A rapid procedure is described for the isolation of "linker" polypeptides (Lundell, D. J., R. C. Williams, and A. N. Glazer. 1981. J. Biol. Chem. 256:3580-3592) of cyanobacterial phycobilisomes. The 75,000-dalton component of the core of Synechococcus 6301 phycobilisomes isolated by this procedure has been shown to carry a bilin similar in spectroscopic properties to phycocyanobilin. "Renatured" 75,000-dalton polypeptide has absorption maxima at 610 and 665 nm and a fluorescence emission maximum at 676 nm, similar to that of intact phycobilisomes. A complex of allophycocyanin and a 40,000-dalton bilin-carrying fragment of the 75,000-dalton polypeptide, obtained by limited tryptic digestion, is described. This complex, which lacks allophycocyanin B, shows a fluorescence emission maximum at 676 nm. The above data indicate that the 75,000-dalton polypeptide functions as a terminal energy acceptor in the phycobilisome.

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