Contributions of the 8-methyl group to the vibrational normal modes of flavin mononucleotide and its 5-methyl semiquinone radical

Azaria S. Eisenberg, Johannes P.M. Schelvis

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Resonance Raman spectroscopy is a powerful tool to investigate flavins and flavoproteins, and a good understanding of the flavin vibrational normal modes is essential for the interpretation of the Raman spectra. Isotopic labeling is the most effective tool for the assignment of vibrational normal modes, but such studies have been limited to labeling of rings II and III of the flavin isoalloxazine ring. In this paper, we report the resonance and pre-resonance Raman spectra of flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and its N5-methyl neutral radical semiquinone (5-CH3FMN.), of which the 8-methyl group of ring I has been deuterated. The experiments indicate that the Raman bands in the low-frequency region are the most sensitive to 8-methyl deuteration. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations have been performed on lumiflavin to predict the isotope shifts, which are used to assign the calculated normal modes to the Raman bands of FMN. A first assignment of the low-frequency Raman bands on the basis of isotope shifts is proposed. Partial deuteration of the 8-methyl group reveals that the changes in the Raman spectra do not always occur gradually. These observations are reproduced by the DFT calculations, which provide detailed insight into the underlying modifications of the normal modes that are responsible for the changes in the Raman spectra. Two types of isotopic shift patterns are observed: either the frequency of the normal mode but not its composition changes or the composition of the normal mode changes, which then appears at a new frequency. The DFT calculations also reveal that the effect of H/D-exchange in the 8-methyl group on the composition of the vibrational normal modes is affected by the position of the exchanged hydrogen, i.e., whether it is in or out of the isoalloxazine plane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6179-6189
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number27
StatePublished - 10 Jul 2008


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