All organisms with oxygenic photosynthesis contain two photosystems: photosystem I (PS I) and photo-system II (PS II). The minimal photosystem II particles which are photochemically active contain three subunits: D1, D2 and cytochrome b559 (Cyt b559). The function of Cyt bS59 remains unclear. We have successfully overexpressed the psbF gene, encoding the β subunit of Cyt b559, from a marine cyanobacteriuni Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 as a fusion gene and obtained a redox-active form of Cyt b559. When the N-terminal GST protein of the fusion gene product was removed with thrombin, the PsbF protein was still redox-active, suggesting that the recombinant PsbF can form dimer in Escherichia coli. The absorption spectra of either the oxidized form or the reduced form of both GST fusion protein and the purified PsbF dimer and the difference spectra between the two forms are the same as that of the Cyt b559 isolated from the higher plants. Redox titration analysis of recombinant PsbF showed that the mid-point redox potential of the recombinant Cyt b559 was approximately 50 mV, which is close to the low potential of Cyt b559. The results are helpful to the understanding of localization and function of Cyt b559 on thylakoid membranes.
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