Application of the Membrane Protein Bacteriorhodopsin for the Detection of Environmental Pollutants

D. Frense, Th. Nacke, H. Stöber, and D. Beckmann

Institut für Bioprozeß- und Analysenmeßtechnik e.V., Rosenhof, D-37308 Heilbad Heiligenstadt, Germany

e-mail: dieter.frense@t-online.de
 

Bacteriorhodopsin is a membrane protein of the extremely halophilic organism Halobacterium halobium. It belongs to the 7-helices-proteins and represents the simplest form of a biochemical proton pump. The high stability of the protein within the isolated purple membrane makes it profitably for technical applications.

BacteriorhodopsinThe special biosensory potential of the bacteriorhodopsin, its colour-alteration around 480 nm, can be advantageous used for the optical detection of environmental pollutants. A stable integration of the biomolecule in technical systems can be realised through immobilisation of the protein.

In a project promoted by the R&D-Ministry in Thuringia, innovative electrical and optical biosensor systems based on bacteriorhodopsin were developed. It appeared that with such systems in particular chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons, like chloroform, xylene, ethylbenzene, chlorobenzene, and toluene, could be detected reversible. Anionic surfactants, like for example SDS, cause a reversible or irreversible interaction with the protein according to concentration.

In a project promoted by the R&D-Ministry in Thuringia, innovative electrical and optical biosensor systems based on bacteriorhodopsin were developed. It appeared that with such systems in particular chlorinated and aromatic hydrocarbons, like chloroform, xylene, ethylbenzene, chlorobenzene, and toluene, could be detected reversible. Anionic surfactants, like for example SDS, cause a reversible or irreversible interaction with the protein according to concentration.

Prototype