Effect of a protein on the light energy conversion in dual fluorophore-nitroxide probes studied by ESR and fluorescence spectroscopy Academic Article uri icon


  • Probing biological environment with dual fluorophore-nitroxide (FN) molecules in which fluorophore is tethered with nitroxide, a fluorescence quencher, opens unique opportunities to study molecular dynamics and micropolarity of the medium which affect intramolecular fluorescence quenching (IFQ), electron transfer, photoreduction and light energy conversion. In such molecules, the excited fragment of the chromophore can serve as an electron donor, and the nitroxide fragment as an electron acceptor. The same groups allow monitoring of molecular dynamics and also make it possible to measure micropolarity of the medium in the vicinity of the donor (by fluorescence technique) and acceptor (by electron spin resonance [ESR]) moieties. In the present work, two dual dansyl-nitroxide probes were incorporated in a binding site of bovine serum albumin. Their interactions with the protein, mobility, and photoreduction, as well as micropolarity of the media, have been studied by ESR and fluorescence methods. IFQ and spectral relaxation shift of the dansyl fragment have been monitored by time-resolved fluorescence technique. In parallel, computational studies on intramolecular dynamics of the FN probe were performed. On the basis of the Marcus model of the electron transfer between the excited dansyl fluorophore (donor) and nitroxide group (acceptor) and our experimental data, the mechanism of the electron transfer in the dual molecules incorporated into bovine serum albumin was established. It was shown that dual FN molecules in the protein meet main requirements for an efficient light energy conversion system.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009