Chapter 6 Photoactive yellow protein, a photoreceptor from purple bacteria

Wim Crielaard, Remco Kort, Klaas J. Hellingwerf

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In members of the Archaea positive and negative phototactic responses are mediated via retinal-containing sensory rhodopsin photoreceptors, according to a mechanism that is similar to the mechanism of enterobacterial chemotaxis. In Bacteria the situation is less well resolved, even though the accumulation of photosynthetic bacteria in a light spot is one of the most extensively studied tactic responses of prokaryotes. Only recently, however, has it been reported that in this family of organisms (i.e. in the purple- or proteobacteria) another type of phototactic response occurs: blue light, of physiological intensities, evokes a repellent response. The photoreceptor that presumably mediates this response is the Photoactive Yellow Protein (PYP), a member of the xanthopsins. This family of photoreceptors consists of 4-hydroxy-cinnamate containing proteins, for which rich detail concerning structure and function is available. In this contribution we will review the structure and function of PYP, and the initial molecular genetic studies aimed to further characterize the signal transduction chain responsible for the photoresponses mediated through PYP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-192
Number of pages14
JournalComprehensive Series in Photosciences
Issue numberC
Publication statusPublished - 2001


Dive into the research topics of 'Chapter 6 Photoactive yellow protein, a photoreceptor from purple bacteria'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this