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J Phys Chem B. 2011 Apr 21;115(15):4474-83. doi: 10.1021/jp112400g. Epub 2011 Mar 25.

Multiphoton manipulations of enzymatic photoactivity in aspartate aminotransferase.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California-Davis, Davis, California 95616, United States.


The aspartate aminotransferase (AAT) enzyme utilizes the chromophoric pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) cofactor to facilitate the transamination of amino acids. Recently, we demonstrated that, upon exposure to blue light, PLP forms a reactive triplet state that rapidly (in microseconds) generates the high-energy quinonoid intermediate when bound to PLP-dependent enzymes [J. Am. Chem. Soc.2010, 132 (47), 16953-16961]. This increases the net catalytic activity (k(cat)) of AAT, since formation of the quinonoid is partially rate limiting via the thermally activated enzymatic pathway. The magnitude of observed photoenhancement initially scales linearly with pump fluence; however when a critical threshold is exceeded, the photoactivity saturates and is even suppressed at greater excitation fluences. The photodynamic mechanisms associated with this suppression behavior are characterized with the use of ultrafast multipulse pump-dump-probe and pump-repump-probe transient absorption techniques in combination with complementary two-color, steady-state excitation assays. Via multistate kinetic modeling of the transient ultrafast data and the steady-state assay data, the nonmonotonic incident power dependence of the photoactivty in AAT is decomposed into contributions from high-intensity dumping of the excited singlet state and repumping of the excited triplet state with induces the repopulation of the ground state via rapid intersystem crossing in the higher-lying triplet electronic manifold.

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