Molecular Insights into Variable Electron Transfer in Amphibian Cryptochrome

Emil Sjulstok, Gesa Lüdemann, Tomáš Kubař, Marcus Elstner, Ilia A. Solov'yov*

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Abstrakt

Cryptochrome proteins are activated by the absorption of blue light, leading to the formation of radical pairs through electron transfer in the active site. Recent experimental studies have shown that once some of the amino acid residues in the active site of Xenopus laevis cryptochrome DASH are mutated, radical-pair formation is still observed. In this study, we computationally investigate electron-transfer pathways in the X. laevis cryptochrome DASH by extensively equilibrating a previously established homology model using molecular dynamics simulations and then mutating key amino acids involved in the electron transfer. The electron-transfer pathways are then probed by using tight-binding density-functional theory. We report the alternative electron-transfer pathways resolved at the molecular level and, through comparison of amino acid sequences for cryptochromes from different species, we demonstrate that one of these alternative electron-transfer pathways could be general for all cryptochrome DASH proteins.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftBiophysical Journal
Vol/bind114
Udgave nummer11
Sider (fra-til)2563-2572
ISSN0006-3495
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 5. jun. 2018

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