National Center for
1TS8: Structure Of The Pr Cis Planar Intermediate From Time-resolved Laue Crystallography
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. (2005) 102 p.7145-7150
Determining 3D intermediate structures during the biological action of proteins in real time under ambient conditions is essential for understanding how proteins function. Here we use time-resolved Laue crystallography to extract short-lived intermediate structures and thereby unveil signal transduction in the blue light photoreceptor photoactive yellow protein (PYP) from Halorhodospira halophila. By analyzing a comprehensive set of Laue data during the PYP photocycle (forty-seven time points from one nanosecond to one second), we track all atoms in PYP during its photocycle and directly observe how absorption of a blue light photon by its p-coumaric acid chromophore triggers a reversible photocycle. We identify a complex chemical mechanism characterized by five distinct structural intermediates. Structural changes at the chromophore in the early, red-shifted intermediates are transduced to the exterior of the protein in the late, blue-shifted intermediates through an initial "volume-conserving" isomerization of the chromophore and the progressive disruption of hydrogen bonds between the chromophore and its surrounding binding pocket. These results yield a comprehensive view of the PYP photocycle when seen in the light of previous biophysical studies on the system.