Effects of Chloride Ion Binding on the Photochemical Properties of Salinibacter Sensory Rhodopsin I

Daisuke Suzuki, Yuji Furutani, Keiichi Inoue, Takashi Kikukawa, Makoto Sakai, Masaaki Fujii, Hideki Kandori, Michio Homma, Yuki Sudo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial organisms utilize light not only as energy sources but also as signals by which rhodopsins (containing retinal as a chromophore) work as photoreceptors. Sensory rhodopsin I (SRI) is a dual photoreceptor that regulates both negative and positive phototaxis in microbial organisms, such as the archaeon Halobacterium salinarum and the eubacterium Salinibacter ruber. These organisms live in highly halophilic environments, suggesting the possibility of the effects of salts on the function of SRI. However, such effects remain unclear because SRI proteins from H. salinarum (HsSRI) are unstable in dilute salt solutions. Recently, we characterized a new SRI protein (SrSRI) that is stable even in the absence of salts, thus allowing us to investigate the effects of salts on the photochemical properties of SRI. In this study, we report that the absorption maximum of SrSRI is shifted from 542 to 556 nm in a Cl--dependent manner with a Km of 307 ± 56 mM, showing that Cl--binding sites exist in SRI. The bathochromic shift was caused not only by NaCl but also by other salts (NaI, NaBr, and NaNO3), implying that I-, Br-, and NO3- can also bind to SrSRI. In addition, the photochemical properties during the photocycle are also affected by chloride ion binding. Mutagenesis studies strongly suggested that a conserved residue, His131, is involved in the Cl--binding site. In light of these results, we discuss the effects of the Cl- binding to SRI and the roles of Cl- binding in its function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-62
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 11 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • anion binding
  • color tuning
  • phototaxis
  • sensory rhodopsin
  • signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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