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Turning On and Off Photoinduced Electron Transfer in Fluorescent Proteins by π-Stacking, Halide Binding, and Tyr145 Mutations

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journal contribution
posted on 21.03.2016, 00:00 by Alexey M. Bogdanov, Atanu Acharya, Anastasia V. Titelmayer, Anastasia V. Mamontova, Ksenia B. Bravaya, Anatoly B. Kolomeisky, Konstantin A. Lukyanov, Anna I. Krylov
Photoinduced electron transfer in fluorescent proteins from the GFP family can be regarded either as an asset facilitating new applications or as a nuisance leading to the loss of optical output. Photooxidation commonly results in green-to-red photoconversion called oxidative redding. We discovered that yellow FPs do not undergo redding; however, the redding is restored upon halide binding. Calculations of the energetics of one-electron oxidation and possible electron transfer (ET) pathways suggested that excited-state ET proceeds through a hopping mechanism via Tyr145. In YFPs, the π-stacking of the chromophore with Tyr203 reduces its electron-donating ability, which can be restored by halide binding. Point mutations confirmed that Tyr145 is a key residue controlling ET. Substitution of Tyr145 by less-efficient electron acceptors resulted in highly photostable mutants. This strategy (i.e., calculation and disruption of ET pathways by mutations) may represent a new approach toward enhancing photostability of FPs.