Low temperature laser-induced fluorescence studies of chromophores in soft solids and biological matter



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Kansas State University


Low-temperature laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy has various applications in analytical, physical, and biophysical chemistry. This technique provides information on the fluorescence origin band, zero-phonon lines and phonon-sidebands, inhomogeneous broadening, electron-phonon coupling strength, and ground- and excited-state vibrational frequencies of studied molecules. Examples discussed in this work include studies of DNA/metabolites and monoclonal antibody (mAb)/antigen interactions. The structural basis for the increased reactivity of BPDE towards guanines at 5-methylcytosine ([superscript]M[superscripte]eC):G sites in DNA was investigated by low temperature laser-based spectroscopy, studying the nature of physical complexes of benzo[a]pyrene tetraol in a series of 5-methylcytosine structural DNA analogs. We found that the presence of a C-5 substituent on cytosine and related structural modifications influences the conformation of BPT in DNA analogs, and could explain the increase in guanine reactivity at [superscript]M[superscript]eC:G sites of the p53 tumor suppressor gene that contains endogenenous 5-([superscript]M[superscript]eC. It has been demonstrated that various mAbs can bind a particular cross-reactant by adopting two distinct "red" and "blue" conformations of its binding sites. We showed that the blue conformation of pyrene in several mAbs (including 4D5 mAb) is consistent with [pi]-cation interactions, underscoring the importance of [pi]-cation interaction in ligand binding. We propose that considerable narrowing of the fluorescence origin band of the ligand in the protein environment could be regarded as a simple indicator of [pi]-cation interactions. It is also shown that time-resolved delta fluorescence line-narrowing ([delta]FLN) spectroscopy, using excitation within the (0,0)-transition band, provides more reliable information of the frequency dependence of the electron-phonon coupling (Huang-Rhys factor, (S < 1). Finally, analytical formulas were developed to describe FLN spectra with excitation energy transfer present. Our calculated FLN spectra are compared with spectra obtained by a simple convolution method (SC) and a more rigorous treatment using Redfield theory. We demonstrate that, under the condition of weak coupling between pigments (i.e., the coupling constant is smaller than the reorganization energy) and weak electron-phonon coupling strength (S < 1), our analytical formulas provide an excellent approximation of the SC and Redfield methodologies. We argued that our approach could also model FLN spectra obtained for very complex biological systems.



Laser induced fluorescence, Fluorescence line-narrowing spectroscopy

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Doctor of Philosophy


Department of Chemistry

Major Professor

Ryszard J. Jankowiak