The Complex of Apomyoglobin with the Fluorescent Dye Coumarin 153


  • Posted on the website on 27 February 2004

*To whom correspondence should be addressed: Department of Chemistry, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA. Fax: 515-294-0105; e-mail:


Understanding a protein's dielectric response requires both a theoretical model and a well-defined experimental system. The former has already been proposed by Song (J. Chem. Phys. 116, 9359 [2002]). We suggest that the latter is provided by the complex of coumarin 153 (C153) with apomyoglobin (ApoMb). C153 has been exhaustively studied and has proven to be an excellent probe of the solvation dynamics of polar solvents. Myoglobin is one of the most thoroughly studied proteins. Myoglobins from a wide range of species have been subject to X-ray structural analysis and site-directed mutagenesis. Here, we demonstrate the existence of a robust C153-apomyglobin system by means of molecular dynamics simulations, equilibrium binding studies using a Job's plot and capillary electrophoresis, circular dichroism and time-resolved fluorescence. The reorganization energy of C153 bound to ApoMb is compared with that of C153 in bulk solvent using the method of Jordanides et al. (J. Phys. Chem. B 103, 7995 [1999]).