The photosynthetic reaction center of Heliobacterium modesticaldum (HbRC) was isolated from membranes using n-dodecyl β-D-maltopyranoside followed by sucrose density ultracentrifugation. The low-temperature EPR spectra of whole cells, isolated membranes, and HbRC complexes are similar, showing a single Fe-S cluster with g values of 2.067, 1.933, and 1.890 after illumination at 20 K, and a complex spectrum attributed to exchange interaction from two Fe-S clusters after illumination during freezing. The protein containing the Fe-S clusters was removed from the HbRC by washing it with 1.0 M NaCl and purified by ultrafiltration over a 30 kDa cutoff membrane. Analysis of the filtrate by SDS-PAGE showed a major band at ∼8 kDa that was weakly stained with Coomassie Brilliant Blue and strongly stained with silver. The optical spectrum of the oxidized Fe-S protein shows a maximum at 410 nm, and the EPR spectrum of the reduced Fe-S protein shows a complex set of resonances similar to those found in 2[4Fe-4S] ferredoxins. The HbRC core was purified by DEAE ion-exchange chromatography and resolved by SDS-PAGE. The purified HbRC was composed of a band at ca. 40 kDa, which is identified as PshA, and several additional proteins. The isolated Fe-S protein rebinds spontaneously to purified HbRC cores, and the light-induced EPR signals of the Fe-S clusters are recovered. The flash-induced kinetics of the HbRC complex show two kinetic phases at room temperature, one with a lifetime of 75 ms and the other with a lifetime of 15 ms. The 75 ms component is lost when the Fe-S protein is removed from the HbRC complex, and it is regained when the Fe-S protein is rebound to HbRC cores. Thus, the 75 ms kinetic phase is derived from recombination of a terminal Fe-S cluster with P798+, and the 15 ms kinetic phase is derived from recombination with an earlier acceptor, probably Px. We suggest that the bound Fe-S protein present in the HbRC be designated PshB.
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