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A carboxylic acid residue is conserved at the cytoplasmic border of the third transmembrane segment among nearly all G protein-coupled receptors. In the visual receptor rhodopsin, replacement of the conserved Glu134 by a neutral glutamine results in enhanced transducin activation. Here we show that a key event in forming the active state of rhodopsin is(More)
One of the key questions in biology is how the metabolism of a cell responds to changes in the environment. In budding yeast, starvation causes a drop in intracellular pH, but the functional role of this pH change is not well understood. Here, we show that the enzyme glutamine synthetase (Gln1) forms filaments at low pH and that filament formation leads to(More)
A method was developed to measure Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) difference spectra of detergent-solubilized rhodopsin expressed in COS cells. Experiments were performed on native bovine rhodopsin, rhodopsin expressed in COS cells, and three expressed rhodopsin mutants with amino acid replacements of membrane-embedded carboxylic acid groups: Asp-83-->Asn(More)
A mutation in the gene for the rod photoreceptor molecule rhodopsin causes congenital night blindness. The mutation results in a replacement of Gly90 by an aspartic acid residue. Two molecular mechanisms have been proposed to explain the physiology of affected rod cells. One involves constitutive activity of the G90D mutant opsin [Rao, V. R., Cohen, G. B.,(More)
Uranium mining waste piles, heavily polluted with radionuclides and other toxic metals, are a reservoir for bacteria that have evolved special strategies to survive in these extreme environments. Understanding the mechanisms of bacterial adaptation may enable the development of novel bioremediation strategies and other technological applications. Cell(More)
Rhodopsin, a G protein-coupled seven-transmembrane helix receptor, contains an 11-cis-retinal chromophore covalently linked to opsin apoprotein by a protonated Schiff base. Photoisomerization of the chromophore followed by Schiff base deprotonation forms metarhodopsin II (MII, lambda max = 380 nm), the active state (R*) that catalyzes guanine nucleotide(More)
The S-layer of Bacillus sphaericus strain JG-A12, isolated from a uranium-mining site, exhibits a high metal-binding capacity, indicating that it may provide a protective function by preventing the cellular uptake of heavy metals and radionuclides. This property has allowed the use of this and other S-layers as self-assembling organic templates for the(More)
Water is essential for life on Earth. In its absence, however, some organisms can interrupt their life cycle and temporarily enter an ametabolic state, known as anhydrobiosis [1]. It is assumed that sugars (in particular trehalose) are instrumental for survival under anhydrobiotic conditions [2]. However, the role of trehalose remained obscure because the(More)
The visual photoreceptor rhodopsin is a prototypical class I (rhodopsin-like) G protein-coupled receptor. Photoisomerization of the covalently bound ligand 11-cis-retinal leads to restructuring of the cytosolic face of rhodopsin. The ensuing protonation of Glu-134 in the class-conserved D(E)RY motif at the C-terminal end of transmembrane helix-3 promotes(More)
The formation of stable and functional surface layers (S-layers) via self-assembly of surface-layer proteins on the cell surface is a dynamic and complex process. S-layers facilitate a number of important biological functions, e.g., providing protection and mediating selective exchange of molecules and thereby functioning as molecular sieves. Furthermore,(More)