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Direct Observation of Cooling of Heme Upon Photodissociation of Carbonmonoxy Myoglobin

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Science  17 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5337, pp. 443-446
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5337.443

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Abstract

The formation of vibrationally excited heme upon photodissociation of carbonmonoxy myoglobin and its subsequent vibrational energy relaxation was monitored by picosecond anti-Stokes resonance Raman spectroscopy. The anti-Stokes intensity of the ν4 band showed immediate generation of vibrationally excited hemes and biphasic decay of the excited populations. The best fit to double exponentials gave time constants of 1.9 ± 0.6 and 16 ± 9 picoseconds for vibrational population decay and 3.0 ± 1.0 and 25 ± 14 picoseconds for temperature relaxation of the photolyzed heme when a Boltzmann distribution was assumed. The decay of the ν4 anti-Stokes intensity was accompanied by narrowing and frequency upshift of the Stokes counterpart. This direct monitoring of the cooling dynamics of the heme cofactor within the globin matrix allows the characterization of the vibrational energy flow through the protein moiety and to the water bath.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: teizo{at}ims.ac.jp

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