Phycobilisome-reaction centre interaction in cyanobacteria

Photosynth Res. Feb-Mar 2008;95(2-3):175-82. doi: 10.1007/s11120-007-9249-y. Epub 2007 Oct 6.


The phycobilisome is a remarkable light-harvesting antenna that combines high efficiency with functional flexibility and the ability to capture light across a broad spectral range. A combination of biochemical, structural and spectroscopic studies has given an excellent picture of the structure and function of isolated phycobilisomes. However, we still know remarkably little about the interaction of the phycobilisome with the thylakoid membrane and the reaction centres. This article will discuss the various current ideas about this question and explain the things we need to know more about. As a working model, I propose that the phycobilisome is attached to the membrane by multiple weak charge-charge interactions with lipid head-groups and/or proteins, and that the core-membrane linker polypeptide ApcE provides a flexible surface allowing interaction with multiple membrane components.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cyanobacteria / metabolism*
  • Energy Transfer
  • Models, Biological
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phycobilisomes / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins
  • Phycobilisomes