Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 117, Issue 1–3, pp 375–383 | Cite as

Crystal structure of the Psb28 accessory factor of Thermosynechococcus elongatus photosystem II at 2.3 Å

  • Wojciech Bialek
  • Songjia Wen
  • Franck Michoux
  • Martina Beckova
  • Josef Komenda
  • James W. Murray
  • Peter J. Nixon
Regular Paper


Members of the Psb28 family of proteins are accessory factors implicated in the assembly and repair of the photosystem II complex. We present here the crystal structure of the Psb28 protein (Tlr0493) found in the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elongatus at a resolution of 2.3 Å. Overall the crystal structure of the Psb28 monomer is similar to the solution structures of C-terminally His-tagged Psb28-1 from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 obtained previously by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. One new aspect is that Escherichia coli-expressed T. elongatus Psb28 is able to form dimers in solution and packs as a dimer of dimers in the crystal. Analysis of wild type and mutant strains of Synechocystis 6803 by blue native-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis suggests that Psb28-1, the closest homologue to T. elongatus Psb28 in this organism, also exists as an oligomer in vivo, most likely a dimer. In line with the prediction based on the crystal structure of T. elongatus Psb28, the addition of a 3× Flag-tag to the C-terminus of Synechocystis 6803 Psb28-1 interferes with the accumulation of the Psb28-1 oligomer in vivo. In contrast, the more distantly related Psb28-2 protein found in Synechocystis 6803 lacks the residues that stabilize dimer formation in the T. elongatus Psb28 crystal and is detected as a monomer in vivo. Overall our data suggest that the dimer interface in the Psb28 crystal might be physiologically relevant.


Assembly factor Psb28 Psb28-2 X-ray crystallography Photosystem II Cyanobacteria 



Photosystem II reaction center subunit encoded by psbA


Photosystem II reaction center subunit encoded by psbD

CP43 and CP47

Photosystem II proximal light-harvesting subunits encoded by psbC and psbB, respectively


Photosystem II complex lacking CP43


Monomeric photosystem II


Dimeric photosystem II


Root mean square deviation



The authors would like to thank the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) for financial support (Grant BB/I00937X/1). JWM holds a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship (BB/F023308/1). JK and MB were supported by projects Algatech (CZ.1.05/2.1.00/03.0110), RVO61388971 and P501/11/0377 of the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic. The authors wish to thank the staff of the Diamond Light Source for their assistance.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 176 kb)
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Supplementary material 7 (TIFF 644 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wojciech Bialek
    • 1
  • Songjia Wen
    • 1
    • 4
  • Franck Michoux
    • 1
    • 5
  • Martina Beckova
    • 2
  • Josef Komenda
    • 3
  • James W. Murray
    • 1
  • Peter J. Nixon
    • 1
  1. 1.Sir Ernst Chain Building–Wolfson Laboratories, Department of Life SciencesImperial College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaCeske BudejoviceCzech Republic
  3. 3.Institute of MicrobiologyAcademy of SciencesTrebonCzech Republic
  4. 4.Department of Biochemistry, LKS Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong, China
  5. 5.Alkion BiopharmaEvryFrance

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