Dark and light adaptation of bacteriorhodopsin in purple membrane multilayers at less than 100% relative humidity differs from that seen in suspensions. Equilibrium between the two bacteriorhodopsin isomers (bR cis 550 and bR trans 570) in the light-adapted state becomes dependent on the wavelength of actinic light. Excitation at the red edge of the visible absorption band causes dark adaptation in a light-adapted sample. Using polarized actinic and measuring light, we show that acceleration of the dark adaptation through heating by actinic light cannot explain this observation. A light-driven bR trans 570 to bR cis 550 reaction that competes with the well-known 13 cis-to-all-trans light adaptation reaction must exist under our experimental conditions. Trans-to-cis conversion is a one-photon process distinct from the two photon process observed by others in purple membrane suspensions (Sperling, W., C. N. Rafferty, K. D. Kohl, and N. A. Dencher, 1978, FEBS (Fed. Eur. Biochem. Soc.) Lett. 97:129–132). Its quantum efficiency increases monotonously on reducing the hydration level, and is paralleled by an increase in the lifetime of the M410 intermediate of the trans photocycle. We suggest that at this point a branch leads from the all-trans into the 13-cis photocycle. It is probably the same reaction that causes the reduced light adaptation in monomeric bacteriorhodopsin (Casadio, R., H. Gutowitz, P. Mowery, M. Taylor, and W. Stoeckenius, 1980, Biochim. Biophys. Acta. 590:13–23; Casadio, R., and W. Stoeckenius, 1980, Biochemistry. 19:3374–3381). © 1985, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.
Kouyama, T., Bogomolni, R. A., & Stoeckenius, W. (1985). Photoconversion from the light-adapted to the dark-adapted state of bacteriorhodopsin. Biophysical Journal, 48(2), 201–208. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(85)83773-5