High-speed atomic force microscopy shows dynamic molecular processes in photoactivated bacteriorhodopsin High-speed atomic force microscopy shows dynamic molecular processes in photo-activated bacteriorhodopsin

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金沢大学理工研究域数物科学系Dynamic changes in protein conformation in response to external stimuli are important in biological processes, but it has proved difficult to directly visualize such structural changes under physiological conditions1-10. Here, we show that high-speed atomic force microscopy7 can be used to visualize dynamic changes in stimulated proteins. High-resolution movies of a light-driven proton pump, bacteriorhodopsin, reveal that, upon illumination, a cytoplasmic portion of each bacteriorhodopsin monomer is brought into contact with adjacent trimers. The bacteriorhodopsin-bacteriorhodopsin11,12 interaction in the transiently formed assembly engenders both positive and negative cooperative effects in the decay kinetics as the initial bacteriorhodopsin recovers and, as a consequence, the turnover rate of the photocycle is maintained constant, on average, irrespective of the light intensity. These results confirm that high-resolution visualization is a powerful approach for studying elaborate biomolecular processes under realistic conditions. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


  • Nature Nanotechnology

    Nature Nanotechnology 5(3), 208-212, 2010-03-01

    Nature Publishing Group

Cited by:  8


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