Monday, April 3, 2017

Abstract-New Method to Study the Vibrational Modes of Biomolecules in the Terahertz Range Based on a Single-Stage Raman Spectrometer

Department of Chemistry, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
Bar-Ilan Institute for Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 5290002, Israel
§ Department of Biotechnology, Israel Institute of Biological Research, Nes-Ziona 7410001, Israel
ACS Omega, 2017, 2 (3), pp 1232–1240
DOI: 10.1021/acsomega.6b00547
Publication Date (Web): March 31, 2017
Copyright © 2017 American Chemical Society

The low-frequency vibrational (LFV) modes of biomolecules reflect specific intramolecular and intermolecular thermally induced fluctuations that are driven by external perturbations, such as ligand binding, protein interaction, electron transfer, and enzymatic activity. Large efforts have been invested over the years to develop methods to access the LFV modes due to their importance in the studies of the mechanisms and biological functions of biomolecules. Here, we present a method to measure the LFV modes of biomolecules based on Raman spectroscopy that combines volume holographic filters with a single-stage spectrometer, to obtain high signal-to-noise-ratio spectra in short acquisition times. We show that this method enables LFV mode characterization of biomolecules even in a hydrated environment. The measured spectra exhibit distinct features originating from intra- and/or intermolecular collective motion and lattice modes. The observed modes are highly sensitive to the overall structure, size, long-range order, and configuration of the molecules, as well as to their environment. Thus, the LFV Raman spectrum acts as a fingerprint of the molecular structure and conformational state of a biomolecule. The comprehensive method we present here is widely applicable, thus enabling high-throughput study of LFV modes of biomolecules.

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