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REVIEW: Charge Motion during the Photocycle of Bacteriorhodopsin

A. Dér and L. Keszthelyi*

Institute of Biophysics, Biological Research Center, Szeged, P.O.B. 521, Hungary, H-6701; fax: 36-62-433133; E-mail: derandra@nucleus.szbk.u-szeged.hu, kl@nucleus.szbk.u-szeged.hu

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received April 25, 2001; Revision received June 12, 2001
The function of bacteriorhodopsin in Halobacterium salinarum is to pump protons from the internal side of the plasma membrane to the external after light excitation, thereby building up electrochemical energy. This energy is transduced into biological energy forms. This review deals with one of the methods elaborated for recording the charge transfer inside the protein. In this method the current produced in oriented purple membrane containing bacteriorhodopsin is measured. It is shown that this method might be applied not only to correlate charge motion with the photocycle reactions but also for general problems like effect of water, electric field, and different ions and buffers for the functioning of proteins.
KEY WORDS: bacteriorhodopsin, photocycle, charge motion