Spectroscopic characterization of nitrated purple membranes.

E. Lam, A. Pande, R. Callender, E. F. Hilinski, P. M. Rentzepis, L. Packer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Light-adapted purple membranes were modified with tetranitromethane by a new light-dependent procedure at pH 5.5 which results in a blue-shifted chromophore absorbing at 530nm. This modification affects two aromatic residues. The modified bacteriorhodopsin's ground state chromophore structure is probed by circular dichroism and resonance raman spectroscopy while its photocycle is studied by laser-flash photolysis in the picosecond, microsecond and millisecond time scale. After nitration, the main findings are 1) Interactions between neighboring chromophores are lost, 2) Modified bacteriorhodopsin contains a conformationally changed chromophore but retains a protonated Schiff's base as evidenced by a resonance raman band at 1652 cm-1, 3) A red-shifted intermediate is formed in less than 10 ps after laser excitation, 4) The decay of the M-intermediate is not significantly affected whereas the rise time of the intermediate is enhanced about two fold. These observations are relevant to the role of aromatic acid residues of the apoprotein in the determination of the chromophoric characteristics in bacteriorhodopsin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-224
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemistry International
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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