We report here the first resonance Raman results of octopus hypsorhodopsin, a species formed photochemically at very low temperatures from visual pigments. A pump-probe technique was used to obtain Raman spectra from samples at 12 degrees K whose photostationary state mixtures were either hypsorhodopsin rich or hysorhodopsin poor. The data strongly suggest that the Schiff-base linkage between the chromophore of hysorhodopsin and apoprotein is protonated. Further, the results suggest that hypsorhodopsin's chromophore is in some torsionally distorted conformation, possibly having torsional departures from an all-trans isomeric form.
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