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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

FTIR spectroscopy of the all-trans form of Anabaena sensory rhodopsin at 77 K: hydrogen bond of a water between the Schiff base and Asp75.

Anabaena sensory rhodopsin (ASR) is an archaeal-type rhodopsin found in eubacteria, and is believed to function as a photosensor interacting with a 14 kDa soluble protein. Most of the residues in the retinal binding pocket are similar in ASR except proline 206, where the corresponding amino acid in other archaeal-type rhodopsins is highly conserved aspartate that constitutes the counterion complex of the positively charged protonated Schiff base. The recently determined X-ray crystallographic structure of ASR revealed a water molecule between the Schiff base and Asp75 [Vogeley, L., Sineshchekov, O. A., Trivedi, V. D., Sasaki, J., Spudich, J. L., and Luecke, H. (2004) Science 306, 1390-1393], as well as the case for bacteriorhodopsin (BR), a typical transport rhodopsin working as a proton pump. In this study, we applied low-temperature Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy to the all-trans form of ASR at 77 K, and compared the local structure around the chromophore and their structural changes upon retinal photoisomerization with those of BR. The K intermediate minus ASR difference spectra were essentially similar to those for BR, indicating that photoisomerization yields formation of the distorted 13-cis form. In contrast, little amide I bands were observed for ASR. The presence of the proline-specific vibrational bands suggests that peptide backbone alterations are limited to the Pro206 moiety in the K state of ASR. The N-D stretching of the Schiff base is presumably located at 2163 (-) and 2125 (-) cm(-)(1) in ASR, suggesting that the hydrogen bonding strength of the Schiff base in ASR is similar to that in BR. A remarkable difference between ASR and BR was revealed from water bands. Although ASR possesses a bridged water molecule like BR, the O-D stretching of water molecules was observed only in the >2500 cm(-)(1) region for ASR. We interpreted that the weak hydrogen bond of the bridged water between the Schiff base and Asp75 originates from their geometry. Since ASR does not pump protons, our result supports the working hypothesis that the existence of strongly hydrogen bonded water molecules is essential for proton pumping activity in archaeal rhodopsins.[1]


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