[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crystal structures of the Synechocystis BLUF phototaxis photoreceptor Slr1694 have been determined in two crystal forms, a monoclinic form at 1.8 A resolution and an orthorhombic form at 2.1 A resolution. In both forms, the photoreceptor is comprised of two pentamer rings stacked face to face. Twenty total subunits in the two asymmetric units of these crystal forms display three distinct tertiary structures that differ in the length of the fifth beta-strand and in the orientation of Trp91, a conserved Trp residue near the FMN chromophore. Fluorescence spectroscopic analysis on Slr1694 in solution is consistent with motion of Trp91 from a hydrophobic environment in the dark state to a more hydrophilic environment in the light-excited state. Mutational analysis indicates that movement of Trp91 is dependent on the occupancy of the hydrophobic Trp binding pocket with a nearby Met. These different tertiary structures may be associated with absorption changes in the blue region of the spectrum.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By using time-resolved x-ray crystallography at room temperature, structural relaxations and ligand migration were examined in myoglobin (Mb) mutant L29W from nanoseconds to seconds after photodissociation of carbon monoxide (CO) from the heme iron by nanosecond laser pulses. The data were analyzed in terms of transient kinetics by fitting trial functions to integrated difference electron density values obtained from select structural moieties, thus allowing a quantitative description of the processes involved. The observed relaxations are linked to other investigations on protein dynamics. At the earliest times, the heme has already completely relaxed into its domed deoxy structure, and there is no photo-dissociated CO visible at the primary docking site. Initial relaxations of larger globin moieties are completed within several hundred nanoseconds. They influence the concomitant migration of photo-dissociated CO to the Xe1 site, where it appears at approximately 300 ns and leaves again at approximately 1.5 ms. The extremely long residence time in Xe1 as compared with wild-type MbCO implies that, in the latter protein, the CO exits the protein from Xe1 predominantly via the distal pocket. A well-defined deligated state is populated between approximately 2 micros and approximately 1 ms; its structure is very similar to the equilibrium deoxy structure. Between 1.5 and 20 ms, no CO is visible in the protein interior; it is either distributed among many sites within the protein or has escaped to the solvent. Finally, recombination at the heme iron occurs after >20 ms.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2005; 102(33):11704-9. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0504932102 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The flavin-binding BLUF domain of AppA represents a new class of blue light photoreceptors that are present in a number of bacterial and algal species. The dark state X-ray structure of this domain was determined at 2.3 A resolution. The domain demonstrates a new function for the common ferredoxin-like fold; two long alpha-helices flank the flavin, which is bound with its isoalloxazine ring perpendicular to a five-stranded beta-sheet. The hydrogen bond network and the overall protein topology of the BLUF domain (but not its sequence) bear some resemblance to LOV domains, a subset of PAS domains widely involved in signaling. Nearly all residues conserved in BLUF domains surround the flavin chromophore, many of which are involved in an intricate hydrogen bond network. Photoactivation may induce a rearrangement in this network via reorientation of the Gln63 side chain to form a new hydrogen bond to the flavin O4 position. This shift would also break a hydrogen bond to the Trp104 side chain, which may be critical in induction of global structural change in AppA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Determining 3D intermediate structures during the biological action of proteins in real time under ambient conditions is essential for understanding how proteins function. Here we use time-resolved Laue crystallography to extract short-lived intermediate structures and thereby unveil signal transduction in the blue light photoreceptor photoactive yellow protein (PYP) from Halorhodospira halophila. By analyzing a comprehensive set of Laue data during the PYP photocycle (forty-seven time points from one nanosecond to one second), we track all atoms in PYP during its photocycle and directly observe how absorption of a blue light photon by its p-coumaric acid chromophore triggers a reversible photocycle. We identify a complex chemical mechanism characterized by five distinct structural intermediates. Structural changes at the chromophore in the early, red-shifted intermediates are transduced to the exterior of the protein in the late, blue-shifted intermediates through an initial "volume-conserving" isomerization of the chromophore and the progressive disruption of hydrogen bonds between the chromophore and its surrounding binding pocket. These results yield a comprehensive view of the PYP photocycle when seen in the light of previous biophysical studies on the system.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2005; 102(20):7145-50. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0409035102 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the bacterial photoreceptor photoactive yellow protein (PYP), absorption of blue light by its chromophore leads to a conformational change in the protein associated with differential signaling activity, as it executes a reversible photocycle. Time-resolved Laue crystallography allows structural snapshots (as short as 150 ps) of high crystallographic resolution (approximately 1.6 A) to be taken of a protein as it functions. Here, we analyze by singular value decomposition a comprehensive time-resolved crystallographic data set of the E46Q mutant of PYP throughout the photocycle spanning 10 ns-100 ms. We identify and refine the structures of five distinct intermediates and provide a plausible chemical kinetic mechanism for their inter conversion. A clear structural progression is visible in these intermediates, in which a signal generated at the chromophore propagates through a distinct structural pathway of conserved residues and results in structural changes near the N terminus, over 20 A distant from the chromophore.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigate by X-ray crystallographic techniques the cryotrapped states that accumulate on controlled illumination of the blue light photoreceptor, photoactive yellow protein (PYP), at 110 K in both the wild-type species and its E46Q mutant. These states are related to those that occur during the chromophore isomerization process in the PYP photocycle at room temperature. The structures present in such states were determined at high resolution, 0.95-1.05A. In both wild type and mutant PYP, the cryotrapped state is not composed of a single, quasitransition state structure but rather of a heterogeneous mixture of three species in addition to the ground state structure. We identify and refine these three photoactivated species under the assumption that the structural changes are limited to simple isomerization events of the chromophore that otherwise retains chemical bonding similar to that in the ground state. The refined chromophore models are essentially identical in the wild type and the E46Q mutant, which implies that the early stages of their photocycle mechanisms are the same.
Photochemistry and Photobiology 07/2004; 80(1):7-14. DOI:10.1562/2004-03-15-RA-115.1 · 2.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We use time-resolved crystallography to observe the structural progression of a bacterial blue light photoreceptor throughout its photocycle. Data were collected from 10 ns to 100 ms after photoactivation of the E46Q mutant of photoactive yellow protein. Refinement of transient chromophore conformations shows that the spectroscopically distinct intermediates are formed via progressive disruption of the hydrogen bond network to the chromophore. Although structural change occurs within a few nanoseconds on and around the chromophore, it takes milliseconds for a distinct pattern of tertiary structural change to fully progress through the entire molecule, thus generating the putative signaling state. Remarkably, the coupling between the chromophore conformation and the tertiary structure of this small protein is not tight: there are leads and lags between changes in the conformation of the chromophore and the protein tertiary structure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Eight high-resolution crystal structures of the ground state of photoactive yellow protein (PYP) solved under a variety of conditions reveal that its chromophore is stabilized by two unusually short hydrogen bonds. Both Tyr42 Oeta and Glu46 Oepsilon are separated from the chromophore phenolate oxygen by less than the sum of their atomic van der Waals radii, 2.6 angstroms. This is characteristic of strong hydrogen bonding, in which hydrogen bonds acquire significant covalent character. The hydrogen bond from the protonated Glu46 to the negatively charged phenolate oxygen is 2.58 +/- 0.01 angstroms in length, while that from Tyr42 is considerably shorter, 2.49 +/- 0.01 angstroms. The E46Q mutant was solved to 0.95 angstroms resolution; the isosteric mutation increased the length of the hydrogen bond from Glx46 to the chromophore by 0.29 +/- 0.01 angstroms to that of an average hydrogen bond, 2.88 +/- 0.01 angstroms. The very short hydrogen bond from Tyr42 explains why mutating this residue has such a severe effect on the ground-state structure and PYP photocycle. The effect of isosteric mutations on the photocycle can be largely explained by the alterations to the length and strength of these hydrogen bonds.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigate by X-ray crystallographic techniques the cryotrapped states that accumulate on controlled illumination of the blue light photoreceptor, photoactive yellow protein (PYP), at 110 K in both the wild-type species and its E46Q mutant. These states are related to those that occur during the chromophore isomerization process in the PYP photocycle at room temperature. The structures present in such states were determined at high resolution, 0.95–1.05Å. In both wild type and mutant PYP, the cryotrapped state is not composed of a single, quasitransition state structure but rather of a heterogeneous mixture of three species in addition to the ground state structure. We identify and refine these three photoactivated species under the assumption that the structural changes are limited to simple isomerization events of the chromophore that otherwise retains chemical bonding similar to that in the ground state. The refined chromophore models are essentially identical in the wild type and the E46Q mutant, which implies that the early stages of their photocycle mechanisms are the same.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Singular value decomposition (SVD) separates time-dependent crystallographic data into time-independent and time-dependent components. Procedures for the effective application of SVD to time-resolved macromolecular crystallographic data have yet to be explored systematically. Here, the applicability of SVD to experimental crystallographic data is tested by analyzing 30 time-resolved Laue data sets spanning a time range of nanoseconds to milliseconds through the photocycle of the E46Q mutant of photoactive yellow protein. The data contain random and substantial systematic errors, the latter largely arising from crystal-to-crystal variation. The signal-to-noise ratio of weighted difference electron-density maps is significantly improved by the SVD flattening procedure. Application of SVD to these flattened maps spreads the signal across many of the 30 singular vectors, but a rotation of the vectors partitions the large majority of the signal into only five singular vectors. Fitting the time-dependent vectors to a sum of simple exponentials suggests that a chemical kinetic mechanism can describe the time-dependent structural data. Procedures for the effective SVD analysis of experimental time-resolved crystallographic data have been established and emphasize the necessity for minimizing systematic errors by modification of the data-collection protocol.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We determine the number of authentic reaction intermediates in the later stages of the photocycle of photoactive yellow protein at room temperature, their atomic structures, and a consistent set of chemical kinetic mechanisms, by analysis of a set of time-dependent difference electron density maps spanning the time range from 5 micros to 100 ms. The successful fit of exponentials to right singular vectors derived from a singular value decomposition of the difference maps demonstrates that a chemical kinetic mechanism holds and that structurally distinct intermediates exist. We identify two time-independent difference maps, from which we refine the structures of the corresponding intermediates. We thus demonstrate how structures associated with intermediate states can be extracted from the experimental, time-dependent crystallographic data. Stoichiometric and structural constraints allow the exclusion of one kinetic mechanism proposed for the photocycle but retain other plausible candidate kinetic mechanisms.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2004; 101(14):4799-804. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0305983101 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wavelength normalization is an essential part of processing of Laue X-ray diffraction data and is critically important for deriving accurate structure-factor amplitudes. The results of wavelength normalization for Laue data obtained in nanosecond time-resolved experiments at the ID09 beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France, are presented. Several wiggler and undulator insertion devices with complex spectra were used. The results show that even in the most challenging cases, such as wiggler/undulator tandems or single-line undulators, accurate wavelength normalization does not require unusually redundant Laue data and can be accomplished using typical Laue data sets. Single-line undulator spectra derived from Laue data compare well with the measured incident X-ray spectra. Successful wavelength normalization of the undulator data was also confirmed by the observed signal in nanosecond time-resolved experiments. Single-line undulators, which are attractive for time-resolved experiments due to their high peak intensity and low polychromatic background, are compared with wigglers, based on data obtained on the same crystal.