Primary steps of the photoactive yellow protein: Isolated chromophore dynamics and protein directed function

I. Ren Lee, Wonchul Lee, Ahmed H. Zewail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (Scopus)


The cycle of the photoactive yellow protein (PYP) has been extensively studied, but the dynamics of the isolated chromophore responsible for transduction is unknown. Here, we present real-time observation of the dynamics of the negatively charged chromophore and detection of intermediates along the path of trans-to-cis isomerization using femtosecond mass selection/electron detachment techniques. The results show that the role of the protein environment is not in the first step of double-bond twisting (barrier crossing) but in directing efficient conversion to the cis-structure and in impeding radical formation within the protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-262
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jan 10



  • Femtobiology
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Photoelectron spectroscopy
  • Transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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