May 18, 1976

Light-induced membrane potential and pH gradient in Halobacterium halobium envelope vesicles

R Renthal, J K Lanyi


Illumination of envelope vesicles prepared from Halobacterium halobium cells causes translocation of protons from inside to outside, due to the light-induced cycling of bacteriorhodopsin. This process results in a pH gradient across the membranes, an electrical potential, and the movements of K+ and Na+. The electrical potential was estimated by following the fluorescence of a cyanine dye, 3,3'-dipentyloxadicarbocyanine. Illumination of H. halobium vesicles resulted in a rapid, reversible decrease of the dye fluorescence, by as much as 35%. This effect was not seen in nonvesicular patches of purple membrane. Observation of maximal fluorescence decreases upon ilumination of vesicles required an optimal dye/membrane protein ratio. The pH optimum for the lightinduced fluorescence decrease was 6.0. The decrease was linear with actinic light intensity up to about 4 X 10(5) ergs cn-2 s-1. Valinomycin, gramicidin, and triphenylmethylphosphonium ion all abolished the fluorescence changes. However, the light-induced pH change was enhanced by these agents. Conversely, buffered vesicles showed no pH change but gave the same or larger fluorescence changes. Thus, we have identified the fluorescence decrease with a light-induced membrane pot...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Tissue Membrane
Resting Potentials
Fluorescence Spectroscopy
Purple Membrane
Membrane Proteins

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