PerspectiveStructural Biology

A Chloride Pump at Atomic Resolution

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Science  26 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5470, pp. 1358-1359
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5470.1358

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In Halobacterium salinarum, a family of four archaeal rhodopsins performs several different signaling and cross-membrane transport functions. In this Perspective, Spudich discusses recent advances in understanding the molecular mechanism by which these homologous proteins perform this range of functions. A high-resolution structure of halorhodopsin (Kolbe et al., page 1390) provides insights into the relation between proton and chloride transport, representing an important step toward understanding the unifying principles in the archaeal rhodopsin family.