Porphyrin Triplet State as a Potential Spin Label for Nanometer Distance Measurements by PELDOR Spectroscopy

This work demonstrates, for the first time, the feasibility of applying pulsed electron–electron double resonance (PELDOR/DEER) to determine the interspin distance between a photoexcited porphyrin triplet state (S = 1) and a nitroxide spin label chemically incorporated into a small helical peptide. The PELDOR trace shows deep envelope modulation induced by electron–electron dipole interaction between the partners in the pair, providing an accurate distance measurement. This new labeling approach has a high potential for measuring nanometer distances in more complex biological systems due to the sensitivity acquired from the spin polarization of the photoexcited triplet state spectrum.