The role of natural thylakoid membrane housing of Photosystem I (PSI), the transmembrane photosynthetic protein, in its robust photoactivated charge separation with near unity quantum efficiency is not fundamentally understood. To this end, incorporation of suitable protein scaffolds for PSI incorporation is of great scientific and device manufacturing interest. Areas of interest include solidstate bioelectronics, and photoelectrochemical devices that require bio-abio interfaces that do not compromise the photoactivity and photostability of PSI. Therefore, the surfactant-induced membrane solubilization of a negatively charged phospholipid (DPhPG) with the motivation of creating biomimetic reconstructs of PSI reconstitution in DPhPG liposomes is studied. Specifically, a simple yet elegant method for incorporation of PSI trimeric complexes into DPhPG bilayer membranes that mimic the natural thylakoid membrane housing of PSI is introduced. The efficacy of this method is demonstrated via absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy measurements as well as direct visualization using atomic force microscopy. This study provides direct evidence that PSI confinements in synthetic lipid scaffolds can be used for tuning the photoexcitation characteristics of PSI. Hence, it paves the way for development of fundamental understanding of microenvironment alterations on photochemical response of light activated membrane proteins.
Niroomand, Hanieh, Dibyendu Mukherjee, and Bamin Khomami, “Tuning the Photoexcitation Response of Cyanobacterial Photosystem I via Reconstitution into Proteoliposomes,” Scientific Reports, 7 (2017). doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-02746-5