A mechanism for the light-driven proton pump of Halobacterium halobium

Klaus Schulten, Paul Tavan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


MITCHELL'S hypothesis of chemiosmotic coupling between redox reactions and ATP synthesis in membranes1 is supported by the finding of a light-driven proton pump in the purple membrane of Halobacterium halobium 2-4. The purple membrane contains the protein bacteriorhodopsin in a crystalline array, with retinal as chromophore5,6. We propose here, on the basis of quantumchemical arguments and experimental observations, that the H. halobium proton pump may involve proton translocation through photoisomerisation of retinal about its 14-15 single bond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-86
Number of pages2
Issue number5648
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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