2021 Volume 18 Pages 177-185
Middle rhodopsin (MR) found from the archaeon Haloquadratum walsbyi is evolutionarily located between two different types of rhodopsins, bacteriorhodopsin (BR) and sensory rhodopsin II (SRII). Some isomers of the chromophore retinal and the photochemical reaction of MR are markedly different from those of BR and SRII. In this study, to obtain the structural information regarding its active center (i.e., retinal), we subjected MR embedded in lipid bilayers to solid-state magic-angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The analysis of the isotropic 13C chemical shifts of the retinal chromophore revealed the presence of three types of retinal configurations of dark-adapted MR: (13-trans, 15-anti (all-trans)), (13-cis, 15-syn), and 11-cis isomers. The higher field resonance of the 20-C methyl carbon in the all-trans retinal suggested that Trp182 in MR has an orientation that is different from that in other microbial rhodopsins, owing to the changes in steric hindrance associated with the 20-C methyl group in retinal. 13Cζ signals of Tyr185 in MR for all-trans and 13-cis, 15-syn isomers were discretely observed, representing the difference in the hydrogen bond strength of Tyr185. Further, 15N NMR analysis of the protonated Schiff base corresponding to the all-trans and 13-cis, 15-syn isomers in MR showed a strong electrostatic interaction with the counter ion. Therefore, the resulting structural information exhibited the property of stable retinal conformations of dark-adapted MR.