Unusual shift in the visible absorption spectrum of an active ctenophore photoprotein elucidated by time-dependent density functional theory

Tomilin, Felix N.; Rogova, Anastasia V.; Burakova, Ludmila P.; Tchaikovskaya, Olga N.; Avramov, Pavel V.; et al. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1007/s43630-021-00039-5

Active hydromedusan and ctenophore Ca2+-regulated photoproteins form complexes consisting of apoprotein and strongly non-covalently bound 2-hydroperoxycoelenterazine (an oxygenated intermediate of coelenterazine). Whereas the absorption maximum of hydromedusan photoproteins is at 460–470 nm, ctenophore photoproteins absorb at 437 nm. Finding out a physical reason for this blue shift is the main objective of this work, and, to achieve it, the whole structure of the protein–substrate complex was optimized using a linear scaling quantum–mechanical method. Electronic excitations pertinent to the spectra of the 2-hydroperoxy adduct of coelenterazine were simulated with time-dependent density functional theory. The dihedral angle of 60° of the 6-(p-hydroxy)-phenyl group relative to the imidazopyrazinone core of 2-hydroperoxycoelenterazine molecule was found to be the key factor determining the absorption of ctenophore photoproteins at 437 nm. The residues relevant to binding of the substrate and its adopting the particular rotation were also identified.