Theoretical study of the electronic spectrum of plastocyanin

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The electronic spectrum of the blue copper protein plastocyanin has been studied by ab initio multiconfigurational second-order perturbation theory (the CASPT2 method). The six lowest electronic transitions have been calculated and assigned with an error of less than 2000 cm-1. The singly occupied orbital in the ground state is Cu 3d-S(Cys) 3pπ antibonding with some N(His) 2pσ character. The bright blue color originates from an electron transfer to this orbital from the corresponding Cu 3d-S(Cys)3pπ bonding orbital. The influence of different ligand models on the spectrum has been thoroughly studied; Cu(imidazole)2(SCH3)(S(CH3)2)+ as a model of CuHis2CysMet is the smallest system that gives converged results.The spectrum is surprisingly sensitive to changes in the geometry, especially in the Cu-S bond distances; a 5 pm change in the Cu-S(Cys) bond length may change the excitation energies by as much as 2000 cm-1. The effect of the surrounding protein and solvent on the transition energies has been modeled by point charges and is found to be significant for some of the transitions (up to 2000 cm-1).


  • Kristine Pierloot
  • Jan O A De Kerpel
  • Ulf Ryde
  • Björn O. Roos
Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Catholic University of Leuven

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Teoretisk kemi
Sidor (från-till)218-226
Antal sidor9
TidskriftJournal of the American Chemical Society
StatusPublished - 1997 jan 8
Peer review utfördJa