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Optical spectroscopic studies of natural and synthetic geometric isomers of spheroidene


, : Optical spectroscopic studies of natural and synthetic geometric isomers of spheroidene. Biophysical Journal 86(1): 147a, January

Spheroidene is a naturally-occurring carotenoid that adopts two geometric isomeric forms, all-trans and 15,15'-cis, in the pigment-protein complexes of photosynthetic bacteria from Rb. sphaeroides. It has been postulated that the biological functions of light-harvesting and photoprotection performed by spheroidene depend on the configuration of the molecule. The present work seeks to examine this hypothesis by isolating various geometric isomers of spheroidene and studying their spectral and photochemical properties. In this study, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to isolate several geometric isomers of naturally-occurring and synthetic 11-locked-cis-spheroidene, 13-locked-cis-spheroidene and 15,15'-locked-cis-spheroidene. The HPLC elution profiles showed a number of peaks, the absorption spectra of some of which displayed strong "cis-bands" in the region near 350 nm in addition to the prominent absorption bands in the visible region. Resonance Raman spectroscopy has been used to deduce the configurations of the molecules. Semi-empirical molecular orbital computations have been used to correlate the structures of the molecules with their spectral properties.

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