Clarifying the contribution of tryptophan (Trp) to electron-transfer (ET) processes in different protein surroundings can help to understand the effective pathway of ET in proteins. Interactions between Trp residues and protein microsurroundings involve intermolecular H-bonds, cation and π-electron clouds of aromatic rings, the secondary structure and π orbital of aromatic rings, and so on. Detailed analyses reveal that the microsurroundings play an important role in modulating the electron-relay function of Trp in proteins. Generally, microsurroundings with strong Lewis acidity inhibit electron hole transport through Trp residues. Systems with weak Lewis acidity finely tune the electron-relay ability of Trp in proteins, while those with strong Lewis basicity strongly enhance the electron-relay ability of Trp residues.
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