We show by way of physical organic reasoning that the currently known photochemical results of the chromophore of photoactive yellow protein (PYP) are consistent with that expected of a least volume-demanding process for an anchored, tethered chromophore. The primary photoreaction, interestingly, does not appear to involve a hula-twist process. However, the latter might be involved during subsequent transition of dark intermediates. Absorption data of intermediates obtained from a microsecond time-resolved spectroscopic study of three PYP mutants (E46Q, T50V and R52Q) are consistent with the above analyses.
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Vol. 76 • No. 6