IJMS, Vol. 20, Pages 4086: Absorption and Emission Spectroscopic Investigation of the Thermal Dynamics of the Archaerhodopsin 3 Based Fluorescent Voltage Sensor QuasAr1 (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
QuasAr1 is a fluorescent voltage sensor derived from Archaerhodopsin 3 (Arch) of Halorubrum sodomense by directed evolution. Here we report absorption and emission spectroscopic studies of QuasAr1 in Tris buffer at pH 8. Absorption cross-section spectra, fluorescence quantum distributions, fluorescence quantum yields, and fluorescence excitation spectra were determined. The thermal stability of QuasAr1 was studied by long-time attenuation coefficient measurements at room temperature (23 ± 2 °C) and at 2.5 ± 0.5 °C. The apparent melting temperature was determined by stepwise sample heating up and cooling down (obtained apparent melting temperature: 65 ± 3 °C). In the protein melting process the originally present protonated retinal Schiff base (PRSB) with absorption maximum at 580 nm converted to de-protonated retinal Schiff base (RSB) with absorption maximum at 380 nm. Long-time storage of QuasAr1 at temperatures around 2.5 °C and around 23 °C caused gradual protonated retinal Schiff base isomer changes to other isomer conformations, de-protonation to retinal Schiff base isomers, and apoprotein structure changes showing up in ultraviolet absorption increase. Reaction coordinate schemes are presented for the thermal protonated retinal Schiff base isomerizations and deprotonations in parallel with the dynamic apoprotein restructurings.