Computing the Relative Affinity of Chlorophylls a and b to Light-Harvesting Complex II

TitleComputing the Relative Affinity of Chlorophylls a and b to Light-Harvesting Complex II
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsRanepura, GA, Mao, J, Vermaas, JV, Wang, J, Gisriel, CJ, Wei, RJudy, Ortiz-Soto, J, Uddin, MRaihan, Amin, M, Brudvig, GW, Gunner, MR
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry B
Volume127
Issue51
Pagination10974 - 10986
Date Published2023/12/28
ISBN Number1520-6106
Abstract

In plants and algae, the primary antenna protein bound to photosystem II is light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), a pigment–protein complex that binds eight chlorophyll (Chl) a molecules and six Chl b molecules. Chl a and Chl b differ only in that Chl a has a methyl group (–CH3) on one of its pyrrole rings, while Chl b has a formyl group (–CHO) at that position. This blue-shifts the Chl b absorbance relative to Chl a. It is not known how the protein selectively binds the right Chl type at each site. Knowing the selection criteria would allow the design of light-harvesting complexes that bind different Chl types, modifying an organism to utilize the light of different wavelengths. The difference in the binding affinity of Chl a and Chl b in pea and spinach LHCII was calculated using multiconformation continuum electrostatics and free energy perturbation. Both methods have identified some Chl sites where the bound Chl type (a or b) has a significantly higher affinity, especially when the protein provides a hydrogen bond for the Chl b formyl group. However, the Chl a sites often have little calculated preference for one Chl type, so they are predicted to bind a mixture of Chl a and b. The electron density of the spinach LHCII was reanalyzed, which, however, confirmed that there is negligible Chl b in the Chl a-binding sites. It is suggested that the protein chooses the correct Chl type during folding, segregating the preferred Chl to the correct binding site.In plants and algae, the primary antenna protein bound to photosystem II is light-harvesting complex II (LHCII), a pigment–protein complex that binds eight chlorophyll (Chl) a molecules and six Chl b molecules. Chl a and Chl b differ only in that Chl a has a methyl group (–CH3) on one of its pyrrole rings, while Chl b has a formyl group (–CHO) at that position. This blue-shifts the Chl b absorbance relative to Chl a. It is not known how the protein selectively binds the right Chl type at each site. Knowing the selection criteria would allow the design of light-harvesting complexes that bind different Chl types, modifying an organism to utilize the light of different wavelengths. The difference in the binding affinity of Chl a and Chl b in pea and spinach LHCII was calculated using multiconformation continuum electrostatics and free energy perturbation. Both methods have identified some Chl sites where the bound Chl type (a or b) has a significantly higher affinity, especially when the protein provides a hydrogen bond for the Chl b formyl group. However, the Chl a sites often have little calculated preference for one Chl type, so they are predicted to bind a mixture of Chl a and b. The electron density of the spinach LHCII was reanalyzed, which, however, confirmed that there is negligible Chl b in the Chl a-binding sites. It is suggested that the protein chooses the correct Chl type during folding, segregating the preferred Chl to the correct binding site.

URLhttps://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.3c06273
Short TitleJ. Phys. Chem. B