The Impact of Retinal Configuration on the Protein–Chromophore Interactions in Bistable Jumping Spider Rhodopsin-1

Jonathan R. Church, Jógvan Magnus Haugaard Olsen, Igor Schapiro*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Bistable rhodopsins have two stable forms that can be interconverted by light. Due to their ability to act as photoswitches, these proteins are considered as ideal candidates for applications such as optogenetics. In this work, we analyze a recently crystalized bistable rhodopsin, namely the jumping spider rhodopsin-1 (JSR1). This rhodopsin exhibits identical absorption maxima for the parent and the photoproduct form, which impedes its broad application. We performed hybrid QM/MM simulations to study three isomers of the retinal chromophore: the 9-cis, 11-cis and all-trans configurations. The main aim was to gain insight into the specific interactions of each isomer and their impact on the absorption maximum in JSR1. The absorption spectra were computed using sampled snapshots from QM/MM molecular dynamics trajectories and compared to their experimental counterparts. The chromophore–protein interactions were analyzed by visualizing the electrostatic potential of the protein and projecting it onto the chromophore. It was found that the distance between a nearby tyrosine (Y126) residue plays a larger role in the predicted absorption maximum than the primary counterion (E194). Geometric differences between the isomers were also noted, including a structural change in the polyene chain of the chromophore, as well as changes in the nearby hydrogen bonding network.
Original languageEnglish
Article number71
JournalMolecules
Volume27
Issue number1
Number of pages12
ISSN1420-3049
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Rhodopsins
  • Bistable
  • Jumping spider
  • QM/MM
  • Spectral tuning

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