Online ISSN : 1349-2942
ISSN-L : 1349-2942
Regular Article
Full-Quantum chemical calculation of the absorption maximum of bacteriorhodopsin: a comprehensive analysis of the amino acid residues contributing to the opsin shift
Tomohiko HayashiAzuma MatsuuraHiroyuki SatoMinoru Sakurai
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2012 Volume 8 Pages 115-125


Herein, the absorption maximum of bacteriorhodopsin (bR) is calculated using our recently developed method in which the whole protein can be treated quantum mechanically at the level of INDO/S-CIS//ONIOM (B3LYP/6-31G(d,p): AMBER). The full quantum mechanical calculation is shown to reproduce the so-called opsin shift of bR with an error of less than 0.04 eV. We also apply the same calculation for 226 different bR mutants, each of which was constructed by replacing any one of the amino acid residues of the wild-type bR with Gly. This substitution makes it possible to elucidate the extent to which each amino acid contributes to the opsin shift and to estimate the inter-residue synergistic effect. It was found that one of the most important contributions to the opsin shift is the electron transfer from Tyr185 to the chromophore upon excitation. We also indicate that some aromatic (Trp86, Trp182) and polar (Ser141, Thr142) residues, located in the vicinity of the retinal polyene chain and the b-ionone ring, respectively, play an important role in compensating for the large blue-shift induced by both the counterion residues (Asp85, Asp212) and an internal water molecule (W402) located near the Schiff base linkage. In particular, the effect of Trp86 is comparable to that of Tyr185. In addition, Ser141 and Thr142 were found to contribute to an increase in the dipole moment of bR in the excited state. Finally, we provide a complete energy diagram for the opsin shift together with the contribution of the chromophore-protein steric interaction.

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