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Issue 2, 2010
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Low-temperature switching by photoinduced protonation in photochromic fluorescent proteins

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Abstract

We have studied the photoswitching behaviour of a number of photochromic fluorescent proteins at cryo-temperature. Spectroscopic investigations at the ensemble level showed that EYFP, Dronpa and IrisFP all exhibit reversible photoswitching at 100 K, albeit with a low quantum yield. The photophysics of the process were studied in more details in the case of EYFP. The data suggest that photoinduced protonation of the chromophore is responsible for off-switching at cryo-temperature, and thus is possible in the absence of significant conformational freedom. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that chromophore protonation may precede large amplitude conformational changes such as cistrans isomerisation during off-photoswitching at room temperature. However, our data suggest that low-barrier photoinduced protonation pathways may in fact compete with room-temperature off-switching reactions in photochromic fluorescent proteins. The occurrence of reversible photoswitching at low-temperature is of interest to envisage cryo-nanoscopy experiments using genetically encoded fluorophores.

Graphical abstract: Low-temperature switching by photoinduced protonation in photochromic fluorescent proteins

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Oct 2009, accepted on 23 Nov 2009 and first published on 19 Jan 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B9PP00121B
Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2010,9, 254-262

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    Low-temperature switching by photoinduced protonation in photochromic fluorescent proteins

    A. R. Faro, V. Adam, P. Carpentier, C. Darnault, D. Bourgeois and E. de Rosny, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2010, 9, 254
    DOI: 10.1039/B9PP00121B

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