The endogenous chromophore of retinal G protein-coupled receptor opsin from the pigment epithelium.
The recent identification of nonvisual opsins has revealed an expanding family of vertebrate opsin genes. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and Muller cells contain a blue and UV light-absorbing opsin, the RPE retinal G protein-coupled receptor (RGR, or RGR opsin). The spectral properties of RGR purified from bovine RPE suggest that RGR is conjugated in vivo to a retinal chromophore through a covalent Schiff base bond. In this study, the isomeric structure of the endogenous chromophore of RGR was identified by the hydroxylamine derivatization method. The retinaloximes derived from RGR in the dark consisted predominantly of the all-trans isomer. Irradiation of RGR with 470-nm monochromatic or near-UV light resulted in stereospecific isomerization of the bound all-trans-retinal to an 11-cis configuration. The stereospecificity of photoisomerization of the all-trans-retinal chromophore of RGR was lost by denaturation of the protein in SDS. Under the in vitro conditions, the photosensitivity of RGR is at least 34% that of bovine rhodopsin. These results provide evidence that RGR is bound in vivo primarily to all-trans-retinal and is capable of operating as a stereospecific photoisomerase that generates 11-cis-retinal in the pigment epithelium. (+info)
Histologic analysis of photochemical lesions produced in rhesus retina by short-wave-length light.
The photopathology of retinal lesions produced by extended exposure (1000 sec) to low corneal power levels (62 microW) of blue light (441 nm) was investigated by light microscopy in 20 rhesus eyes over an interval ranging from 1 hr to 90 days after exposure. Results indicate a nonthermal type of photochemical lesion originating in the retinal pigment epithelium and leading to a histological response with hypopigmentation which requires 48 hr to appear. This type of lesion helps to explain solar retinitis and eclipse blindness and has significance for aging and degenerative changes in the retina. (+info)
Photophysical analysis of class I major histocompatibility complex protein assembly using a xanthene-derivatized beta2-microglobulin.
Spectral changes and a sixfold increase in the emission intensity were observed in the fluorescence of a single xanthene probe (Texas red) attached to beta2m-microglobulin (beta2m) upon assembly of beta2m into a ternary complex with mouse H-2Kd heavy chain and influenza nuclear protein peptide. Dissociation of the labeled beta2m from the ternary complex restored the probe's fluorescence and absorption spectra and reduced the emission intensity. Thus changes in xanthene probe fluorescence upon association/dissociation of the labeled beta2m molecule with/from the ternary complex provide a simple and convenient method for studying the assembly/dissociation mechanism of the class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC-I) encoded molecule. The photophysical changes in the probe can be accounted for by the oligomerization of free labeled beta2m molecules. The fluorescence at 610 nm is due to beta2m dimers, where the probes are significantly separated spatially so that their emission and excitation properties are close to those of xanthene monomers. Fluorescence around 630 nm is due to beta2m oligomers where xanthene probes interact. Minima in the steady-state excitation (550 nm) and emission (630 nm) anisotropy spectra correlate with the maxima of the high-order oligomer excitation and emission spectra, showing that their fluorescence is more depolarized. These photophysical features are explained by splitting of the first singlet excited state of interacting xanthene probes that can be modeled by exciton theory. (+info)
Resolution of fluorescence correlation measurements.
The resolution limit of fluorescence correlation spectroscopy for two-component solutions is investigated theoretically and experimentally. The autocorrelation function for two different particles in solution were computed, statistical noise was added, and the resulting curve was fitted with a least squares fit. These simulations show that the ability to distinguish between two different molecular species in solution depends strongly on the number of photons detected from each particle, their difference in size, and the concentration of each component in solution. To distinguish two components, their diffusion times must differ by at least a factor of 1.6 for comparable quantum yields and a high fluorescence signal. Experiments were conducted with Rhodamine 6G and Rhodamine-labeled bovine serum albumin. The experimental results support the simulations. In addition, they show that even with a high fluorescence signal but significantly different quantum yields, the diffusion times must differ by a factor much bigger than 1.6 to distinguish the two components. Depending on the quantum yields and the difference in size, there exists a concentration threshold for the less abundant component below which it is not possible to determine with statistical means alone that two particles are in solution. (+info)
Chemotactic responses of Escherichia coli to small jumps of photoreleased L-aspartate.
Computer-assisted motion analysis coupled to flash photolysis of caged chemoeffectors provides a means for time-resolved analysis of bacterial chemotaxis. Escherichia coli taxis toward the amino acid attractant L-aspartate is mediated by the Tar receptor. The physiology of this response, as well as Tar structure and biochemistry, has been studied extensively. The beta-2, 6-dinitrobenzyl ester of L-aspartic acid and the 1-(2-nitrophenyl)ethyl ether of 8-hydroxypyrene-1,3,6-tris-sulfonic acid were synthesized. These compounds liberated L-aspartate and the fluorophore 8-hydroxypyrene 1,3,6-tris-sulfonic acid (pyranine) upon irradiation with near-UV light. Photorelease of the fluorophore was used to define the amplitude and temporal stability of the aspartate jumps employed in chemotaxis experiments. The dependence of chemotactic adaptation times on aspartate concentration, determined in mixing experiments, was best fit by two Tar aspartate-binding sites. Signal processing (excitation) times, amplitudes, and adaptive recovery of responses elicited by aspartate jumps producing less than 20% change in receptor occupancy were characterized in photorelease assays. Aspartate concentration jumps in the nanomolar range elicited measurable responses. The response threshold and sensitivity of swimming bacteria matched those of bacteria tethered to glass by a single flagellum. Stimuli of similar magnitude, delivered either by rapid mixing or photorelease, evoked responses of similar strength, as assessed by recovery time measurements. These times remained proportional to change in receptor occupancy close to threshold, irrespective of prior occupancy. Motor excitation responses decayed exponentially with time. Rates of excitation responses near threshold ranged from 2 to 7 s-1. These values are consistent with control of excitation signaling by decay of phosphorylated pools of the response regulator protein, CheY. Excitation response rates increased slightly with stimulus size up to values limited by the instrumentation; the most rapid was measured to be 16 +/- 3 (SE) s-1. This increase may reflect simultaneous activation of CheY dephosphorylation, together with inhibition of its phosphorylation. (+info)
Resolution of the paradox of red cell shape changes in low and high pH.
The molecular basis of cell shape regulation in acidic pH was investigated in human erythrocytes. Intact erythrocytes maintain normal shape in the cell pH range 6.3-7.9, but invaginate at lower pH values. However, consistent with predicted pH-dependent changes in the erythrocyte membrane skeleton, isolated erythrocyte membranes evaginate in acidic pH. Moreover, intact cells evaginate at pH greater than 7.9, but isolated membranes invaginate in this condition. Labeling with the hydrophobic, photoactivatable probe 5-[125I]iodonaphthyl-1-azide demonstrated pH-dependent hydrophobic insertion of an amphitropic protein into membranes of intact cells but not into isolated membranes. Based on molecular weight and on reconstitution experiments using stripped inside-out vesicles, the most likely candidate for the variably labeled protein is glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. Resealing of isolated membranes reconstituted both the shape changes and the hydrophobic labeling profile seen in intact cells. This observation appears to resolve the paradox of the contradictory pH dependence of shape changes of intact cells and isolated membranes. In intact erythrocytes, the demonstrated protein-membrane interaction would oppose pH-dependent shape effects of the spectrin membrane skeleton, stabilizing cell shape in moderately abnormal pH. Stabilization of erythrocyte shape in moderately acidic pH may prevent inappropriate red cell destruction in the spleen. (+info)
Analysis of the membrane-interacting domains of myelin basic protein by hydrophobic photolabeling.
Myelin basic protein is a water soluble membrane protein which interacts with acidic lipids through some type of hydrophobic interaction in addition to electrostatic interactions. Here we show that it can be labeled from within the lipid bilayer when bound to acidic lipids with the hydrophobic photolabel 3-(trifluoromethyl)-3-(m-[125I]iodophenyl)diazirine (TID) and by two lipid photolabels. The latter included one with the reactive group near the apolar/polar interface and one with the reactive group linked to an acyl chain to position it deeper in the bilayer. The regions of the protein which interact hydrophobically with lipid to the greatest extent were determined by cleaving the TID-labeled myelin basic protein (MBP) with cathepsin D into peptides 1-43, 44-89, and 90-170. All three peptides from lipid-bound protein were labeled much more than peptides from the protein labeled in solution. However, the peptide labeling pattern was similar for both environments. The two peptides in the N-terminal half were labeled similarly and about twice as much as the C-terminal peptide indicating that the N-terminal half interacts hydrophobically with lipid more than the C-terminal half. MBP can be modified post-translationally in vivo, including by deamidation, which may alter its interactions with lipid. However, deamidation had no effect on the TID labeling of MBP or on the labeling pattern of the cathepsin D peptides. The site of deamidation has been reported to be in the C-terminal half, and its lack of effect on hydrophobic interactions of MBP with lipid are consistent with the conclusion that the N-terminal half interacts hydrophobically more than the C-terminal half. Since other studies of the interaction of isolated N-terminal and C-terminal peptides with lipid also indicate that the N-terminal half interacts hydrophobically with lipid more than the C-terminal half, these results from photolabeling of the intact protein suggest that the N-terminal half of the intact protein interacts with lipid in a similar way as the isolated peptide. The similar behavior of the intact protein to that of its isolated peptides suggests that when the purified protein binds to acidic lipids, it is in a conformation which allows both halves of the protein to interact independently with the lipid bilayer. That is, it does not form a hydrophobic domain made up from different parts of the protein. (+info)
Photochemical internalization: a novel technology for delivery of macromolecules into cytosol.
The therapeutic usefulness of macromolecules, such as in gene therapy, is often limited by an inefficient transfer of the macromolecule to the cytosol and a lack of tissue-specific targeting. The possibility of photochemically releasing macromolecules from endosomes and lysosomes into the cytosol was examined. Endocytosed macromolecules and photosensitizer were exposed to light and intracellular localization and the expression of macomolecules in the cytosol was analyzed. This novel technology, named photochemical internalization (PCI), was found to efficiently deliver type I ribosome-inactivating proteins, horseradish peroxidase, a p21ras-derived peptide, and a plasmid encoding green fluorescent protein into cytosol in a light-dependent manner. The results presented here show that PCI can induce efficient light-directed delivery of macromolecules into the cytosol, indicating that PCI may have a variety of useful applications for site-specific drug delivery, e.g., in gene therapy, vaccination, and cancer treatment. (+info)