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New publication on proton transport in proteins


Moving protons around is one way in which proteins can transfer information from one site to another.  Chemists at UEA, in collaboration with colleagues from The USA and Harwell, have been able to observe the path taken by a proton in real time. To achieve this they combined ultrafast spectroscopy and protein chemistry.  Using the tools of ultrafast spectroscopy the pathway was resolved into steps which took from less than one picosecond (a million millionth of a second) to longer than to nanoseconds.  The pathway inferred from these measurements was then tested by using mutagenesis to model them and kinetic isotope effects to distinguish them. 

The work was described in the leading chemistry journal Angewante Chemie (Angew. Chem. Intl. Ed. 54, 9303 – 9307, 2015.