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

The primary structures of the Archaeon Halobacterium salinarium blue light receptor sensory rhodopsin II and its transducer, a methyl-accepting protein.

Recently, a large family of transducer proteins in the Archaeon Halobacterium salinarium was identified. On the basis of the comparison of the predicted structural domains of these transducers, three distinct subfamilies of transducers were proposed. Here we report isolation, complete gene sequences, and analysis of the encoded primary structures of transducer gene htrII, a member of family B, and its blue light receptor gene (sopII) of sensory rhodopsin II (SRII). The start codon ATG of the 714-bp sopII gene is one nucleotide beyond the termination codon TGA of the 2298-bp htrII gene. The deduced protein sequence of HtrII predicts a eubacterial chemotaxis transducer type with two hydrophobic membrane-spanning segments connecting sizable domains in the periplasm and cytoplasm. HtrII has a common feature with HtrI, the sensory rhodopsin I transducer; like HtrI, HtrII possesses a hydrophilic loop structure just after the second transmembrane segment. The C-terminal 299 residues (765 amino acid residues total) of HtrII show strong homology to the signaling and methylation domain of eubacterial transducer Tsr. The hydropathy plot of the primary structure of SRII indicates seven membrane-spanning alpha-helical segments, a characteristic feature of retinylidene proteins ("rhodopsins") from a widespread family of photoactive pigments. SRII shows high identity with SRI (42%), bacteriorhodopsin (BR) (32%), and halorhodopsin (24%). The crucial positions for retinal binding sites in these proteins are nearly identical, with the exception of Met-118 (numbering according to the mature BR sequence), which is replaced by Val in SRII. In BR, residues Asp-85 and Asp-96 are crucial in proton pumping. In SRII, the position corresponding to Asp-85 in BR is conserved, but the corresponding position of Asp-96 is replaced by an aromatic Tyr. Coexpression of the htrII and sopII genes restores SRII phototaxis to a mutant (Pho81) that contains a deletion in the htrI/sopI and insertion in htrII/sopII regions. This paper describes the first example that both HtrI and HtrII exist in the same halobacterial cell, confirming that different sensory rhodopsins SRI and SRII in the same organism have their own distinct transducers.[1]


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