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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Oct 12;101(41):14736-41. Epub 2004 Oct 4.

Dynamical transition and proteinquake in photoactive yellow protein.

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  • 1Department of Complex Systems Science, Graduate School of Information Science, Nagoya University, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.


Conformational dynamics in protein functioning covers a wide range of time scales from nanosecond fluctuations around a conformation to the large-amplitude conformational changes of milliseconds or longer. We illustrate a picture of cooperative coupling among such motions of different time scales in a model protein, photoactive yellow protein, by proposing a model that can consistently explain the experimental results on the photocycle of photoactive yellow protein. The model provides a scenario in which the global collective motion induced by the unfolding of the N-terminal domain promotes the loosening of the atomistic packing around the chromophore, which produces the favorable molecular environment for the photoexcited chromophore, thereby stabilizing the partially unfolded intermediate in the photocycle. The proteinquake, the large conformational change triggered by the local structural disturbance, plays a decisive role in controlling the kinetics of functioning.

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