Photoconvertible Fluorescent Proteins and the Role of Dynamics in Protein Evolution
AbstractPhotoconvertible fluorescent proteins (pcFPs) constitute a large group of fluorescent proteins related to green fluorescent protein (GFP) that, when exposed to blue light, bear the capability of irreversibly switching their emission color from green to red. Not surprisingly, this fascinating class of FPs has found numerous applications, in particular for the visualization of biological processes. A detailed understanding of the photoconversion mechanism appears indispensable in the design of improved variants for applications such as super-resolution imaging. In this article, recent work is reviewed that involves using pcFPs as a model system for studying protein dynamics. Evidence has been provided that the evolution of pcFPs from a green ancestor involved the natural selection for altered dynamical features of the beta-barrel fold. It appears that photoconversion may be the outcome of a long-range positional shift of a fold-anchoring region. A relatively stiff, rigid element appears to have migrated away from the chromophore-bearing section to the opposite edge of the barrel, thereby endowing pcFPs with increased active site flexibility while keeping the fold intact. In this way, the stage was set for the coupling of light absorption with subsequent chemical transformations. The emerging mechanistic model suggests that highly specific dynamic motions are linked to key chemical steps, preparing the system for a concerted deprotonation and β-elimination reaction that enlarges the chromophore’s π-conjugation to generate red color. View Full-Text
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Wachter, R.M. Photoconvertible Fluorescent Proteins and the Role of Dynamics in Protein Evolution. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1792.
Wachter RM. Photoconvertible Fluorescent Proteins and the Role of Dynamics in Protein Evolution. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017; 18(8):1792.Chicago/Turabian Style
Wachter, Rebekka M. 2017. "Photoconvertible Fluorescent Proteins and the Role of Dynamics in Protein Evolution." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 18, no. 8: 1792.
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