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Unraveling the similarity of the photoabsorption of deprotonated p-coumaric acid in the gas phase and within the photoactive yellow protein

Royal Soc Chemistry
Publication Date
  • Chemistry
  • Biology


Using advanced QM/MM methods, the surprisingly negligible shift of the lowest-lying bright electronic excitation of the deprotonated p-coumaric acid (pCA(-)) within the photoactive yellow protein (PYP) is shown to stem from a subtle balance between hypsochromic and bathochromic effects. More specifically, it is found that the change in the excitation energy as a consequence of the disruption of the planarity of pCA(-) inside PYP is nearly canceled out by the shift induced by the intermolecular interactions of the chromophore and the protein as a whole. These results provide important insights about the primary absorption and the tuning of the chromophore by the protein environment in PYP.

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