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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 May 12;1458(1):135-47.

Proton transfer reactions across bacteriorhodopsin and along the membrane.

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Research Centre Jülich, IBI-2: Structural Biology, D-52425, Jülich, Germany.


Bacteriorhodopsin is probably the best understood proton pump so far and is considered to be a model system for proton translocating membrane proteins. The basis of a molecular description of proton translocation is set by having the luxury of six highly resolved structural models at hand. Details of the mechanism and reaction dynamics were elucidated by a whole variety of biophysical techniques. The current molecular picture of catalysis by BR will be presented with examples from time-resolved spectroscopy. FT-IR spectroscopy monitors single proton transfer events within bacteriorhodopsin and judiciously positioned pH indicators detect proton migration at the membrane surface. Emerging properties are briefly outlined that underlie the efficient proton transfer across and along biological membranes.

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