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The Origin of Stark Splitting in the Initial Photoproduct State of MbCO

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journal contribution
posted on 12.01.2005, 00:00 by Karin Nienhaus, John S. Olson, Stefan Franzen, G. Ulrich Nienhaus
Ligand migration and binding in heme proteins have been measured by X-ray diffraction and time-resolved spectroscopy of photoproduct intermediates. In myoglobin (Mb), internal cavities serve as docking sites for carbon monoxide (CO) ligands. In these sites, the CO ligands display characteristic infrared (IR) stretching bands due to interactions with the local electrical field. In the primary docking site, a CO can reside in two opposite orientations, characterized by a doublet of infrared bands, B1 at ∼2130 and B2 at ∼2120 cm-1. To assign these bands to the specific orientations, we have reexamined the effects of mutating His64 and Val68 on the infrared stretching bands associated with the B1 and B2 photoproduct states. Wild-type, H64L, V68F, and H64L−V68F MbCO were selected for experimental and theoretical analyses. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and density functional theory (DFT) calculations were used to interpret the effects of the electrostatic environment on the B state bands. The imidazole side chain of His64 appears to be the primary cause of the observed Stark splitting. The high-frequency B1 band is assigned to the CO orientation in which the carbon (white atom) is directed toward the heme iron and the Nε−H proton of His64. At low temperatures, CO molecules in the opposite orientational conformer, B2 with the O atom (red) toward His64, first rotate by 180° into the more stable B1 state and then rebind.