Solving the structure of plant photosystem I—biochemistry is vital

Alexey Amunts, Adam Ben-Shem, Nathan Nelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The recently determined structure of plant photosystem I (PSI) provides the first relatively high-resolution structural model of a supercomplex containing a reaction center and its peripheral antenna. Large amounts of highly purified PSI were required to get enough crystals amenable for structural determination by X-ray crystallography. In addition, a deep biochemical understanding of the large supercomplex was vital for achieving the goal. The stability of PSI was analyzed by sucrose gradient centrifugation and gel electrophoresis. Small amounts of LHCI were detached from PSI following a 12 day incubation under crystallization conditions. The interaction between the reaction center and the peripheral antenna of PSI (LHCI) as well as the interactions among the LHCI monomers are flexible. Nevertheless, the pure and homogeneous preparation of PSI allows for relatively tight crystal packing, which holds promise for obtaining atomic resolution in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011-1015
Number of pages5
JournalPhotochemical and Photobiological Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - 23 Nov 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Solving the structure of plant photosystem I—biochemistry is vital'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this