Strong hydrogen bond between glutamic acid 46 and chromophore leads to the intermediate spectral form and excited state proton transfer in the Y42F mutant of the photoreceptor photoactive yellow protein.Biochemistry. 2009 Oct 27; 48(42):9980-93.B
In the Y42F mutant of photoactive yellow protein (PYP) the photoreceptor is in an equilibrium between two dark states, the yellow and intermediate spectral forms, absorbing at 457 and 390 nm, respectively. The nature of this equilibrium and the light-induced protonation and structural changes in the two spectral forms were characterized by transient absorption, fluorescence, FTIR, and pH indicator dye experiments. In the yellow form, the oxygen of the deprotonated p-hydroxycinnamoyl chromophore is linked by a strong low-barrier hydrogen bond to the protonated carboxyl group of Glu46 and by a weaker one to Thr50. Using FTIR, we find that the band due to the carbonyl of the protonated side chain of Glu46 is shifted from 1736 cm(-1) in wild type to 1724 cm(-1) in the yellow form of Y42F, implying a stronger hydrogen bond with the deprotonated chromophore in Y42F. The FTIR data suggest moreover that in the intermediate spectral form the chromophore is protonated and Glu46 deprotonated. Flash spectroscopy (50 ns-10 s) shows that the photocycles of the two forms are essentially the same except for a transition around 5 mus that has opposite signs in the two forms and is due to the chemical relaxation between the two dark states. The two cycles are coupled, likely by excited state proton transfer. The Y42F cycle differs from wild type by the occurrence of a new intermediate with protonated chromophore between the usual I(1) and I(2) intermediates which we call I(1)H (370 nm). Transient fluorescence measurements indicate that in I(1)H the chromophore retains the orientation it had in I(1). Transient proton uptake occurs with a time constant of 230 mus and a stoichiometry of 1. No proton uptake was associated however with the formation of the I(1)H intermediate and the relaxation of the yellow/intermediate equilibrium. These protonation changes of the chromophore thus occur intramolecularly. The chromophore-Glu46 hydrogen bond in Y42F is shorter than in wild type, since the adjacent chromophore-Y42 hydrogen bond is replaced by a longer one with Thr50. This facilitates proton transfer from Glu46 to the chromophore in the dark by lowering the barrier, leading to the protonation equilibrium and causing the rapid light-induced proton transfer which couples the cycles.