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Platymonas subcordiformis Channelrhodopsin-2 Function I. THE PHOTOCHEMICAL REACTION CYCLE*


The photocycle kinetics of Platymonas subcordiformis channelrhodopsin-2 (PsChR2), among the most highly efficient light-gated cation channels and the most blue-shifted channelrhodopsin, was studied by time-resolved absorption spectroscopy in the 340-650-nm range and in the 100-ns to 3-s time window. Global exponential fitting of the time dependence of spectral changes revealed six lifetimes: 0.60 μs, 5.3 μs, 170 μs, 1.4 ms, 6.7 ms, and 1.4 s. The sequential intermediates derived for a single unidirectional cycle scheme based on these lifetimes were found to contain mixtures of K, L, M, O, and P molecular states, named in analogy to photointermediates in the bacteriorhodopsin photocycle. The photochemistry is described by the superposition of two independent parallel photocycles. The analysis revealed that 30% of the photoexcited receptor molecules followed Cycle 1 through the K, M, O, and P states, whereas 70% followed Cycle 2 through the K, L, M, and O states. The recovered state, R, is spectrally close, but not identical, to the dark state on the seconds time scale. The two-cycle model of this high efficiency channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR) opens new perspectives in understanding the mechanism of channelrhodopsin function.

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