On the mechanism of hydrogen-deuterium exchange in bacteriorhodopsin

A. G. Doukas, A. Pande, T. Suzuki, R. H. Callender, B. Honig, M. Ottolenghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Continuous-flow resonance Raman experiments carried out in bacteriorhodopsin show that the exchange of a deuteron on the Schiff base with a proton takes place in times shorter than 3 ms. Exchange mechanisms based on a base-catalyzed deprotonation followed by reprotonation of the Schiff base are excluded. A mechanism is suggested in which a water molecule interacts directly with the Schiff base deuteron in a concerted exchange mechanism. It appears that in the dark, the binding site is more accessible to neutral water molecules than to charged protons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-279
Number of pages5
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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