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Anabaena Sensory Rhodopsin: A Photochromic Color Sensor at 2.0 Å

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Science  19 Nov 2004:
Vol. 306, Issue 5700, pp. 1390-1393
DOI: 10.1126/science.1103943

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Abstract

Microbial sensory rhodopsins are a family of membrane-embedded photoreceptors in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Structures of archaeal rhodopsins, which function as light-driven ion pumps or photosensors, have been reported. We present the structure of a eubacterial rhodopsin, which differs from those of previously characterized archaeal rhodopsins in its chromophore and cytoplasmic-side portions. Anabaena sensory rhodopsin exhibits light-induced interconversion between stable 13-cis and all-trans states of the retinylidene protein. The ratio of its cis and trans chromophore forms depends on the wavelength of illumination, thus providing a mechanism for a single protein to signal the color of light, for example, to regulate color-sensitive processes such as chromatic adaptation in photosynthesis. Its cytoplasmic half channel, highly hydrophobic in the archaeal rhodopsins, contains numerous hydrophilic residues networked by water molecules, providing a connection from the photoactive site to the cytoplasmic surface believed to interact with the receptor's soluble 14-kilodalton transducer.

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