The fluorescence spectrum of a distinct isometric and conformational intermediate formed on the 10(-11) s time scale during the bacteriorhodopsin (BR) photocycle is observed at room temperature using a two laser, pump-probe technique with picosecond time resolution. The BR photocycle is initiated by pulsed (8 ps) excitation at 565 nm, whereas the fluorescence is generated by 4-ps laser pulses at 590 nm. The unstructured fluorescence extends from 650 to 880 nm and appears in the same general spectral region as the fluorescence spectrum assigned to BR-570. The transient fluorescence spectrum can be distinguished from that assigned to BR-570 by a larger emission quantum yield (approximately twice that of BR-570) and by a maximum intensity near 731 nm (shifted 17 nm to higher energy from the maximum of the BR-570 fluorescence spectrum). The fluorescence spectrum of BR-570 only is measured with low energy, picosecond pulsed excitation at 590 nm and is in good agreement with recent data in the literature. The assignment of the transient fluorescence spectrum to the K-590 intermediate is based on its appearance at time delays longer than 40 ps. The K-590 fluorescence spectrum remains unchanged over the entire 40–100-ps interval. The relevance of these fluorescence data with respect to the molecular mechanism used to model the primary processes in the BR photocycle also is discussed. © 1989, The Biophysical Society. All rights reserved.
Atkinson, G. H., Blanchard, D., Lemaire, H., Brack, T. L., & Hayashi, H. (1989). Picosecond time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy of K-590 in the bacteriorhodopsin photocycle. Biophysical Journal, 55(2), 263–274. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0006-3495(89)82801-2