Core and rod structures of a thermophilic cyanobacterial light-harvesting phycobilisome

Keisuke Kawakami, Tasuku Hamaguchi, Yuu Hirose, Daisuke Kosumi, Makoto Miyata, Nobuo Kamiya, Koji Yonekura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Cyanobacteria, glaucophytes, and rhodophytes utilize giant, light-harvesting phycobilisomes (PBSs) for capturing solar energy and conveying it to photosynthetic reaction centers. PBSs are compositionally and structurally diverse, and exceedingly complex, all of which pose a challenge for a comprehensive understanding of their function. To date, three detailed architectures of PBSs by cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have been described: a hemiellipsoidal type, a block-type from rhodophytes, and a cyanobacterial hemidiscoidal-type. Here, we report cryo-EM structures of a pentacylindrical allophycocyanin core and phycocyanin-containing rod of a thermophilic cyanobacterial hemidiscoidal PBS. The structures define the spatial arrangement of protein subunits and chromophores, crucial for deciphering the energy transfer mechanism. They reveal how the pentacylindrical core is formed, identify key interactions between linker proteins and the bilin chromophores, and indicate pathways for unidirectional energy transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3389
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


Dive into the research topics of 'Core and rod structures of a thermophilic cyanobacterial light-harvesting phycobilisome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this