Benedikte Klærke

Aarhus University, Aarhus, Central Jutland, Denmark

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Publications (9)48.86 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Members of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) family may undergo irreversible phototransformation upon irradiation with UV light. This provides clear evidence for the importance of the higher-energy photophysics of the chromophore, which remains essentially unexplored. By using time-resolved action and photoelectron spectroscopy together with high-level electronic structure theory, we directly probe and identify higher electronically excited singlet states of the isolated para- and meta-chromophore anions of GFP. These molecular resonances are found to serve as a doorway for very efficient electron detachment in the gas phase. Inside the protein, this band is found to be resonant with the quasicontinuum of a solvated electron, thus enhancing electron transfer from the GFP to the solvent. This suggests a photophysical pathway for photoconversion of the protein, where GFP resonant photooxidation in solution triggers radical redox reactions inside these proteins.
    Angewandte Chemie International Edition 07/2014; · 11.34 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Members of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) family may undergo irreversible phototransformation upon irradiation with UV light. This provides clear evidence for the importance of the higher-energy photophysics of the chromophore, which remains essentially unexplored. By using time-resolved action and photoelectron spectroscopy together with high-level electronic structure theory, we directly probe and identify higher electronically excited singlet states of the isolated para- and meta-chromophore anions of GFP. These molecular resonances are found to serve as a doorway for very efficient electron detachment in the gas phase. Inside the protein, this band is found to be resonant with the quasicontinuum of a solvated electron, thus enhancing electron transfer from the GFP to the solvent. This suggests a photophysical pathway for photoconversion of the protein, where GFP resonant photooxidation in solution triggers radical redox reactions inside these proteins.
    Angewandte Chemie 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: We report on experimental and computational studies of hydrogenation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) cations, HnPAHs, which are relevant to the interstellar medium. Methods: The yield of the hydrogenated PAH cations produced in a plasma-ion source and by electrospray ionization was measured. DFT calculations at the B3LYP/6-311+G(d, p) and B3LYP/6-31+G(d, p) level of theory were performed to investigate the hydrogenation pattern. Results: A clear pattern in the yield and binding energies of hydrogen is revealed. Hydrogenated closed shell molecules with an even number of attached hydrogen atoms are significantly more stable than molecules with an odd number of hydrogen atoms and show as a consequence to be more abundant in mass spectra of HnPAHs. The binding energy of a hydrogen atom to Hn-1PAH with an even n is ~2 eV higher than for odd n. The exact distribution in n observed in the experimental mass spectra remains to be solved due to the unknown internal ion source conditions. Conclusions: The HnPAH cations have been produced under very different conditions, and the measured yield indicates high stability and likely high abundance in the interstellar medium.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Photoelectron spectra of the deprotonated green fluorescent protein chromophore have been measured in the gas phase at several wavelengths within and beyond the S0-S1 photoabsorption band of the molecule. The vertical detachment energy (VDE) was determined to be 2.68+-0.1 eV. The data show that the first electronically excited state is bound in the Franck-Condon region, and that electron emission proceeds through an indirect (resonant) electron-emission channel within the corresponding absorption band.
    Physical Review Letters 09/2012; 109(12):128101. · 7.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Photodissociation lifetimes and fragment channels of gas-phase, protonated YAn (n = 1,2) peptides and their dimers were measured with 266 nm photons. The protonated monomers were found to have a fast dissociation channel with an exponential lifetime of ∼200 ns while the protonated dimers show an additional slow dissociation component with a lifetime of ∼2 μs. Laser power dependence measurements enabled us to ascribe the fast channel in the monomer and the slow channel in the dimer to a one-photon process, whereas the fast dimer channel is from a two-photon process. The slow (1 photon) dissociation channel in the dimer was found to result in cleavage of the H-bonds after energy transfer through these H-bonds. In general, the dissociation of these protonated peptides is non-prompt and the decay time was found to increase with the size of the peptides. Quantum RRKM calculations of the microcanonical rate constants also confirmed a statistical nature of the photodissociation processes in the dipeptide monomers and dimers. The classical RRKM expression gives a rate constant as an analytical function of the number of active vibrational modes in the system, estimated separately on the basis of the equipartition theorem. It demonstrates encouraging results in predicting fragmentation lifetimes of protonated peptides. Finally, we present the first experimental evidence for a photo-induced conversion of tyrosine-containing peptides into monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbon along with a formamide molecule both found in space.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 01/2012; 136(1):014307-014307-14. · 3.12 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aims: We investigate the production of molecular photofragments upon UV excitation of PAH derivatives, relevant for the interstellar medium. Methods: The action absorption spectra of protonated gas-phase methyl-substituted quinolines (CH3 - C9H7NH+) have been recorded in the 215-338 nm spectral range using the electrostatic storage ring ELISA, an electrospray ion source and 3 ns UV laser pulses. Results: It is shown that the absorption profile is both redshifted and broadened when moving the methyl group from the heterocycle containing nitrogen to the homoatomic ring. The absorption profiles are explained by TD-DFT calculations. The dissociation time of the studied molecules is found to be of several milliseconds at 230 nm and it is shown that after redistribution of the absorbed energy the molecules dissociate in several channels. The dissociation time found is an order of magnitude faster than the estimated IR relaxation time. Photophysical properties of both nitrogen containing and methyl-substituted PAHs are interesting in an astrophysical context in connection with identifying the aromatic component of the interstellar medium.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2011; 532. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The importance of the donor-acceptor push-pull system in the photoabsorption of the trans p-coumaric acid, the cofactor within the photoactive yellow protein and other xanthopsins, has been investigated. We recorded gas-phase absorption spectra and performed high-level quantum chemical calculations of three chromophore models, namely, the deprotonated trans ortho-, meta- and para-methyl coumarates. The ortho and para isomers, which have the electron-donating phenoxy oxygen and the electron-withdrawing acyl group in conjugation, present absorptions in the high-energy region of the visible spectrum, that is, in the interval of wavelengths in which the photoactivity of the xanthopsins is observed. On the other hand, the meta isomer, in which the conjugation between the phenoxy and acyl groups is disrupted, exhibits a significantly shifted maximum and presents no absorption in the region from blue to ultraviolet A. It is found that the push-pull system in the trans p-coumaric acid is critical for the wavelength and the intensity of its photoabsorption. Absorption spectra were also measured in methanol and showed an appreciable hypsochromic effect. Linear response calculations within the formalism of the approximate coupled cluster singles and doubles CC2 model and time-dependent DFT using the functional CAM-B3LYP provided insights into the relevant processes of excitation and aided to the interpretation of the experimental results. There is good agreement between theory and experiment in the description of the gas-phase absorption spectra of the considered chromophore models. Differential density plots were used to predict the effect of hydrogen-bonded amino acids to the trans p-coumaric acid on the protein tuning of this chromophore.
    Chemistry 10/2010; 16(39):11977-84. · 5.93 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sub-microsecond dissociation pathways for the protonated and deprotonated forms of adenosine 5'-monophosphate were probed in the gas phase using a linear time of flight spectrometer. The studies show two dissociation pathways for the AMP ions indicating dominant ergodic pathways in the photodissociation of these species. The photofragmentation was determined to be a single photon process for the AMP ions. Photodetachment of the AMP anion excited at 266 nm was not observed, leaving dissociation as the prominent pathway for relaxation of the excess energy in the biomolecule. The photofragments were analysed at the electrostatic ion storage ring (ELISA) and found to be similar to collision induced fragments in the case of anions but different in the case of cations.
    Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 04/2010; 12(14):3486-90. · 4.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Model compounds of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) phenolate chromophore are synthesized and investigated for their intrinsic optical properties by state-of-the-art gas-phase action spectroscopy.
    Chemical Communications 02/2010; 46(5):734-6. · 6.38 Impact Factor