Early photocycle structural changes in a bacteriorhodopsin mutant engineered to transmit photosensory signals

Yuki Sudo, Yuji Furutani, John L. Spudich, Hideki Kandori

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Bacteriorhodopsin (BR) and sensory rhodopsin II (SRII) function as a light-driven proton pump and a receptor for negative phototaxis in haloarchaeal membranes, respectively. SRII transmits light signals through changes in protein-protein interaction with its transducer HtrII. Recently, we converted BR by three mutations into a form capable of transmitting photosignals to HtrII to mediate phototaxis responses. The BR triple mutant (BR-T) provides an opportunity to identify structural changes necessary to activate HtrII by comparing light-induced infrared spectral changes of BR, BR-T, and SRII. The hydrogen out-of-plane (HOOP) vibrations of the BR-T were very similar to those of SRII, indicating that they are distributed more extensively along the retinal chromophore than in BR, as in SRII. On the other hand, the bands of the protein moiety in BR-T are similar to those of BR, indicating that they are not specific to photosensing. The alteration of the O-H stretching vibration of Thr-204 in SRII, which we had previously shown to be essential for signal relay to HtrII, occurs also in BR-T. In addition, 1670(+)/1664(-) cm-1 bands attributable to a distorted α-helix were observed in BR-T in a HtrII-dependent manner, as is seen in SRII. Thus, we identified similarities and dissimilarities of BR-T to BR and SRII. The results suggest signaling function of the structural changes of the HOOP vibrations, the O-H stretching vibration of the Thr-215 residue, and a distorted α-helix for the signal generation. We also succeeded in measurements of L minus initial state spectra of BR-T, which are the first FTIR spectra of L intermediates among sensory rhodopsins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15550-15558
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - May 25 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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