Segregation of the photosystems in thylakoids depends on their size.

Biochimica et biophysica acta

PubMedID: 14507428

Borodich A, Rojdestvenski I, Cottam M, Oquist G. Segregation of the photosystems in thylakoids depends on their size. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003;1606(1-3):73-82.
Lateral segregation of two types of photosystems in thylakoid membranes of green plants is one of the key factors that provide the stability and fine-tuning of the light quanta supply by pigment proteins and non-cyclic electron transport. Due to this specific feature of the membrane structural organization, the photosynthetic units function in the green plants with optimal performance. In this report a mesoscopic theory is outlined to address the physical aspects of segregation phenomenon. Results of theoretical studies and computer simulations suggest that charge mismatch and the size difference between two photosystems in grana are most responsible for their lateral segregation, which is driven by the screened electrostatic and lipid-induced interactions. Comparative simulations of photosystems of different sizes show the crucial dependence of their ordering on a geometrical parameter. It seems that the size effect alone may prevent photosystems from segregated arrangement in cyanobacterial thylakoids.