Structural aspects of the cytochrome b6f complex; structure of the lumen-side domain of cytochrome f

W. A. Cramer, S. E. Martinez, D. Huang, G. S. Tae, R. M. Everly, J. B. Heymann, R. H. Cheng, T. S. Baker, J. L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The following findings concerning the structure of the cytochrome b6f complex and its component polypeptides, cyt b6, subunit IV and cytochrome f subunit are discussed: (1) Comparison of the amino acid sequences of 13 and 16 cytochrome b6 and subunit IV polypeptides, respectively, led to (a) reconsideration of the helix lengths and probable interface regions, (b) identification of two likely surface-seeking helices in cyt b6 and one in SU IV, and (c) documentation of a high degree of sequence invariance compared to the mitochondrial cytochrome. The extent of identity is particularly high (88% for conserved and pseudoconserved residues) in the segments of cyt b6 predicted to be extrinsic on the n-side of the membrane. (2) The intramembrane attractive forces between trans-membrane helices that normally stabilize the packing of integral membrane proteins are relatively weak. (3) The complex isolated in dimeric form has been visualized, along with isolated monomer, by electron microscopy. The isolated dimer is much more active than the monomer, is the major form of the complex isolated and purified from chloroplasts, and is inferred to be a functional form in the membrane. (4) The isolated cyt b6f complex contains one molecule of chlorophyll a. (5) The structure of the 252 residue lumen-side domain of cytochrome f isolated from turnip chloroplasts has been solved by X-ray diffraction analysis to a resolution of 2.3 Å.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-47
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytochrome bc
  • electron transfer
  • energy transduction
  • membrane protein
  • structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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