2014: Active and silent chromophore isoforms for phytochrome Pr Photoisomerization: An alternative evolutionary strategy to optimize photoreaction quantum yields

Yang, Y; Linke, M; von Haimberger, T; Matute, R; Gonzalez, L; Schmieder, P; Heyne, K

STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS 2014, 1, p. 014701-014712;

Photoisomerization of a protein bound chromophore is the basis of light sensing of many photoreceptors. We tracked Z-to-E photoisomerization of Cph1 phytochrome chromophore PCB in the Pr form in real-time. Two different phycocyanobilin (PCB) ground state geometries with different ring D orientations have been identified. The pre-twisted and hydrogen bonded PCBa geometry exhibits a time constant of 30 ps and a quantum yield of photoproduct formation of 29%, about six times slower and ten times higher than that for the non-hydrogen bonded PCBb geometry. This new mechanism of pre-twisting the chromophore by protein-cofactor interaction optimizes yields of slow photoreactions and provides a scaffold for photoreceptor engineering.