Structure and mutation of a gene encoding a Mr 33000 phycocyanin-associated linker polypeptide

Robert de Lorimier, Gerard Guglielmi, Donald A. Bryant, S. Edward Stevens

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The gene encoding a phycocyanin-associated linker polypeptide of Mr 33000 from the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002 was found to be located adjacent and 3′ to the genes encoding the α and β subunits of phycocyanin. The identity of this gene, designated cpcC, was proven by matching the amino-terminal sequence of the authentic polypeptide with that predicted by the nucleotide sequence. A cpcC mutant strain of this cyanobacterium was constructed. The effect of the mutation was to prevent assembly of half the total phycocyanin into phycobilisomes. By electron microscopy, phycobilisomes from this mutant were shown to contain rod substructures composed of a single disc of hexameric phycocyanin, as opposed to two discs in the wild type. It was concluded that the Mr 33000 linker polypeptide is required for attachment of the core-distal phycocyanin hexamer to the core-proximal one. Using absorption spectra of the wild type, CpcC-, and phycocyanin-less phycobilisomes, the in situ absorbances expected for specific phycocyanin-linker complexes were calculated. These data confirm earlier findings on isolated complexes regarding the influence of linkers on the spectroscopic properties of phycocyanin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-549
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Microbiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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