The tetrapyrrole electron donors and acceptors (bacteriochlorophyll, BCh; bacteriopheophytin, BPh) within the bacterial photosynthetic reaction center (RC) are arranged with a specific geometry that permits rapid (picosecond time scale) electron tunneling to occur between them. Here we have measured the angle between the molecular planes of the bacteriochlorophyll dimer (primary donor), B2, and the acceptor bacteriopheophytin, H, by analyzing the dichroism of the absorption change associated with H reduction, formed by photoselection with RCs of Rhodopseudomonas viridis. This angle between molecular planes is found to be 60° ± 2. This means that the ultrafast electron tunneling must occur between donors and acceptors that are fixed by the protein to have a noncoplanar alignment. Nearly perpendicular alignments have been determined for other electron tunneling complexes involving RCs. These geometries can be contrasted with models proposed for heme-heme electron transfer complexes, which have emphasized that mutually parallel orientations should permit the most kinetically facile transfers. © 1985, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.
Tiede, D. M., Choquet, Y., & Breton, J. (1985). Geometry for the Primary Electron Donor and the Bacteriopheophytin Acceptor in Rhodopseudomonas viridis Photosynthetic Reaction Centers. Biophysical Journal, 47(3), 443–447. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(85)83936-9