284859 Evaluating Photosynthetic Antenna Complex Assemblies for Efficient Solar Energy Utilization

Monday, October 29, 2012: 12:55 PM
411 (Convention Center )
Sándor Á. Kovács, William P. Bricker, Jing Jiang and Cynthia S. Lo, Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

Photosynthesis is a robust and effective mechanism for harnessing solar energy in natural organisms and a closer look reveals photosynthetic systems possess inherently efficient energy capture and energy transfer mechanisms.  When coupled with engineered materials, these biohybrid systems may provide a low-cost source of clean and renewable power.  In this work, protein-surface docking and molecular dynamics free energy methods are used to probe the structure and stability of the biomolecular interface in such a device.  We compare the relative free energies of assembly of two photosynthetic trimeric proteins: FMO from green sulfur bacteria and and PCP from dinoflagellates.  We then consider the interaction of these proteins with various biomaterial surfaces, including silica and gold, and compare free engergies of binding.  In addition to the native amino acid sequences, the effects of point mutations deisgned to mimic engineered peptide sequences with higher surface affinities are also considered.  The degree of denaturation of these biohybrid assemblies is assessed, which leads to implications for retention of photosynthetic activity and ultimately long-term stability.  These results predict how such complexes may be assembled and patterned in nanostructured biohybrid devices for efficient solar energy utilization.

Extended Abstract: File Not Uploaded
See more of this Session: Thermodynamics of Biomolecular Folding and Assembly
See more of this Group/Topical: Engineering Sciences and Fundamentals