A new component of photosynthesis

31 January 2019

The Cox group has recently been part of an international study led by the Ruhr University (Bochum, Germany) that has resolved the structure of a key protein complex in photosynthesis. The protein complex is called Photosynthetic complex 1. It’s part of an ancient family of protein complexes found in all forms of life. A short description of the evolution of this family can be found here: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6424/230

Photosynthetic complex I is very similar to those found in mitochondria, the cell’s power plants. Its function is similar to that of an electrical circuit, which is used to drive the cell’s molecular machines. The photosynthetic version, however, has a unique function – it acts a switch to dynamically rewire photosynthesis in response to changing environmental conditions (light etc).

For more details see: https://news.rub.de/english/2018-12-21-biology-structure-and-function-photosynthesis-protein-explained-detail

This study was a collaboration between researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry and Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Yokohama City University, ANU, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Université Paris-Saclay, Osaka University and Ruhr-Universität Bochum.

The study was published in Science: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2018/12/19/science.aau3613/tab-article-info