Kavli Research & Enterprise Discussions (K.R.E.D)

 Kavli Research & Enterprise Discussions (K.R.E.D)

Our Kavli Research and Enterprise Discussion (K.R.E.D) will be given by Nina Morgner. Nina Morgner is Heisenberg Professor at the Department of Physical Chemistry at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.


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Nina's talk is entitled "Time-Resolved Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry to Solve Conformational Changes in a Cryptochrome".


Date: 23 February 2024

Time: 15:30

Room: Phase 2 - Seminar Room 20-138


This is an event for University staff only.


The abstract is below. 


Cryptochromes, a widespread class of blue light photoreceptors, play a pivotal role in mediating diverse light-triggered biological functions. Here we employed a novel time-resolved ion mobility mass spectrometry approach to investigate light triggered conformational changes in the cryptochrome from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (CraCRY). Light triggered chromophore excitation and an electron transfer cascade ultimately cause large conformational rearrangements which occur on a much slower time scale in the msec – sec range.

We adapted a Synapt G2S ESI mass spectrometer to allow continuous or short pulse illumination of samples using a high-power LED prior to analysis. The setup allowed us to assess mass and ion mobility spectra over time, allowing us to explore the influence of specific amino acids in response to blue light activation. Our focus on the C-terminal domain of CraCRY revealed the impact of single mutations on the structural transition of helix α22 and the attached flexible c-terminal extension during lit-state formation. Notably, D321, a putative proton acceptor, proved essential for significant conformational changes, while D323 influenced the timing. These findings provide insights into the intricate mechanisms controlling such protein dynamics, if activated by blue light.