The primary structures of helices A to G of all bacteriorhodopsin (BR)-like retinal proteins identified in newly isolated halobacteria have been determined from the nucleotide sequence of the BR-like protein genes. Using PCR methods, gene fragments encoding the A- to G-helix region of BR-like proteins were directly amplified from the total genomic DNA of the seven new halobacterial strains. Oligonucleotide primers corresponding to highly conserved regions in the helices A to G were designed from the nucleotide sequences of bacterioopsin () and archaeopsin-I (-I), and some primers were effective for the amplification of the gene encoding C- to G-helix region of all new BR-like proteins. The primer corresponding to A-helix region was designed either from the nucleotide sequence of and -I or from the N-terminus amino acid sequence of a BR-like protein. Three new BR-like proteins were identified from the amino acid sequence, which was deduced from the nucleotide sequence of the genes encoding A- to G-helix region of the BR-like proteins. It was found that not only the amino acid sequence, but also the nucleotide sequence of the gene encoding the C- and G-helix region, in which a number of important residues for proton translocation are located, is highly conserved in three new BR-like proteins. Analysis of the primary structures of the A- to G-helix region of new BR-like proteins revealed that one has about 85% homology with aR-I and aR-II, and the rest have about 55% homology with halobium BR, aR-I and aR-II. From the results of the sequence analysis, we suggest that BR and BR-like proteins (functioning as light-driven proton pumps) can be classified into three types (BR type, aR type and a new type), and each of these types has 50–55% homology to each other in amino acid sequence.


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