Porphyrin Light-Harvesting Arrays Constructed in the Recombinant Tobacco Mosaic Virus Scaffold



We have demonstrated the construction of multiple porphyrin arrays in the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) supramolecular structures by self-assembly of recombinant TMV coat protein (TMVCP) monomers, in which Zn-coordinated porphyrin (ZnP) and free-base porphyrin (FbP) were site-selectively incorporated. The photophysical properties of porphyrin moieties incorporated in the TMV assemblies were also characterized. TMV–porphyrin conjugates employed as building blocks self-assembled into unique disk and rod structures under the proper conditions as similar to native TMV assemblies. The mixture of a ZnP donor and an FbP acceptor was packed in the TMV assembly and showed energy transfer and light-harvesting activity. The detailed photophysical properties of the arrayed porphyrins in the TMV assemblies were examined by time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy, and the energy transfer rates were determined to be 3.1–6.4×109 s−1. The results indicate that the porphyrins are placed at the expected positions in the TMV assemblies.