Opsins are a broad class of photoactive proteins, found in all classes of living beings from bacteria to higher animals, which work either as light-driven ion pumps or as visual pigments. The photoactive function in opsins is triggered by the ultrafast isomerization of the retinal chromophore around a specific carbon double bond, leading to a highly distorted, spectrally red-shifted photoproduct. Understanding, by either experimental or computational methods, the time course of this photoisomerization process is of utmost importance, both for its biological significance and because opsin proteins are the blueprint for molecular photoswitches. This paper focuses on the ultrafast 11-cis to all-trans isomerization in visual rhodopsins, and has a twofold goal: (i) to review the most recent experimental and computational efforts aimed at exposing the very early phases of photoconversion; and (ii) discuss future advanced experiments and calculations that will allow an even deeper understanding of the process. We present high time resolution pump–probe data, enabling us to follow the wavepacket motion through the conical intersection connecting excited and ground states, as well as femtosecond stimulated Raman scattering data allowing us to track the subsequent structural evolution until the first stable all-trans photoproduct is reached. We conclude by introducing computational results for two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, which has the potential to provide even greater detail on the evolution of the electronic structure of retinal during the photoisomerization process.

Tracking the primary photoconversion events in rhodopsins by ultrafast optical spectroscopy

POLLI, DARIO;CERULLO, GIULIO NICOLA
2015-01-01

Abstract

Opsins are a broad class of photoactive proteins, found in all classes of living beings from bacteria to higher animals, which work either as light-driven ion pumps or as visual pigments. The photoactive function in opsins is triggered by the ultrafast isomerization of the retinal chromophore around a specific carbon double bond, leading to a highly distorted, spectrally red-shifted photoproduct. Understanding, by either experimental or computational methods, the time course of this photoisomerization process is of utmost importance, both for its biological significance and because opsin proteins are the blueprint for molecular photoswitches. This paper focuses on the ultrafast 11-cis to all-trans isomerization in visual rhodopsins, and has a twofold goal: (i) to review the most recent experimental and computational efforts aimed at exposing the very early phases of photoconversion; and (ii) discuss future advanced experiments and calculations that will allow an even deeper understanding of the process. We present high time resolution pump–probe data, enabling us to follow the wavepacket motion through the conical intersection connecting excited and ground states, as well as femtosecond stimulated Raman scattering data allowing us to track the subsequent structural evolution until the first stable all-trans photoproduct is reached. We conclude by introducing computational results for two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, which has the potential to provide even greater detail on the evolution of the electronic structure of retinal during the photoisomerization process.
Animals; Cattle; Computer Simulation; Isomerism; Models, Molecular; Rhodopsin; Spectrum Analysis; Photochemical Processes; Physical and Theoretical Chemistry; Medicine (all)
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/971513
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