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Journal Article

Inversion of Proton Translocation in Bacteriorhodopsin Mutants D85N, D85T and D85,96N


Bamberg,  Ernst
Department of Biophysical Chemistry, Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Tittor, J., Schweiger, U., Oesterhelt, D., & Bamberg, E. (1994). Inversion of Proton Translocation in Bacteriorhodopsin Mutants D85N, D85T and D85,96N. Biophysical Journal, 67(4), 1682-1690. doi:10.1016/S0006-3495(94)80642-3.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-693D-0
Proton translocation activity of bacteriorhodopsin mutants lacking the proton acceptor Asp-85 was investigated using the black lipid membrane technique. Mutants D85N, D85T, and D85,96N were constructed and homologously expressed in Halobacterium salinarium to yield a membrane fraction with a buoyant density of 1.18 g/cm3, i.e., identical to that of wild-type purple membrane. In all mutants, the absorbance maximum was red-shifted between 27 and 49 nm compared with wild type, and the pKa values of the respective Schiff bases were reduced to between 8.3 and 8.9 compared with the value of > 13 in wild type. Therefore, a mixture of chromophores absorbing at 410 nm (deprotonated form) and around 600 nm (protonated form) exists at physiological pH. In continuous blue light, the deprotonated form generates stationary photocurrents. The currents are enhanced by a factor of up to 50 upon addition of azide in D85N and D85,96N mutants, whereas D85T shows no azide effect. The direction of these currents is the same as in wild type in yellow light. Yellow light alone is not sufficient to generate stationary currents in the mutants, but increasing yellow light intensity in the presence of blue light leads to an inversion of the current. Because all currents are carried by protons, this two-photon process demonstrates an inverted proton translocation by BR mutants.