Total chemical synthesis of fully functional Photoactive Yellow Protein

Wendy R. Gordon, Duhee Bang, Wouter D. Hoff, Stephen B H Kent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The Photoactive Yellow Protein (PYP) is a structural prototype for the PAS superfamily of proteins, which includes hundreds of receptor and regulatory proteins from all three kingdoms of life. PYP itself is a small globular protein that undergoes a photocycle involving a series of conformational changes in response to light excitation of its p-coumaric acid chromophore, making it an excellent model system to study the molecular basis of signaling in the PAS super family. To enable novel chemical approaches to elucidating the structural changes that accompany signaling in PYP, we have chemically synthesized the 125 amino acid residue protein molecule using a combination of Boc chemistry solid phase peptide synthesis and native chemical ligation. Synthetic PYP exhibits the wildtype photocycle, as determined in photobleaching studies. Planned future studies include incorporation of site-specific isotopic labels into specific secondary structural elements to determine which structural elements are involved in signaling state formation using difference FTIR spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3436-3442
Number of pages7
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the members of the Wouter Hoff laboratory for helpful discussions and assistance with the photobleaching assay. W.G. received a Burroughs-Wellcome Interfaces Predoctoral Fellowship and an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellowship.


  • Chemical protein synthesis
  • Photoactive Yellow Protein
  • Photocycle protein


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