Photoelectric conversion by bacteriorhodopsin in charged synthetic membranes

K. Singh*, R. Korenstein, H. Lebedeva, S. R. Caplan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Photoelectroactivity of oriented purple membrane layers attached to an ion exchange film has been investigated. The action spectrum of the photocurrent followed the absorption spectrum of bacteriorhodopsin. The intactness of structure and function of bacteriorhodopsin was demonstrated by studies of absorption and photocycle kinetics. The direction of the photocurrent suggests that the extracellular surface of purple membrane is more positive. Photocurrents as high as 20 microA cm-2 were obtained in some preparations. The dependence of steady-state photocurrents on intensity of illumination and temperature was also studied. The initial rate of build-up of photocurrent depends linearly on the intensity of illumination while the off rate does not exhibit any dependence on the intensity of illumination. With rise in temperature an increase in the steady state photocurrent has been observed. This dependence was found to be linear when increase of the photocurrent due to proton translocation alone was considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-401
Number of pages9
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1980


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