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Siebert, F.; Grimm, R.; Rüdiger, W.; Schmidt, G. and Scheer, Hugo (1990): Infrared spectroscopy of phytochrome and model pigments. In: European Journal of Biochemistry, Vol. 194: pp. 921-928 [PDF, 917kB]


Fourier-transform infrared difference spectra between the red-absorbing and far-red-absorbing forms of oat phytochrome have been measured in H2O and 2H2O. The difference spectra are compared with infrared spectra of model compounds, i.e. the (5Z,10Z,15Z)- and (5Z,10Z,15E)-isomers of 2,3,7,8,12,13,17,18-octaethyl-bilindion (Et8-bilindion), 2,3-dihydro-2,3,7,8,12,13,17,18-octaethyl-bilindion (H2Et8-bilindion), and protonated H2Et8-bilindion in various solvents. The spectra of the model compounds show that only for the protonated forms can clear differences between the two isomers be detected. Since considerable differences are present between the spectra of Et8-bilindion and H2Et8-bilindion, it is concluded that only the latter compound can serve as a model system of phytochrome. The 2H2O effect on the difference spectrum of phytochrome supports the view that the chromophore in red-absorbing phytochrome is protonated and suggests, in addition, that it is also protonated in far-red-absorbing phytochrome. The spectra show that protonated carboxyl groups are influenced. The small amplitudes in the difference spectra exclude major changes of protein secondary structure.

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