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Science 306 (5700): 1390-1393

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Anabaena Sensory Rhodopsin: A Photochromic Color Sensor at 2.0 Å

Lutz Vogeley,1 Oleg A. Sineshchekov,3,5 Vishwa D. Trivedi,3 Jun Sasaki,3 John L. Spudich,3,4* Hartmut Luecke1,2*

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.

1 Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry,
2 Department of Physiology and Biophysics and Department of Informatics and Computer Sciences, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA.
3 Center for Membrane Biology, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,
4 Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Texas Medical School, Houston, TX 77030, USA.
5 Biology Department, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: hudel{at} (H.L.) or john.l.spudich{at} (J.L.S.)

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