The B820 subunit form of the core light-harvesting complex LHI, isolated from the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum, was combined in a reassociation assay with the reaction center (RC) isolated from the same or related bacteria. This reassociation produced a photoreceptor complex (PRC) which appeared, by absorption spectroscopy, circular dichroism measurements, and kinetic absorption spectroscopy measuring transient photochanges, as analogous to the PRC in the intact bacteria. Energy transfer between the LHI and reaction center progressed with almost 100% efficiency and indicated a cooperative pattern of transfer. Treatment of the RC with proteinase K resulted in peptide cleavages of all three polypeptides of the RC but did not alter the light-induced charge separation in the RC or prevent the reassociation of the LHI and modified RC. Energy transfer efficiency from LHI to RC still approached 100% but the cooperative behavior seen in reconstitutions with the intact RC was not observed. Initial experiments using interspecies reassociations (LHI from Rhodobacter sphaeroides and RC from Rs. rubrum) showed a low efficiency of energy transfer from LHI to RC. Possible association domains for the LHI-RC interaction based on considerations of the comparative amino acid sequences of the RC of each bacteria and the most feasible remaining residues in the proteinase K treated RC are considered.
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