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The effect of deuteration on the 13C linewidths of U-13C, 15N 2D crystalline bacteriorhodopsin (bR) from Halobacterium salinarium, a 248-amino acid protein with seven-transmembrane (7TM) spanning regions, has been studied in purple membranes as a prelude to potential structural studies. Spectral doubling of resonances was observed for receptor expressed in 2H medium (for both 50:50% 1H:2H, and a more highly deuterated form) with the resonances being of similar intensities and separated by <0.3 ppm in the methyl spectral regions in which they were readily distinguished. Line-widths of the methyl side chains were not significantly altered when the protein was expressed in highly deuterated medium compared to growth in fully protonated medium (spectral line widths were about 0.5 ppm on average for receptor expressed both in the fully protonated and highly deuterated media from the C delta, C gamma 1, and C gamma 2 Ile 13C signals observed in the direct, 21-39 ppm, and indirect, 9-17 ppm, dimensions). The measured 13C NMR line-widths observed for both protonated and deuterated form of the receptor are sufficiently narrow, indicating that this crystalline protein morphology is suitable for structural studies. 1) decoupling comparison of the protonated and deuterated bR imply that deuteration may be advantageous for samples in which low power 1H decoupling is required.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochim Biophys Acta

Publication Date





3029 - 3035


Bacteriorhodopsins, Carbon Isotopes, Crystallography, Deuterium, Halobacterium salinarum, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Purple Membrane