A novel intermediate (P) of the bacteriorhodopsin (bR) photocycle, appearing between M412 and bR is described. Like bR, intermediate P shows an absorption maximum at 560-570 nm. However, the extinction coefficient of P is somewhat lower than that of bR. Moreover, there are some differences in spectra of bR and P at wavelengths shorter than 450 nm. The P → bR transition correlates with the absorption of H+ from the water medium. The following conditions proved to be favourable for the detection of the new intermediate: a high salt concentration, low light intensity and low temperature (0.5°C). The P → bR transition is strongly decelerated by a small amount of Triton X-100. Illumination of P does not produce M412 before bR is formed. It is assumed that M412 converts to P when the Schiff base is protonated by a proton transferred from a protein protolytic group which participates in the inward H+-conductivity pathway. Reprotonation of this group results in the conversion of P to bR. No more than 1 H+ is transported per bR photocycle. © 1986.
Drachev, L. A., Kaulen, A. D., Skulachev, V. P., & Zorina, V. V. (1986). Protonation of a novel intermediate P is involved in the M → bR step of the bacteriorhodopsin photocycle. FEBS Letters, 209(2), 316–320. https://doi.org/10.1016/0014-5793(86)81134-6