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Biochemistry. 1998 Oct 6;37(40):14237-44.

Proton transfer reactions linked to rhodopsin activation.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Cruz 95064, USA.


Purified bovine rhodopsin solubilized in dodecyl maltoside was photolyzed at 20 degreesC with 477 nm light, and difference spectra were collected at time delays ranging from 10 micros to 10 ms after photolysis. Bromocresol purple was added to the samples to detect pH changes in the aqueous environment due to changes in the protonation state of rhodopsin. The data were analyzed using singular value decomposition and global exponential fitting, which revealed three exponential processes indicating the presence of at least four intermediates. Spectral changes of the indicator dye were separated from those of rhodopsin, and proton release and uptake rates were analyzed within the framework of rhodopsin photoreaction kinetics. Proton release occurred during Lumi decay to Meta-I380 followed by uptake upon Meta-I380 decay and by a more significant proton uptake with the time course of Meta-I480 decay. On the basis of the estimated number of protons released and taken up in each step of the rhodopsin photoreaction, we concluded that two forms of Meta-II are present. The two forms of Meta-II, Meta-IIa' and Meta-IIb, differ in protonation state from one another as do both from the earlier, 380 nm absorbing form, Meta-I380.

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