Rhodopsins are seven-transmembrane photoreceptor proteins that bind to the retinal chromophore and have been utilized as a genetically encoded voltage indicator (GEVI). So far, archaerhodopsin-3 (AR3) has been successfully used as a GEVI, despite its low fluorescence intensity. We performed comparative and quantitative fluorescence analyses of 15 microbial rhodopsins to explore these highly fluorescent molecules and to clarify their fluorescence mechanism. These rhodopsins showed a wide range of fluorescence intensities in mouse hippocampal neurons. Some of them, GR, HwBR, IaNaR, MR, and NpHR, showed fluorescence intensities comparable with or higher than that of AR3, suggesting their potential for GEVIs. The fluorescence intensity in neurons correlated with that of the bright fluorescent photointermediate such as a Q-intermediate (R = 0.75), suggesting that the fluorescence in neurons originates from the fluorescence of the photointermediate. Our findings provide a crucial step for producing next-generation rhodopsin-based GEVIs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry