Lessons from combined experimental and theoretical examination of the FTIR and 2D-IR spectroelectrochemistry of the amide I region of cytochrome c

Youssef El Khoury, Guillaume Le Breton, Ana. V. Cunha, Thomas L. C. Jansen, Luuk J. G. W. van Wilderen, Jens Bredenbeck

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Samenvatting

Amide I difference spectroscopy is widely used to investigate protein function and structure changes. In this article, we show that the common approach of assigning features in amide I difference signals to distinct secondary structure elements in many cases may not be justified. Evidence comes from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and 2D-IR spectroelectrochemistry of the protein cytochrome c in the amide I range, in combination with computational spectroscopy based on molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. This combination reveals that each secondary structure unit, such as an alpha-helix or a beta-sheet, exhibits broad overlapping contributions, usually spanning a large part of the amide I region, which in the case of difference absorption experiments (such as in FTIR spectroelectrochemistry) may lead to intensity-compensating and even sign-changing contributions. We use cytochrome c as the test case, as this small electron-transferring redox-active protein contains different kinds of secondary structure units. Upon switching its redox-state, the protein exhibits a different charge distribution while largely retaining its structural scaffold. Our theoretical analysis suggests that the change in charge distribution contributes to the spectral changes and that structural changes are small. However, in order to confidently interpret FTIR amide I difference signals in cytochrome c and proteins in general, MD simulations in combination with additional experimental approaches such as isotope labeling, the insertion of infrared labels to selectively probe local structural elements will be required. In case these data are not available, a critical assessment of previous interpretations of protein amide I 1D- and 2D-IR difference spectroscopy data is warranted.

Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummer124201
Aantal pagina's12
TijdschriftJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume154
Nummer van het tijdschrift12
DOI's
StatusPublished - 28-mrt-2021

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