We have investigated the effect of Ca2+ and Hg2+ binding on various properties of the blue membrane prepared by deionization of the Halobacterium halobium purple membrane. Binding of radioactive 45Ca2+ and 203Hg2+ was monitored by a filtration technique. Five high and medium affinity sites for Ca2+ and seven low affinity sites for Hg2+ were found per bacteriorhodopsin. Competitive binding was observed only for three Ca2+ and three Hg2+. Visible absorption studies indicated that Ca2+ binding could restore the purple color of bacteriorhodopsin while Hg2+ was inefficient. Hg2- could partially reverse to blue the Ca2+-regenerated purple membrane in parallel with the displacement of three Ca2+. Effects of cation binding on the surface potential of the membrane were measured by Electron Spin Resonance spectroscopy using a cationic spin-labeled amphiphile. Cations such as La3+, Ca2+, Mg2+, or Na+ strongly increased (i.e. rendered less negative) the surface potential. An univocal correlation was found between the cation-induced variation of surface potential and the extent of regeneration of the purple color. Hg2+ induced a smaller increase in surface potential than that corresponding to the effective divalent cations. This lower effect appears to be due to binding to sites not related to those of other cations.
|Journal||The Journal of biological chemistry|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1988|