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FEBS Lett. 2000 Oct 6;482(3):247-51.

The photoreceptor protein of Euglena gracilis.

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Istituto di Biofiscia, Area della Ricerca San Cataldo, Pisa, Italy.


We isolated the photoactive protein Erh, isolated from the photoreceptor of the unicellular photosynthetic flagellate Euglena gracilis. It is a 27 kDa protein with a photocycle resembling that of sensory rhodopsin, but with at least one stable intermediate. We recorded the absorption spectrum of the parent form of this protein both under native form and in the presence of hydroxylamine and sodium borohydride, and the fluorescence spectra of both the parent and intermediate forms. We suggest that Erh is a rhodopsin-like protein and propose a simple photocycle. This protein shows optical bistability, without thermal deactivation.

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