Pharaonis phoborhodopsin (ppR) is a photosensor of negative phototaxis in Natronomonas (Natronobacterium) pharaonis, an alkalophilic halophile. This protein has seven transmembrane helices into which a chromophore, all-trans retinal, binds to a specific lysine residue (located in helix G)via a protonated Schiff base. Various mutants were engineered to have a single cysteine in the F-helix. In the presence of a bulky fluorescent SH-reagent, MIANS, (2-(4′-maleimidylanilino)naphthalene-6-sulfonic acid, illumination decreased the photoreactivity or flash-yield (absorbance deflection immediately after the flash) of the L163C ppR mutant (in which Leu-163 was replaced with Cys) without changing the photocycling rate. The fluorescence of the isolated protein increased with increasing illumination. These observations suggest that during photocycling, the space around Cys-163 in the F-helix might open, permitting reaction with the relatively large molecule. This reaction occurred only at the M-state and not at the O-state. The implications are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry