Dynamique interne des flavoprotéines étudiée par spectroscopie femtoseconde

Abstract : Nature employs charge transfer reactions in many biological functions. Redox-active cofactors like flavins (FAD and FMN) are often implicated in such reactions. Charge transfer in proteins often proceeds via formation of radical intermediates. The amino acid radicals of tyrosine (TyrOH) and tryptophan are thought to play important roles as intermediates in intra- and interprotein charge transfer reactions. Tryptophanyl radicals (both protonated cation and deprotonated neutral forms), had been characterized before. However, tyrosyl radicals had only been characterized in the neutral form, and were thought to be formed by concerted electron extraction and deprotonation of tyrosine. Short-lived intermediates are often difficult to observe in biochemical reactions, but may be populated when they can be photochemically formed using short light pulses.In this work, we have characterized intermediates in non-functional charge transfer reactions in flavoproteins using femtosecond time-resolved fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy. Excited states and product states formed in the wild type and mutant forms of the methyltransferase flavoenzyme TrmFO from Thermus thermophilus were investigated. In the TrmFO active site, a tyrosine (Tyr343), is closely stacked on the FAD isoalloxazine ring and a cysteine (Cys51) can form a highly fluorescent adduct with the FAD. In the mutant C51A, FADox fluorescence is strongly quenched by electron transfer from the Tyr343 in ~1ps. The resulting product state displayed a distinct spectral feature- a strong absorption band at ~490 nm unlike any previously characterized radical species. It was assigned to the radical cation of tyrosine (TyrOH•+) which had never been observed before. The FAD•-TyrOH•+ intermediate, is very short-lived as it decays in ~3ps, through charge recombination. As a general conclusion, despite the very low pKa of TyrOH•+, electron transfer from tyrosine can occur without concomitant proton transfer.Using polarization photoselection experiments, we estimated the dipole moment direction for this new transition. The resultant angle between the excited FADox transition and the probed TyrOH•+ transition in C51A TrmFO was 31º±5º. This result sets the orientation of the dipole moment of the transition in the molecular frame of the phenol ring. The finding of distinct directions for the excited FAD transition band and the 490 nm transition confirms their origin in different molecular entities.Following the results from TrmFO, we reinvestigated the photochemistry in the model flavoprotein glucose oxidase (GOX). Here, both tryptophan and tyrosine residues are located in the vicinity of FAD and the photoproduct evolution on the picosecond timescale is more complex. Distinct phases of excited state decay with time constants of 1ps and ~4ps were observed, as well as phases of ~4ps, ~37 ps and a longer-lives phase for product state evolution. Consequently, a comprehensive model for the involvement of radicals of tyrosine and tryptophan and, the different FAD redox states, in the light-induced charge separation and recombination in GOX was made. Partial involvement of the TyrOH•+ radical cation, spectrally similar to C51A TrmFO, was required for the 4 ps and 37 ps phases to account for the ensemble of data. This result explains previous enigmatic features and indicates the involvement of TyrOH•+ in a variety of protein systems.So far, only the deprotonated tyrosyl radical TyrO• had been observed as a functional intermediate in several systems. The visualization of protonated TyrOH•+ radical in TrmFO C51A and GOX suggests the possibility of its intermediate formation as a precursor of TyrO• in functional biochemical reactions.Finally, in TrmFO the construction of specific variants with site-directed mutagenesis was initiated to study active-site flexibility using electron transfer rates as conformational markers. Further experimental and modeling work is required to pursue this goal.
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Lipsa Nag. Dynamique interne des flavoprotéines étudiée par spectroscopie femtoseconde. Biological Physics [physics.bio-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLX121⟩. ⟨tel-02012151⟩

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