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Di-8-ANEPPS Emission Spectra in Phospholipid/Cholesterol Membranes: A Theoretical Study

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journal contribution
posted on 14.04.2011, 00:00 authored by David Robinson, Nicholas A. Besley, Paul O’Shea, Jonathan D. Hirst
We have investigated the effects of explicit molecular interactions and the membrane dipole potential on the absorption and emission spectra of a widely used fluorescent probe, di-8-ANEPPS, in a dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC) and a mixed DPPC/cholesterol membrane bilayer. Ground-state and excited-state geometries were calculated with the complete active space self-consistent field (CASSCF) method. Interactions with up to 260 atoms of the membrane bilayer were explicitly incorporated using a decoupled quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) approach, utilizing recent advances in time-dependent density functional theory (TDDFT). We find that no specific molecular interactions affect the fluorescence of di-8-ANEPPS; rather, the magnitude of the membrane dipole potential is key to the shifts observed in both of the two lowest excited states.