Sep 13, 1976

An estimation of the light-induced electrochemical potential difference of protons across the membrane of Halobacterium halobium

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta
E P BakkerS R Caplan


The light-dependent uptake of triphenylmethylphosphonium (TPMP+) and of 5,5-dimethyloxazolidine-2,4-dione (DMO) by starved purple cells of Halobacterium halobium was investigated. DMO uptake was used to calculate the pH difference (deltapH) across the membrane, and TPMP+ was used as an index of the electrical potential difference, deltapsi. Under most conditions, both in the light and in the dark, the cells are more alkaline than the medium. In the light at pH 6.6, deltapH amounts to 0.6-0.8 pH unit. Its value can be increased to 1.5-2.0 by either incubating the cells with TPMP+ (10(-3) M) or at low external pH (5.5). --deltapH can be lowered by uncoupler or by nigericin. The TPMP+ uptake by the cells indicates a large deltapsi across the membrane, negative inside. It was estimated that in the light, at pH 6.6, deltapsi might reach a value of about 100 mV and that consequently the electrical equivalent of the proton electrochemical potential difference, deltamuH+/F, amounts under these conditions to about 140 mV. The effects of different ionophores on the light-drive proton extrusion by the cells were in agreement with the effects of these compounds on --deltapH.

Mentioned in this Paper

Resting Potentials
Carbonyl Cyanide m-Chlorophenyl Hydrazone
Onium Compounds
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Plasma Membrane

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