Rhodopsin-like Protein from the Purple Membrane of Halobacterium halobium
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HALOPHILIC bacteria require high concentrations of sodium chloride and lower concentrations of KCl and MgCl2 for growth. The cell membrane dissociates into fragments of varying size when the salt is removed1. One characteristic fragment—termed the “purple membrane” because of its characteristic deep purple colour—has been isolated in relatively pure form from Halobacterium halobium2. We can now show that the purple colour is due to retinal bound to an opsin-like protein, the only protein present in this membrane fragment (see also ref. 3).
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