Photoactive Yellow Protein, the Prototype Xanthopsin

Authored by: Johnny Hendriks , Marijke Hospes , Klaas J. Hellingwerf

CRC Handbook of Organic Photochemistry and Photobiology

Print publication date:  March  2012
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439899335
eBook ISBN: 9781466561250
Adobe ISBN:


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In 1985, several ferredoxins and other chromophoric proteins from the halophilic phototrophic bacterium Ectothiorhodospira halophila were isolated by T. E. Meyer in Tucson, Az. 1 One of the “other chromophoric proteins” he identified in this screen was yellow and was named “photoactive yellow protein” (PYP) in a subsequent study. 2 E. halophila was reclassified in 1996 to its current name Halorhodospira halophila. 3 H. halophila is a unicellular prokaryote, or more specifically, a phototrophic purple spirillum that deposits sulfur extracellularly. It was first isolated and classified from salt-encrusted mud taken from the shores of Summer Lake, Lake County, Oregon. 4,5 Later, it was also isolated from the extremely saline lakes of the Wadi el Natrun in Egypt. 6 Both locations are salt lakes, and indeed, H. halophila only thrives in extremely salty environments.

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