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Determination of time-resolved fluorescence emission spectra and anisotropies of a fluorophore-protein complex using frequency-domain phase-modulation fluorometry.


We report the first time-resolved fluorescence emission spectra and time-resolved fluorescence anisotropies obtained using frequency-domain fluorescence spectroscopy. We examined the fluorophore p-2-toluidinyl-6-naphthalenesulfonic acid (TNS) in viscous solvents and bound to the heme site of apomyoglobin using multifrequency phase fluorometers. Fluorescence phase shift and modulation data were obtained at modulation frequencies ranging from 1 to 200 MHz. For time-resolved emission spectra, the impulse response for the decay of intensity at each emission wavelength was obtained from the frequency response of the sample at the same emission wavelength. The decays have negative pre-exponential factors, consistent with a time-dependent spectral shift to longer wavelengths. These multiexponential decays were used to construct the time-resolved emission spectra, which were found to be in good agreement with earlier spectra obtained from time-domain measurements. Additionally, time-resolved anisotropies were obtained from the frequency-dependent phase angle differences between the parallel and perpendicularly polarized components of the emission. The rotational correlation times of TNS bound to apomyoglobin are consistent with those expected for this probe rigidly bound to the protein. TNS in propylene glycol also displayed a single exponential decay of anisotropy. These results, in conjunction with the previous successful resolution of multiexponential decays of fluorescence intensity (Lakowicz, J. R., Gratton, E., Laczko, G., Cherek, H., and Limkeman, M. (1984) Biophys. J., in press; Gratton, E., Lakowicz, J. R., Maliwal, B. P., Cherek, H., Laczko, G., and Limkeman, M. (1984) Biophys. J., in press) demonstrate that frequency-domain measurements provide information which is, at a minimum, equivalent to that obtainable from time-domain measurements.

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