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Comparison of the Forward and Reverse Photocycle Dynamics of Two Highly Similar Canonical Red/Green Cyanobacteriochromes Reveals Unexpected Differences.

  • Author(s): Kirpich, Julia S
  • Chang, Che-Wei
  • Franse, Jasper
  • Yu, Qinhong
  • Escobar, Francisco Velazquez
  • Jenkins, Adam J
  • Martin, Shelley S
  • Narikawa, Rei
  • Ames, James B
  • Lagarias, J Clark
  • Larsen, Delmar S
  • et al.

Cyanobacteriochromes (CBCRs) are cyanobacterial photoreceptors that exhibit photochromism between two states: a thermally stable dark-adapted state and a metastable light-adapted state with bound linear tetrapyrrole (bilin) chromophores possessing 15Z and 15E configurations, respectively. The photodynamics of canonical red/green CBCRs have been extensively studied; however, the time scales of their excited-state lifetimes and subsequent ground-state evolution rates widely differ and, at present, remain difficult to predict. Here, we compare the photodynamics of two closely related red/green CBCRs that have substantial sequence identity (∼68%) and similar chromophore environments: AnPixJg2 from Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 and NpR6012g4 from Nostoc punctiforme. Using broadband transient absorption spectroscopy on the primary (125 fs to 7 ns) and secondary (7 ns to 10 ms) time scales together with global analysis modeling, our studies revealed that AnPixJg2 and NpR6012g4 have comparable quantum yields for initiating the forward (15ZPr15EPg) and reverse (15EPg15ZPr) reactions, which proceed through monotonic and nonmonotonic mechanisms, respectively. In addition to small discrepancies in the kinetics, the secondary reverse dynamics resolved unique features for each domain: intermediate shunts in NpR6012g4 and a Meta-Gf intermediate red-shifted from the 15ZPr photoproduct in AnPixJg2. Overall, this study supports the conclusion that sequence similarity is a useful criterion for predicting pathways of the light-induced evolution and quantum yield of generating primary intermediate Φp within subfamilies of CBCRs, but more studies are still needed to develop a comprehensive molecular level understanding of these processes.

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