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Title: Photophysics of the chromophore of the green fluorescent protein
Author: Webber, Naomi.
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2002
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Synthetic analogues of chromophores of green fluorescent protein were synthesised. The chromophore, which is highly fluorescent in the protein, is nearly non-fluorescent in solution. The spectral properties of the. model chromophores (absorption coefficients, oscillator strengths and effect of pH), were compared with those of the corresponding proteins. The measurements compared well with the results of theoretical calculations. Some important differences between chromophore and protein spectra were noted. The effects of solvent polarity on absorption and emission spectra were studied and analysed using the rc* and the reaction field factor measures of solvent effects. The spectral shifts were small and more dependent on hydrogen bonding interactions than solvent polarity. The low temperature excitation and emission spectra were recorded and compared to room temperature spectra. The effect of excitation wavelength on the emission spectra was investigated at low temperature and revealed an edge excitation red shift. The spectral properties of the model chromophores were investigated as a function of temperature. The fluorescence increased dramatically as the temperature decreased, even into the supercooled liquid and glass phases. This suggests that the mechanism of radiationless decay is not strongly coupled to solvent viscosity, but may be thermally activated. An isoviscosity analysis to separate these two mechanisms gave inconclusive results. The ultrafast polarisation spectroscopy of the model chromophores was then investigated as a function of protonation state, viscosity and temperature. The ground state recovery time has two components. An ultrafast recovery time of <5ps is assigned to internal conversion followed by vibrational relaxation. A slower time (>50ps) was assigned to rotational relaxation. A second isoviscosity analysis suggested that the mechanism of radiationless decay above room temperature was nearly barrierless, and only weakly coupled to viscosity. These data are most consistent with internal conversion due to cooperative intramolecular rotation of the chromophore.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Fluoresecence Chemistry, Physical and theoretical