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

Charge asymmetry of the purple membrane measured by uranyl quenching of dansyl fluorescence.

Purple membrane was covalently labeled with 5-(dimethylamino) naphthalene-1-sulfonyl hydrazine (dansyl hydrazine) by carbodiimide coupling to the cytoplasmic surface (carboxyl-terminal tail: 0.7 mol/ mol bacteriorhodopsin) or by periodate oxidation and dimethylaminoborane reduction at the extracellular surface (glycolipids: 1 mol/ mol). In 2 mM acetate buffer, pH 5.6, micromolar concentrations of UO2 +(2) were found to quench the dansyl groups on the cytoplasmic surface (maximum = 26%), while little quenching was observed at the extracellular surface (maximum = 4%). Uranyl ion quenched dansyl hydrazine in free solution at much higher concentrations. Uranyl also bound tightly to unmodified purple membrane, (apparent dissociation constant = 0.8 microM) as measured by a centrifugation assay. The maximum stoichiometry was 10 mol/ mol of bacteriorhodopsin, which is close to the amount of phospholipid phosphorus in purple membrane. The results were analyzed on the assumptions that UO2 +(2) binds in a 1:1 complex with phospholipid phosphate and that the dansyl distribution and quenching mechanisms are the same at both surfaces. This indicates a 9:1 ratio of phosphate between the cytoplasmic and extracellular surfaces. Thus, the surface change density of the cytoplasmic side of the membrane is more negative than -0.010 charges/A2.[1]


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