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Linear dichroism and the orientation of reaction centers of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides in dried gelatin films



Linear dichroism and the orientation of reaction centers of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides in dried gelatin films



Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 545(1): 106-121



Aqueous mixtures of reaction centers of Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides and gelatin were dried to form thin films. Following hydration, these films were stretched as much as two to three times their original length. Polarized absorption spectra showing linear dichroism were obtained for both unstretched and stretched films, with the planes and stretching axes of the films mounted in various geometries relative to the electric vector of the measuring beam. These data were analyzed in terms of the following model: Reaction centers possess an axis of symmetry that is fixed in relation to the reaction center structure. In unstretched films this axis is confined to the film plane and oriented at random within the plane. In stretched films the symmetry axis is aligned with the direction of stretching. In both preparations reaction centers are distributed randomly with respect to rotation about the axis of symmetry. The data are consistent with this model when the analysis acknowledges less than perfect orientation. For perfect orientation in a stretched film the model predicts uniaxial symmetry about the axis of stretching. The approach to this condition was examined with films stretched to different extents. Extrapolation yielded dichroic ratios for the ideal case of perfect orientation, and allowed calculation of the angles between the axis of symmetry and the various optical transition dipoles in the reaction center. This treatment included the two absorption bands of the bacteriochlorophyll 'special pair' (photochemical electron donor) in the Qx region, at 600 and 630 nm, which we were able to resolve in light minus dark difference spectra.

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Accession: 040578063

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PMID: 310318

DOI: 10.1016/0005-2728(79)90118-x


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