Brominated lipids identify lipid binding sites on the surface of the reaction center from Rhodobacter sphaeroides

Biochemistry. 2007 Mar 20;46(11):2909-16. doi: 10.1021/bi062154i. Epub 2007 Feb 23.


This study describes the use of brominated phospholipids to distinguish between lipid and detergent binding sites on the surface of a typical alpha-helical membrane protein. Reaction centers isolated from Rhodobacter sphaeroides were cocrystallized with added brominated phospholipids. X-ray structural analysis of these crystals has revealed the presence of two lipid binding sites from the characteristic strong X-ray scattering from the bromine atoms. These results demonstrate the usefulness of this approach to mapping lipid binding sites at the surface of membrane proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites*
  • Bromine
  • Crystallization
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Glycerophospholipids / metabolism*
  • Membrane Proteins / chemistry*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins / chemistry*
  • Rhodobacter sphaeroides / chemistry*
  • Rhodobacter sphaeroides / metabolism


  • Glycerophospholipids
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Photosynthetic Reaction Center Complex Proteins
  • Bromine