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Two-Photon Absorption Properties of Gold Fluorescent Protein: A Combined Molecular Dynamics and Quantum Chemistry Study

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journal contribution
posted on 09.05.2018 by Yusuf Şimşek, Alex Brown
Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were carried out to obtain the conformational changes of the chromophore in the gold fluorescent protein (PDB ID: 1OXF). To obtain two-photon absorption (TPA) cross-sections, time dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) computations were performed for chromophore geometries sampled along the trajectory. The TD-DFT computations used the CAM-B3LYP functional and 6-31+G­(d) basis set. Results showed that two dihedral angles change remarkably over the simulation time. TPA cross-sections were found to average 13.82 GM for the excitation to S1 computed from the equilibrium geometries; however, extending the structures with a water molecule and GLU residue, which make H bonds with the chromophore molecule, increased excitation energies and TPA cross-sections significantly. Besides the effects of the surrounding residues and the dihedrals on the spectroscopic properties, some bond lengths affected the excitation energies and the TPA cross-sections significantly (up to ±25–30%), while the effects of the bond angles were smaller (±5%). Overall the present results provide insight into the effects of the conformational flexibility on TPA (with gold fluorescent protein as a specific example) and suggest that further experimental measurements of TPA for the gold fluorescent protein should be undertaken.

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