Function and organization of Photosystem I polypeptides

Parag R. Chitnis*, Qiang Xu, Vaishali P. Chitnis, Rachel Nechushtai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Photosystem I functions as a plastocyanin:ferredoxin oxidoreductase in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts and cyanobacteria. The PS I complex contains the photosynthetic pigments, the reaction center P700, and five electron transfer centers (A0, A1, FX, FA, and FB) that are bound to the PsaA, PsaB, and PsaC proteins. In addition, PS I complex contains at least eight other polypeptides that are accessory in their functions. Recent use of cyanobacterial molecular genetics has revealed functions of the accessory subunits of PS I. Site-directed mutagenesis is now being used to explore structure-function relations in PS I. The overall architecture of PSI complex has been revealed by X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and biochemical methods. The information obtained by different techniques can be used to propose a model for the organization of PS I. Spectroscopic and molecular genetic techniques have deciphered interaction of PS I proteins with the soluble electron transfer partners. This review focuses on the recent structural, biochemical and molecular genetic studies that decipher topology and functions of PS I proteins, and their interactions with soluble electron carriers.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)23-40
Number of pages18
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 1995


  • chloroplasts
  • cyanobacteria
  • ferredoxin
  • photosynthesis
  • plastocyanin
  • thylakoids


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