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Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Commons

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Molecular Biology

Honors Theses

2017

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Examining Interactions Between Opsins And Carotenoid Biosynthetic Proteins In Halophilic Archaea, Alexandru M. Plesa Jan 2017

Examining Interactions Between Opsins And Carotenoid Biosynthetic Proteins In Halophilic Archaea, Alexandru M. Plesa

Honors Theses

Organisms have evolved numerous specialized molecules for constantly responding to environmental changes. Examples of such molecules are the light-driven proton-pump rhodopsins, such as bacteriorhodopsin (BR) and cruxrhodopsin (cR), and the carotenoid pigments, such as retinal and bacterioruberin. In halophilic Archaea, retinal can covalently bind bacterioopsin (BO) and cruxopsin (CO) to form the corresponding protein complexes, and its biosynthesis is indirectly controlled by the activity of the lycopene elongase (Lye) enzyme, which converts lycopene, a retinal precursor, to a form of bacterioruberin. Interestingly, opsins were shown to inhibit the activity of Lye, thereby promoting retinal biosynthesis and indirectly regulating the apoprotein-cofactor ...