Revealing Conformational Transition Dynamics of Photosynthetic Proteins in Single-Molecule Electrical Circuits.

The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Zhiheng YangXuefeng Guo

Abstract

The function of proteins depends on their structural flexibility and conformational change. By utilizing silicon-nanowire-based single-molecule electrical circuits, here we present a label-free real-time measurement method that can directly monitor conformational changes of a photosynthetic LH1-RC complex, reaching the ultimate goal of analytic chemistry. These results manifest that the conformation of the LH1-RC complex vibrates among four conformations with strong temperature dependence. At the optimal temperature, States 2 and 3 occupy the main conformations of the LH1-RC complex, and its conformational variation mostly emerges as anharmonic vibration modes, which contributes to photon acquisition and heat transmission. The influence of light activation on occurrence percentage is observed, resulting from light-driven quivering of pigments. Therefore, this avenue proves to be an efficient platform for revealing the fundamental mechanisms of various biological processes in vitro.

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