Photosynthetic reaction centre, cytochrome c subunit (IPR003158)

Short name: Photosyn_RC_cyt_c-su

Overlapping homologous superfamilies

Family relationships



The photosynthetic apparatus in non-oxygenic bacteria consists of light-harvesting (LH) protein-pigment complexes LH1 and LH2, which use carotenoid and bacteriochlorophyll as primary donors [PMID: 11005826]. LH1 acts as the energy collection hub, temporarily storing it before its transfer to the photosynthetic reaction centre (RC) [PMID: 15329728]. Electrons are transferred from the primary donor via an intermediate acceptor (bacteriopheophytin) to the primary acceptor (quinine Qa), and finally to the secondary acceptor (quinone Qb), resulting in the formation of ubiquinol QbH2. RC uses the excitation energy to shuffle electrons across the membrane, transferring them via ubiquinol to the cytochrome bc1 complex in order to establish a proton gradient across the membrane, which is used by ATP synthetase to form ATP [PMID: 16931113, PMID: 12872158, PMID: 2676514].

The core complex is anchored in the cell membrane, consisting of one unit of RC surrounded by LH1; in some species there may be additional subunits [PMID: 11095707]. RC consists of three subunits: L (light), M (medium), and H (heavy). Subunits L and M provide the scaffolding for the chromophore, while subunit H contains a cytoplasmic domain [PMID: 8027023]. In Rhodopseudomonas viridis, there is also a non-membranous tetrahaem cytochrome (4Hcyt) subunit on the periplasmic surface.

In the purple bacterium Rhodocyclus gelatinosus (Rhodopseudomonas gelatinosa), a high potential Fe-S protein (HiPIP) acts as an electron donor to reaction centre-bound cyt bc1 under anaerobic conditions in the light, while cyt c acts as a soluble electron carrier under aerobic conditions in the dark in order to re-reduce the oxidized electron donor [PMID: 15155756].

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0019684 photosynthesis, light reaction

Molecular Function

GO:0009055 electron transfer activity
GO:0020037 heme binding
GO:0005506 iron ion binding

Cellular Component

GO:0030077 plasma membrane light-harvesting complex

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.