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International Helmholtz Research School
of Biophysics and Soft Matter

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The little brain of an archaebacterium
So far, 16 different receptors for photo- and chemo-taxis are discovered in the archaebacterial membrane which control the swimming behaviour of the bacterium via the so-called two-component system. Here the signal is developed in the receptor after excitation and transferred to a second membrane protein a transducer which activates a kinase. We crystallized the functional 2:2 complex of two receptor molecules of sensory rhodopsin II with two C-terminal truncated transducer molecules and solved the structure to 1.9 A resolution. In addition, we followed the signal development in the receptor and its transfer to the transducer by solving the crystal structures of an early intermediate and of the signaling state.

Molecular Biophysics:
Valentin Gordeliy, Georg Büldt

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