Myoglobin-CO substate structures and dynamics: multidimensional vibrational echoes and molecular dynamics simulations

J Am Chem Soc. 2003 Nov 12;125(45):13804-18. doi: 10.1021/ja035654x.


Spectrally resolved infrared stimulated vibrational echo data were obtained for sperm whale carbonmonoxymyoglobin (MbCO) at 300 K. The measured dephasing dynamics of the CO ligand are in agreement with dephasing dynamics calculated with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for MbCO with the residue histidine-64 (His64) having its imidazole epsilon nitrogen protonated (N(epsilon)-H). The two conformational substate structures B(epsilon) and R(epsilon) observed in the MD simulations are assigned to the spectroscopic A(1) and A(3) conformational substates of MbCO, respectively, based on the agreement between the experimentally measured and calculated dephasing dynamics for these substates. In the A(1) substate, the N(epsilon)-H proton and N(delta) of His64 are approximately equidistant from the CO ligand, while in the A(3) substate, the N(epsilon)-H of His64 is oriented toward the CO, and the N(delta) is on the surface of the protein. The MD simulations show that dynamics of His64 represent the major source of vibrational dephasing of the CO ligand in the A(3) state on both femtosecond and picosecond time scales. Dephasing in the A(1) state is controlled by His64 on femtosecond time scales, and by the rest of the protein and the water solvent on longer time scales.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carbon Monoxide / chemistry*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Myoglobin / chemistry*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Spectrum Analysis / methods
  • Thermodynamics
  • Whales


  • Myoglobin
  • Carbon Monoxide