Photoelectric signals of membrane proteins
Membrane-coupled electric processes play a crucial role in biological signal- and energy transduction processes.
The electric potential difference across membranes is controlled by ion channels and pumps. The most widely used
methods for measuring membrane-coupled electric signals are the different microelectrode techniques. Because of
technical reasons, however, their application is not feasible in many cases. For the investigation of ion pumps, e.g.,
in most of the cases other methods had to be developed working on purified membrane suspensions.
The prerequisite for the detection of electric signals in such a system is creation of a global asymmetry in the
Proton pumping by bacteriorhodopsin. Click on the image to play movie.