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Protein conformational alterations induced by the retinal excited state in proton and sodium pumping rhodopsins

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Abstract

Retinal proteins’ biological activity is triggered by the retinal chromophore's light absorption, which initiates a photocycle. However, the mechanism by which retinal light excitation induces the protein's response is not completely understood. Recently, two new retinal proteins were discovered, namely, King Sejong 1-2 (KS1-2) and Nonlabens (Donghaeana) dokdonensis (DDR2), which exhibit H+ and Na+ pumping activities, respectively. To pinpoint whether protein conformation alterations can be achieved without light-induced retinal C13[double bond, length as m-dash]C14 double-bond isomerization, we utilized the hydroxylamine reaction, which cleaves the protonated Schiff base bond through which the retinal chromophore is covalently bound to the protein. The reaction is accelerated by light even though the cleavage is not a photochemical reaction. Therefore, the cleavage reaction may serve as a tool to detect protein conformation alterations. We discovered that in both KS1-2 and DDR2, the hydroxylamine reaction is light accelerated, even in artificial pigments derived from synthetic retinal in which the crucial C13[double bond, length as m-dash]C14 double-bond isomerization is prevented. Therefore, we propose that in both proteins the light-induced retinal charge redistribution taking place in the retinal excited state polarizes the protein, which, in turn, triggers protein conformation alterations. A further general possible application of the present finding is associated with other photoreceptor proteins having retinal or other non-retinal chromophores whose light excitation may affect the protein conformation.

Graphical abstract: Protein conformational alterations induced by the retinal excited state in proton and sodium pumping rhodopsins

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Feb 2019, accepted on 03 Apr 2019 and first published on 09 Apr 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9CP00681H
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019, Advance Article

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    Protein conformational alterations induced by the retinal excited state in proton and sodium pumping rhodopsins

    M. Ghosh, K. Jung and M. Sheves, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9CP00681H

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