Biophysics of structure and mechanism

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 69-77

First online:

What does Halobacterium tell us about photoreception?

  • E. HildebrandAffiliated withInstitut für Neurobiologie, Kernforschungsanlage Jülich

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A photosensory mechanism is proposed for Halobacterium halobium based on the observation of light-induced motor responses. Possible mechanisms of signal transduction in Halobacterium are discussed. Bacteriorhodopsin and the visual pigment rhodopsin are compared with respect to their structural and functional properties. The conclusion is drawn that Halobacterium may help to understand primary photochemical events of rhodopsin rather than the transduction mechanism of visual photoreceptors.

Key words

Bacteria Photophobic response Rhodopsin Membrane Sensory transduction