This paper reports on experiments that have monitored protein microsecond dynamics with a cantilevered near-field optical glass fiber. In these experiments two photoactive proteins, bacteriorhodopsin (bR) and the photosynthetic reaction center (PS I), are used to demonstrate that such probes can measure light-induced microsecond protein dynamics even though the resonance frequencies of the glass cantilevers used are in the order of a few hundred kilohertz. In the case of the light-driven proton pump, bR, the light-induced atomic force sensing (AFS) signal is negative (indicating contraction) in the microsecond time domain of the L photointermediate and becomes positive (corresponding to expansion) in the subsequent M intermediate that lives for milliseconds. Double pulse experiments from M to bR show that the latter process reverses the AFS signal. Thus, the AFS structural changes are coupled with the (optical) photocycle intermediates. Light-induced contraction and expansion phenomena are also observed in the case of PSI. In both systems the time regime of the dynamic phenomena that have been measured with AFS is five orders of magnitude faster than the fastest previously recorded atomic force detection of dynamic phenomena. This advance portends a new era in dynamic imaging of protein conformational changes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Structural Biology