Detergent-mediated reconstitution of bacteriorhodopsin (BR) into large unilamellar vesicles (LUVs) was investigated, and the effects were carefully characterized for every step of the procedure. LUVs were prepared by the extrusion method, and their size and stability were examined by dynamic light scattering. BR was incorporated into the LUVs using the detergent-mediated reconstitution method and octyl glucoside (OG) as detergent. The result of measuring pH outside the LUVs suggested that in the presence of light, BR pumps protons from the outside to the inside of the LUVs, creating acidic pH inside the vesicles. LUVs with 20% negatively charged headgroups were used to model endosomes with BR incorporated into the membrane. The fluorescein-labeled cell-penetrating peptide penetratin was entrapped inside these BR-containing LUVs. The light-induced proton pumping activity of BR has allowed us to observe the translocation of fluorescein-labeled penetratin across the vesicle membrane
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