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Biochemistry. 1987 Jan 27;26(2):418-23.

Properties of a water-soluble, yellow protein isolated from a halophilic phototrophic bacterium that has photochemical activity analogous to sensory rhodopsin.


A water-soluble yellow protein, previously discovered in the purple photosynthetic bacterium Ectothiorhodospira halophila, contains a chromophore which has an absorbance maximum at 446 nm. The protein is now shown to be photoactive. A pulse of 445-nm laser light caused the 446-nm peak to be partially bleached and red-shifted in a time less than 1 microsecond. The intermediate thus formed was subsequently further bleached in the dark in a biphasic process occurring in approximately 20 ms. Finally, the absorbance of native protein was restored in a first-order process occurring over several seconds. These kinetic processes are remarkably similar to those of sensory rhodopsin from Halobacterium, and to a lesser extent bacteriorhodopsin and halorhodopsin; although these proteins are membrane-bound, they have absorbance maxima at about 570 nm, and they cycle more rapidly. In attempts to remove the chromophore for identification, it was found that a variety of methods of denaturation of the protein caused transient or permanent conversion to a form which has an absorbance maximum near 340 nm. Thus, by analogy to the rhodopsins, the absorption at 446 nm in the native protein appears to result from a 106-nm red shift of the chromophore induced by the protein. Acid denaturation followed by extraction with organic solvents established that the chromophore could be removed from the protein. It is not identical with all-trans-retinal and remains to be identified, although it could still be a related pigment. The E. halophila yellow protein has a circular dichroism spectrum which indicates little alpha-helical secondary structure (19%).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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