Research ArticleSTRUCTURAL BIOLOGY

Pumping mechanism of NM-R3, a light-driven bacterial chloride importer in the rhodopsin family

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  07 Feb 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 6, eaay2042
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay2042

Abstract

A newly identified microbial rhodopsin, NM-R3, from the marine flavobacterium Nonlabens marinus, was recently shown to drive chloride ion uptake, extending our understanding of the diversity of mechanisms for biological energy conversion. To clarify the mechanism underlying its function, we characterized the crystal structures of NM-R3 in both the dark state and early intermediate photoexcited states produced by laser pulses of different intensities and temperatures. The displacement of chloride ions at five different locations in the model reflected the detailed anion-conduction pathway, and the activity-related key residues—Cys105, Ser60, Gln224, and Phe90—were identified by mutation assays and spectroscopy. Comparisons with other proteins, including a closely related outward sodium ion pump, revealed key motifs and provided structural insights into light-driven ion transport across membranes by the NQ subfamily of rhodopsins. Unexpectedly, the response of the retinal in NM-R3 to photostimulation appears to be substantially different from that seen in bacteriorhodopsin.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances