Topochemistry and photomechanical effects in crystals of green fluorescent protein-like chromophores: Effects of hydrogen bonding and crystal packing

Panče Naumov, Janusz Kowalik, Kyril M. Solntsev, Anthony Baldridge, Jong Seok Moon, Christine Kranz, Laren M. Tolbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To obtain insight into the effects of the environment on the photophysics and photochemistry of the green fluorescence protein (GFP), eight crystal structures of six synthetic aryl-substituted analogues (2-fluoro, 2-methyl, 3-hydroxy, 3-methoxy, 2,4-dimethyl and 2,5-dimethyl) of the GFP chromophore (4-hydroxy-benzylidenedimethylimidazolinone) were determined and correlated with their two-dimensional steady-state and time-resolved solid-state excitation-emission spectra. The stacking between the molecules greatly affected the emission energy and the lifetime of the emission of the chromophore, implying that π - π interactions could be critical for the photophysics of GFP. The reaction pathways were dependent on the excitation energy, resulting either in [2 + 2] photodimerization at the bridging double bond (UV excitation) or flipping of the imidazolone ring (visible excitation). The meta-hydroxy chromophore (3-HOBDI) was the only GFP-chromophore analogue that was obtained as more than one stable polymorph in the pure state thus far. Due to the asymmetric substitution with hydrogen bond donors and acceptors, 3-HOBDI is tetramorphic, the forms showing distinctly different structure and behavior: (1) while one of the polymorphs (3-HOBDI-A), having multilayer structure with alternating stereochemistry of linear hydrogen-bonded motifs, undergoes photodimerization under UV light, (2) another (3-HOBDI-C), which has dimeric head-to-tail structure, shows Z-to-E isomerization via τ-one-bond flip of the imidazolone ring by excitation in the visible region. X-ray diffraction analysis of a partially reacted single crystal of 3-HOBDI-C provided the first direct evidence of τ-one-bond flip occurring in a GFP-like compound. Moreover, the cooperative action of the photodimerization of 3-HOBDI-A appears as a photomechanical effect of unprecedented magnitude for a single crystalline specimen, where photoexcited single crystals bend to more than 90° without breaking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5845-5857
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume132
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 2010

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

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