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Book Chapter

Purple Bacteria: Photosynthetic Reaction Centers


Lancaster,  C. Roy D.
Department of Molecular Membrane Biology, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Lancaster, C. R. D. (2004). Purple Bacteria: Photosynthetic Reaction Centers. In W. J. Lennarz (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Biological Chemistry (pp. 586-594). Academic Press, Elsevier.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-DAC1-A
Located within photosynthetic membranes, reaction centers (RCs) are defined as the minimal functional units that cancatalyze light-induced electron transfer reactions, thus stabilizing the separation of charged species across the membrane. The RC essentially functions as a ferrocytochrome c2:quinone photo-oxidoreductase. The absorption of two photons of light leads to two one-electron oxidations of cytochrome c2 in the periplasm and to the two-electron reduction of a quinone, which is coupled to the uptake of two protons from the cytoplasm. The resulting quinol then leaves its binding site, diffuses in the photosynthetic membrane and is reoxidized by a second membrane protein complex, the cytochrome bc1 complex, which results in proton release to the periplasm. The electrons are transferred to re-reduce the cytochrome c2 in the periplasm. This net proton transport produces a trans-membrane electrochemical proton potential that can drive ATP synthesis through a third membrane-spanning complex, the ATP synthase.