A photosynthetic reaction center complex has been purified from an aerobic photosynthetic bacterium, Erythrobacter species OCh 114. The reaction center was solubilized with 0.45% lauryldimethylamine N-oxide and purified by DEAE-Sephacel column chromatography. Absorption spectra of both reduced and oxidized forms of the reaction center were very similar to those of the reaction center from Rhodopseudomonas sphaeroides R-26 except for the contributions due to cytochrome and carotenoid. 1 mol reaction center contained 4 mol bacteriochlorophyll a, 2 mol bacteriopheophytin a, 4 mol cytochrome c-554, 2 mol ubiquinone-10, and carotenoid. The reaction center consisted of four different polypeptides of 26, 30, 32 and 42 kDa. The last one retained heme c. Absorbance at 450 nm oscillated with the period of two on consecutive flashes. The light-minus-dark difference spectrum had two peaks at 450 nm and 420 nm, indicating that odd flashes generated a stable ubisemiquinone anion and even flashes generated quinol. o-Phenanthroline accelerated the re-reduction of flash-oxidized reaction centers, indicating that o-phenanthroline inhibited the electron transfer between QA and QB. The cytochrome (cytochrome c-554) in the reaction center was oxidized on flash activation. The midpoint potential of the primary electron acceptor (QA) was determined by measuring the extent of oxidation of cytochrome c-554 at various ambient potentials. The mid-point potential of QA was -44 mV, irrespective of pH between 5.5 and 5.9.
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