Vibrational Assignment of the 4-Hydroxycinnamyl Chromophore in Photoactive Yellow Protein

Photoactive yellow protein (PYP) is a bacterial photoreceptor containing a 4-hydroxycinnamyl chromophore. We report the Raman spectra for the dark state of PYP whose chromophore is isotopically labeled with <sup>13</sup>C at the carbonyl carbon atom or at the ring carbon atoms. Spectra have been also measured with PYP in D<sub>2</sub>O where the exchangeable protons are deuterated. Most of the observed Raman bands are assigned on the basis of the observed isotope shifts and normal mode calculations using a density functional theory. We discuss the implication for the analysis of the infrared spectra of PYP. The comprehensive assignment provides a satisfactory framework for future investigations of the photocycle mechanism in PYP by vibrational spectroscopy.