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Article Dans Une Revue FEBS Journal Année : 2021

A guide to time‐resolved structural analysis of light‐activated proteins


Dynamical changes in protein structures are essential for protein function and occur over femtoseconds to seconds timescales. X-ray free electron lasers have facilitated investigations of structural dynamics in proteins with unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution. Light-activated proteins are attractive targets for time-resolved structural studies, as the reaction chemistry and associated protein structural changes can be triggered by short laser pulses. Proteins with different light-absorbing centres have evolved to detect light and harness photon energy to bring about downstream chemical and biological output responses. Following light absorption, rapid chemical/small-scale structural changes are typically localised around the chromophore. These localised changes are followed by larger structural changes propagated throughout the photoreceptor/photocatalyst that enables the desired chemical and/or biological output response. Time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography (SFX) and solution scattering techniques enable direct visualisation of early chemical change in light-activated proteins on timescales previously inaccessible, whereas scattering gives access to slower timescales associated with more global structural change. Here, we review how advances in time-resolved SFX and solution scattering techniques have uncovered mechanisms of photochemistry and its coupling to output responses. We also provide a prospective on how these time-resolved structural approaches might impact on other photoreceptors/photoenzymes that have not yet been studied by these methods.

Dates et versions

hal-03385907 , version 1 (19-10-2021)



Harshwardhan Poddar, Derren Heyes, Giorgio Schirò, Martin Weik, David Leys, et al.. A guide to time‐resolved structural analysis of light‐activated proteins. FEBS Journal, 2021, ⟨10.1111/febs.15880⟩. ⟨hal-03385907⟩
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