Chlorosomes of Chlorobaculum tepidum are formed from stacks of syn-anti coordinated bacteriochlorophyll c dimers, which form a suprastructure comprised of coaxial nanotubes and are surrounded by a glycolipid monolayer envelope containing 10 proteins. Three of these proteins, CsmI, CsmJ, and CsmX, have sequences very similar in their N-terminal domains to those of [2Fe-2S] ferredoxins of the adrenodoxin/putidaredoxin subfamily. The roles of these proteins in chlorosomes were studied in single-, double-, and triple-mutant strains. In each mutant, only the protein(s) corresponding to the mutated gene(s) was missing, and the amounts of other chlorosome proteins did not vary significantly. Electrophoretic analyses and immunoblotting showed that CsmX was much less abundant than CsmI or CsmJ. The growth rates and the pigment and isoprenoid quinone contents of isolated chlorosomes of the mutants were similar to wild-type values. Quenching and recovery of energy transfer in isolated chlorosomes and intact cells were studied by measuring fluorescence emission after exposure to or removal of oxygen. Oxygen-induced activation of the quencher in isolated chlorosomes or in intact cells was largely independent of CsmI and CsmJ. This may be because oxygen can diffuse across the chlorosome envelope easily and directly reacts with the quencher. However, CsmI and CsmJ were required to restore energy transfer fully after isolated chlorosomes were exposed to oxygen. Studies with intact cells suggested that cells contain both light-dependent and light-independent pathways for reducing the quenching species in chlorosomes and that CsmI and CsmJ are components of a light-dependent pathway.
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