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|Title:||Structure, initial excited-state relaxation, and energy storage of rhodopsin resolved at the multiconfigurational perturbation theory level||Authors:||T., Andruniow
|Issue Date:||2004||Project:||None||Journal:||PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA||Abstract:||
We demonstrate that a "brute force" quantum chemical calculation based on an ab initio multiconfigurational second order perturbation theory approach implemented in a quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics strategy can be applied to the investigation of the excited state of the visual pigment rhodopsin (Rh) with a computational error <5 kcal.mol(-1). As a consequence, the simulation of the absorption and fluorescence of Rh and its retinal chromophore in solution allows for a nearly quantitative analysis of the factors determining the properties of the protein environment. More specifically, we demonstrate that the Rh environment is more similar to the "gas phase" than to the solution environment and that the so-called "opsin shift" originates from the inability of the solvent to effectively "shield" the chromophore from its counterion. The same strategy is used to investigate three transient structures involved in the photoisomerization of Rh under the assumption that the protein cavity does not change shape during the reaction. Accordingly, the analysis of the initially relaxed excited-state structure, the conical intersection driving the excited-state decay, and the primary isolable bathorhodopsin intermediate supports a mechanism where the photoisomerization coordinate involves a "motion" reminiscent of the so-called bicycle-pedal reaction coordinate. Most importantly, it is shown that the mechanism of the approximately 30 kcal.mol(-1) photon energy storage observed for Rh is not consistent with a model based exclusively on the change of the electrostatic interaction of the chromophore with the protein/counterion environment.
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