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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Jul-Aug;1777(7-8):684-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bbabio.2008.05.005. Epub 2008 May 16.

Xanthorhodopsin: a bacteriorhodopsin-like proton pump with a carotenoid antenna.

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Department of Physiology and Biophysics, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.


Xanthorhodopsin is a light-driven proton pump like bacteriorhodopsin, but made more effective for collecting light by its second chromophore, salinixanthin, a carotenoid. Action spectra for transport and fluorescence of the retinal upon excitation of the carotenoid indicate that the carotenoid functions as an antenna to the retinal. The calculated center-to-center distance and angle of the transition moments of the two chromophores are 11 A and 56 degrees , respectively. As expected from their proximity, the carotenoid and the retinal closely interact: tight binding of the carotenoid, as indicated by its sharpened vibration bands and intense induced circular dichroism in the visible, is removed by hydrolysis of the retinal Schiff base, and restored upon reconstitution with retinal. This antenna system, simpler than photosynthetic complexes, is well-suited to study features of excited-state energy migration.

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