A measurement of the proton pump current generated by bacteriorhodopsin in black lipid membranes

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1976 Sep 7;443(3):623-8. doi: 10.1016/0005-2736(76)90482-x.


The light-induced electrical current generated by black lipid membranes containing bacteriorhodopsin from Halobacterium halobium has been measured directly. It is shown that a measurement of membrane potential can also be used to obtain the proton pump current developed during illumination. Evidence is presented that the charge movement across the membrane is associated with the release of protons in the photoreaction cycle of bacteriorhodopsin. The time variation of the pump current when the light is turned on suggests the rapid depopulation of some initially occupied state.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriorhodopsins*
  • Biological Transport, Active
  • Carotenoids*
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Halobacterium
  • Lipids*
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Models, Biological


  • Lipids
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Carotenoids
  • Bacteriorhodopsins