The excited state processes of riboflavin, flavin mononucleotide and flavin adenine dinucleotide in argon-saturated aqueous solution were studied in the presence of lysozyme or bovine serum albumin (BSA). UV–Vis absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy indicates that the noncovalent flavin-protein binding is relatively weak. Quenching of the flavin triplet state by BSA, observed by time-resolved photolysis, is less efficient than by lysozyme. Light-induced oxidation of the two proteins and reduction of the three flavins were studied. The quantum yields of the former and latter in the absence of oxygen are up to 0.1 and 0.04, respectively. The effects of pH and sensitizer and protein concentrations were examined in greater detail. The proposed reaction is electron transfer from the tryptophan moiety to the flavin triplet rather than excited singlet state.
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