published in PLoS Biol
and referenced in Biochemistry & Pharmacology: Open Access