Cyanobacteriochromes (CBCRs) are linear tetrapyrrole-binding photoreceptors in cyanobacteria that absorb visible and near-ultraviolet light. CBCRs are divided into two types based on the type of chromophore they contain: phycocyanobilin (PCB) or phycoviolobilin (PVB). PCB-binding CBCRs reversibly photoconvert at relatively long wavelengths, i.e., the blue-to-red region, whereas PVB-binding CBCRs reversibly photoconvert at shorter wavelengths, i.e., the near-ultraviolet to green region. Notably, prior to this report, CBCRs containing biliverdin (BV), which absorbs at longer wavelengths than do PCB and PVB, have not been found. Herein, we report that the typical red/green CBCR AM1-1557 from the chlorophyll d-bearing cyanobacterium Acaryochloris marina can bind BV almost comparable to PCB. This BV-bound holoprotein reversibly photoconverts between a far red light-absorbing form (Pfr, Îλ max = 697 nm) and an orange light-absorbing form (Po, Î λ max = 622 nm). At room temperature, Pfr fluoresces with a maximum at 730 nm. These spectral features are red-shifted by 48∼77 nm compared with those of the PCB-bound domain. Because the absorbance of chlorophyll d is red-shifted compared with that of chlorophyll a, the BV-bound AM1-1557 may be a physiologically relevant feature of A. marina and is potentially useful as an optogenetic switch and/or fluorescence imager.
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