Chlorophyll a/b light-harvesting complexes (chl a/b LHC) and photosystem II (PSII) cores were isolated from an octyl glucoside-containing sucrose gradient after solubilization of barley thylakoid membranes with Triton X-100 and octyl glucoside. No cation precipitation step was necessary to collect the chl a/b LHC. PAGE under mildly denaturing and fully denaturing conditions showed that the chl a/b LHC fraction contained chlorophyll-protein complexes CP27, CP29, and CP64. The PSII core material contained CP43 and CP47, and little contamination by other nonpigmented polypeptides. Freeze-fracture electron microscopy of the chl a/b LHC after reconstitution into digalactosyldiglyceride (DG) or phosphatidylcholine (PC) vesicles showed that the protein particles (approximately 7.5 +/- 1.6 nm) were approximately 99 and 90% randomly dispersed, respectively, in the liposomes. Addition of Mg++ produced particle aggregation and membrane adhesion in chl a/b LHC-DG liposomes in a manner analogous to that described for LHC-PC liposomes. Reconstitution of PSII cores into DG vesicles also produced proteoliposomes with randomly dispersed particles (approximately 7.5 +/- 1.6 nm). In contrast, PSII-PC mixtures formed convoluted networks of tubular membranes that exhibited very few fracture faces. Most of the protein particles (approximately 7.0 +/- 1.5 nm) were seen trapped between, rather than embedded in, the membranes. The interaction between the zwitterionic head group of the phosphatidyl choline and the negatively charged PSII core may be responsible for the unusual membrane structures observed.

This content is only available as a PDF.