25-30 August 2019
Henry Ford Building
Europe/Berlin timezone

Light-induced changes in the conformational dynamics of a reversibly photo-switchable fluorescent protein revealed by solution NMR spectroscopy

30 Aug 2019, 11:05
Max Kade Auditorium (Henry Ford Building)

Max Kade Auditorium

Henry Ford Building

Talk Solution NMR development and applications Solution-state NMR Methods


Ms Nina-Eleni Christou (Institute de Biologie Structurale, UGA, CNRS, CEA)


Reversibly photo-switchable fluorescent proteins (RSFPs) are important tools for microscopy and other biotechnological applications. They are currently routinely used for Near-Field Super Resolution Microscopy techniques, e.g. RESOLFT (1). Their characteristic switching between a fluorescent “on” state and a non-fluorescent “off” state, combined with signal processing algorithms has allowed to improve the resolution of cellular imaging down to of a few nanometers. Crystallographic studies of such RSFPs have provided crucial insights on their atomic structure, that has guided the field of fluorescent protein engineering in the search for better tags. However, the crystal forms of such proteins studied at cryogenic temperatures does not provide a realistic picture of the conformational dynamics, and how they influence the photophysics of the RSFP. So far, only a single NMR study for the RSFP Dronpa has been reported in the literature (2). Here, we present a comprehensive NMR study of rsFolder, a green negative RSFP (3). Using a portable in-situ laser illumination device, we were able to perform NMR assignments and derive local dynamic information for both, the fluorescent “on” and “off” states of rsFolder, aided by Laser-driven Exchange NMR experiments. After photo-switching, rsFolder experiences significantly enhanced millisecond time scale dynamics, affecting mostly the environment of the chromophore as detected by extensive line broadening of backbone and side chain resonances. H/D exchange measurements also revealed a global destabilization of the β-barrel region facing the phenol ring of the endogenous chromophore, as well as the chromophore-connecting helical structures. Single-point mutants of rsFolder have been used in an attempt to make correlations between the NMR-observed features and the different photophysical properties of these mutant RSFPs.
(1) Hell, S.W., 2003. Nat.Biotechnol. 21, 1347–1355.
(2) Mizuno, H. et al, 2010. J.Biomol.NMR. 48, 237-246.
(3) El Khatib, M. et al, 2016. Sci.Reports. 6:18459(1-12)

Primary authors

Ms Nina-Eleni Christou (Institute de Biologie Structurale, UGA, CNRS, CEA) Dr Virgile Adam (Institute de Biologie Structurale, UGA, CNRS, CEA) Dr Dominique Bourgeois (Institute de Biologie Structurale, UGA, CNRS, CEA) Dr Bernhard Brutscher (Institute de Biologie Structurale, UGA, CNRS, CEA)

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