Resonance Raman Spectroscopic Investigation of the Light-Harvesting Chromophore in Escherichia Coli Photolyase and Vibrio Cholerae Cryptochrome-1

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Photolyases and cryptochromes are flavoproteins that belong to the class of blue-light photoreceptors. They usually bind two chromophores: flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), which forms the active site, and a light-harvesting pigment, which is a 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate polyglutamate (MTHF) in most cases. In Escherichia coli photolyase (EcPhr), the MTHF cofactor is present in substoichiometric amounts after purification, while in Vibrio cholerae cryptochrome-1 (VcCry1) the MTHF cofactor is bound more strongly and is present at stoichiometric levels after purification. In this paper, we have used resonance Raman spectroscopy to monitor the effect of loss of MTHF on the protein-FAD interactions in EcPhr and to probe the protein-MTHF interactions in both EcPhr and VcCry1. We find that removal of MTHF does not perturb protein-FAD interactions, suggesting that it may not affect the physicochemical properties of FAD in EcPhr. Our data demonstrate that the pteridine ring of MTHF in EcPhr has different interactions with the protein matrix than that of MTHF in VcCry1. Comparison to solution resonance Raman spectra of MTHF suggests that the carbonyl of its pteridine ring in EcPhr experiences stronger hydrogen bonding and a more polar environment than in VcCry1, but that hydrogen bonding to the pteridine ring amine hydrogens is stronger in VcCry-1. These differences in hydrogen bonding may account for the higher binding affinity of MTHF in VcCry1 compared to EcPhr.



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