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Biochemistry. 1995 Oct 3;34(39):12669-72.

Resonance Raman evidence that the thioester-linked 4-hydroxycinnamyl chromophore of photoactive yellow protein is deprotonated.

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Department of Chemistry, University of California at Berkeley 94720-1460, USA.


Resonance Raman spectra of the ground state of photoactive yellow protein (PYP), a photoactive pigment found in Ectothiorhodospira halophila, have been obtained with excitation at 413.1 nm using a microspinning sample cell. The resonance Raman spectra of the thioester-linked 4-hydroxycinnamyl chromophore in the protein are compared with the preresonance Raman spectra of the 4-hydroxycinnamyl phenyl thioester and 4-hydroxycinnamic acid model compounds at various pH values. Bands at 1568, 1542, 1500, 1434, and 1166 cm-1 in the Raman spectrum of the anionic form of the 4-hydroxycinnamyl phenyl thioester are shown to be characteristic for the deprotonation of the chromophore. The observation of bands in PYP exhibiting very similar frequency and intensity patterns provides strong evidence that the chromophore in PYP is stabilized as a phenolate anion at pH 7.4, in support of conclusions from crystallographic studies. Furthermore, the insensitivity of the PYP Raman spectrum to placement of the protein in D2O buffer is consistent with the absence of the exchangeable phenolic proton on the cinnamyl chromophore. These results establish the feasibility of elucidating the molecular mechanism of light-to-information transduction by this new photosensory pigment with resonance Raman spectroscopy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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