Excited-State Proton Transfer in Fluorescent Photoactive Yellow Protein Containing 7-Hydroxycoumarin
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) has been used as an effective tool in various biological fields. The large Stokes shift resulting from an excited-state proton transfer (ESPT) is the basis for the application of GFP in such techniques as ratiometric GFP biosensors. The chromophore of GFP is known to be involved in a hydrogen-bonding network. Previous X-ray crystallographic and FTIR studies suggest that a proton wire along the hydrogen-bonding network plays a role in the ESPT. In order to examine the relationship between the ESPT and hydrogen-bonding network within proteins, we prepared an artificial fluorescent protein using a light-sensor protein, photoactive yellow protein (PYP). The native chromophore of p-coumaric acid (pCA) of PYP undergoes trans-cis isomerization after absorbing a photon, which triggers proton transfers within the hydrogen-bonding network comprised of pCA and proximal amino acid residues. Although PYP emits little fluorescence, we succeeded to reconstitute an artificial fluorescent PYP (PYP-coumarin) by substituting the pCA with its trans-lock analog 7-hydroxycoumarin. Spectroscopic studies with PYP-coumarin revealed that the chromophore takes an anionic form at neutral pH, but is protonated by lowering pH. Both the protonated and deprotonated forms of PYP-coumarin emit intense fluorescence, as compared with the native PYP. In addition, both the deprotonated and protonated forms show identical λmax values in their fluorescence spectra, indicating that ESPT occurs in the artificial fluorescent protein.
Kuwat Triyana, Khairurrijal, Risa Suryana, Heru Susanto and Sutikno
D. Novitasari et al., "Excited-State Proton Transfer in Fluorescent Photoactive Yellow Protein Containing 7-Hydroxycoumarin", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 896, pp. 85-88, 2014