Sensory rhodopsin I (SRI) is one of the most interesting photosensory receptors in nature because of its ability to mediate opposite signals depending on light color by photochromic one-photon and two-photon reactions. Recently, we characterized SRI from eubacterium Salinibacter ruber (SrSRI). This protein allows more detailed information about the structure and structural changes of SRI during its action to be obtained. In this paper, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is applied to SrSRI, and the spectral changes upon formation of the K and M intermediates are compared with those of other archaeal rhodopsins, SRI from Halobacterium salinarum (AsSRI), sensory rhodopsin II (SRII), bacteriorhodopsin (BR), and halorhodopsin (HR). Spectral comparison of the hydrogen out-of-plane (HOOP) vibrations of the retinal chromophore in the K intermediates shows that extended choromophore distortion takes place in SrSRI and HsSRI, as well as in SRII, whereas the distortion is localized in the Schiff base region in BR and HR. It appears that sensor and pump functions are distinguishable from the spectral feature of HOOP modes. The HOOP band at 864 cm-1 in SRII, important for negative phototaxis, is absent in SrSRI, suggesting differences in signal transfer mechanism between SRI and SRII. The strongly hydrogen-bound water molecule, important for proton pumps, is observed at 2172 cm-1 in SrSRI, as well as in BR and SRII. The formation of the M intermediate accompanies the appearance of peaks at 1753 (+) and 1743 (-) cm-1, which can be interpreted as the protonation signal of the counterion (Asp72) and the proton release signal from an unidentified carboxylic acid, respectively. The structure and structural changes of SrSRI are discussed on the basis of the present infrared spectral comparisons with other rhodopsins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas