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Received November 23, 2014
The gene encoding proteorhodopsin AEX55013 from Dokdonia sp. PRO95 was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli cells. Illumination of the proteorhodopsin-producing E. coli cells in Na+-containing media resulted in alkalinization of the media. This response was accelerated by uncoupler CCCP and inhibited by penetrating anion SCN–. Illumination of the cells in a sodium-free medium (made by substituting Na+ with K+) resulted in SCN–-stimulated and CCCP-sensitive acidification of the medium. Illumination of the proteorhodopsin-containing E. coli cells caused CCCP-resistant transmembrane sodium export from these cells. We conclude that the proteorhodopsin from the marine flavobacterium Dokdonia sp. PRO95 is a primary light-driven Na+-pump. A high level of the heterologous production in E. coli cells as well as stability and purity of the isolated protein makes this proteorhodopsin an attractive model for studying the mechanism of active sodium transmembrane translocation.
KEY WORDS: Na+-translocating proteorhodopsin, transmembrane sodium transport, flavobacteria