The light-harvesting antenna of brown algae: highly homologous proteins encoded by a multigene family.


Accessory light-harvesting complexes (LHCFs) were isolated from the brown alga Laminaria saccharina. Complexes specifically associated with photosystem I or II are identical with each other with respect to molecular mass, isoelectric point and behavior on anion-exchange chromatography or non-denaturing isoelectric focusing. The purified complexes also have similar pigment composition and spectroscopic properties. It is concluded that LHC antennae associated with photosystem I or II cannot be distinguished biochemically. After screening of genomic and cDNA libraries produced from L. saccharina sporophytes, six lhcf genes were isolated. Sequence analysis of these lhcf genes showed a high level of homology between the encoded polypeptides. Comparisons with coding sequences of lhcf genes from Macrocystis pyrifera and expressed sequence tags from Laminaria digitata (two other Laminariales) indicated that these proteins are probably very similar in all brown algae. Another feature common to the lhcf genes characterized was the presence of an intron in the coding region corresponding to the plastid-targeting presequence. The sequence similarity extended to the 5' and 3' UTRs of several genes. In spite of the common origin of the chloroplasts, no light-regulating elements involved in the expression of the genes encoding the higher-plant light-harvesting proteins has been found in the UTRs.


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@article{Martino2000TheLA, title={The light-harvesting antenna of brown algae: highly homologous proteins encoded by a multigene family.}, author={Alessandra de Martino and Dominique Douady and Michelle Quinet-Szely and Bernard Rousseau and Florent Cr{\'e}pineau and Krzysztof R. Apt and Lizabeth Caron}, journal={European journal of biochemistry}, year={2000}, volume={267 17}, pages={5540-9} }