Prof. Nathan Nelson

Emeritus in Biochemistry Molecular Biology
ביוכימיה וביולוגיה מולקולרית אמריטוס
Phone: 03-6406017
Fax: 03-6406018
Office: Sherman - Life Sciences, 530

Research Interests

Our lab concentrates on the study of membrane-proteins. We study the molecular mechanisms involved in transport and energy transduction. The five main subjects that we are currently engaged in are:

- Structure, function and molecular biology of photosystem I (PSI) and other membrane complexes in higher plant chloroplasts. We solve the structure of plant PSI super-complex including its four light-harvesting complexes at 2.6 Å resolution. We intend to obtain atomic resolution of plant PSI.

- Structure, function and molecular biology of cyanobacterial photosystem I. We solve the structure of a trimeric PSI from synechocystis at 2.5 Å resolution.

- Cryo-EM structure of photosynthetic membrane complexes. We solved the structure of over 20 photosynthetic membrane complexes at near atomic resolution.  

- Structure, function and mechanism of photosystem II. We solved the structure of PSII from various green algae and suggested a novels mechanism for plastoquinone photoreduction.

- Harnessing Oxygenic Photosynthesis for Sustainable Energy Production.


Recent Publications

Fadeeva M, Klaiman D, Kandiah E, Nelson N. (2024). Structure of native photosystem II assembly intermediate from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Front. Plant Sci. 14:1334608. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2023.1334608

Fadeeva M, Klaiman D, Caspy I, Nelson N. (2023). Structure of Chlorella ohadii Photosystem II Reveals Protective Mechanisms against Environmental Stress. Cells. 12, 1971.

Caspy I, Fadeeva M, Mazor Y, Nelson N. (2023). Structure of Dunaliella Photosystem II reveals conformational flexibility of stacked and unstacked supercomplexes. Elife. 2023 Feb 17;12:e81150. doi: 10.7554/eLife.81150. 

Caspy I, Schwartz T, Bayro-Kaiser V, Fadeeva M, Kessel A, Ben-Tal N, Nelson N. (2021). Dimeric and high-resolution structures of Chlamydomonas Photosystem I from a temperature-sensitive Photosystem II mutant. Commun Biol. 4(1):1380. doi: 10.1038/s42003-021-02911-7.

Caspy I, Borovikova-Sheinker A, Klaiman D, Shkolnisky Y, Nelson N. (2020) The structure of a triple complex of plant photosystem I with ferredoxin and plastocyanin. Nature Plants.   DOI: 10.1038/s41477-020-00779-9

Caspy I, Malavath T, Klaiman D, Fadeeva M, Shkolnisky Y, Nelson N. (2020) Structure and Energy Transfer Pathways of the Dunaliella Salina Photosystem I Supercomplex. BBA - Bioenergetics, 1861:148253. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2020.148253.

Perez-Boerema A, Klaiman D, Caspy I, Netzer-El S, Amunts A, Nelson N. (2020). Structure of a minimal photosystem I from a green alga. Nature Plants 6:321327 10.1038/s41477-020-0611-9

Antoshvili M, Caspy I, Hippler M, Nelson N. (2019). Structure and function of Photosystem I in Cyanidioschyzon merolae. Photosynthetic Research. 139(1-3):499-508. doi: 10.1007/s11120-018-0501-4. 

Mazor Y, Borovikova A, Caspy I, Nelson N. (2017). Structure of the plant photosystem I supercomplex at 2.6 Å resolution. Nature Plants. 3:17014. doi: 10.1038/nplants.2017.14.


Bayro-Kaiser V. and Nelson N. (2017). Microalgal hydrogen production: prospects of an essential technology for a clean and sustainable energy economy. Photosynth Res. doi: 10.1007/s11120-017-0350-6.


Bayro-Kaiser V. and Nelson N. (2016). Temperature-sensitive PSII: A novel approach for sustained photosynthetic hydrogen production Photosynth Res. DOI 10.1007/s11120-016-0232-3


Mazor, Y., Borovikova, A. and Nelson N. (2015). The structure of plant photosystem I super-complex at 2.8 °A resolution.  eLife 2015;4:e07433. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.07433.


Nelson, N. and Junge, W. (2015). Structure and Energy Transfer in Photosystems of Oxygenic Photosynthesis. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 84, 659-683.


Mazor, Y., Nataf, D., Toporik H. and Nelson N. (2014). Crystal structures of virus-like photosystem I complexes from the mesophilic cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803. eLife 2014;3:e01496. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.01496.


Nelson, N. (2013). Evolution of photosystem I and the control of global enthalpy in an oxidizing world. Photosynth Res. 116, 145-151.


Saroussi, S., Schushan, M., Ben-Tal, N., Junge, W. and Nelson, N. (2012). Structure and flexibility of the c-ring in the electromotor of rotary FoF1-ATPase of pea chloroplasts. PLoS ONE 7(9): e43045. doi:10.1371


Toporik, H., Carmeli, I., Volotsenko, I., Molotskii, M., Rosenwaks, Y., Carmeli C. and Nelson, N. (2012). Large Photovoltage Generated by Plant Photosystem I Crystals. Advanced Materials. 24, 2988-2991.


Mazor, Y., Toporik, H. and Nelson, N. (2012). Temperature-sensitive PSII and promiscuous PSI as a possible solution for sustainable photosynthetic hydrogen production. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1817, 1122-1126.


Nelson, N. (2011). Photosystems and global effects of oxygenic photosynthesis. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1807, 856-863.


Amunts, A., Toporik, H., Borovikova, A. and Nelson, N. (2010). Structure determination and improved model of plant photosystem I. J Biol Chem. 285, 3478-3486.


Sharon, I., Alperovitch, A., Rohwer, F., Haynes, M. Glaser, F. Atamaa-Ismaeel, N., Pinter, R.Y., Partensky, F., Koonin, E.V., Wolf, Y.I., Nelson, N. and Oded Béjà, O. (2009). Photosystem I gene cassettes are present in marine virus genomes. Nature 461, 258-262.



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