Extended subnanosecond structural dynamics of myoglobin revealed by Laue crystallography

Dominique Bourgeois, Beatrice Vallone, Alessandro Arcovito, Giuliano Sciara, Friederich Schotte, Philip Anfinrud, Maurizio Brunori

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101 Citazioni (Scopus)


Work carried out over the last 30 years unveiled the role of structural dynamics in controlling protein function. Cavity networks modulate structural dynamics trajectories and are functionally relevant; in globins they have been assigned a role in ligand migration and docking. These findings raised renewed interest for time-resolved structural investigations of myoglobin (Mb), a simple heme protein displaying a photosensitive iron-ligand bond. Photodissociation of MbCO generates a nonequilibrium population of protein structures relaxing over a time range extending from picoseconds to milliseconds. This process triggers ligand migration to matrix cavities with clear-cut effects on the rate and yield of geminate rebinding. Here, we report subnanosecond time-resolved Laue diffraction data on the triple mutant YQR-Mb [Leu-29(B10)Tyr, His-64(E7)Gln, Thr-67(E10)Arg] that depict the sequence of structural events associated with heme and protein relaxation from 100 ps to 316 ns and above. The photodissociated ligand rapidly (<0.1 ns) populates the Xe-binding cavity distal to the heme. Moreover, the heme relaxation toward the deoxy configuration is heterogeneous, with a slower phase ( approximately ns) evident in these experiments. Damping of the heme response appears to result from a strain exerted by the E-helix via the CD-turn; Phe-43(CD1), in close contact with heme, opposes tilt until the strain is relieved. A comparison with crystallographic data on wild-type Mb and mutants Leu(29)Phe or Leu(29)Trp suggests that the internal structure controls the rate and amplitude of the relaxation events. A correlation between structural dynamics as unveiled by Laue crystallography and functional properties of Mb is presented.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)4924-4929
Numero di pagine6
RivistaProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2006


  • CO photolysis
  • Laue diffraction
  • Myoglobin


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