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Ultrafast carbon monoxide photolysis and heme spin-crossover in myoglobin via nonadiabatic quantum dynamics

Abstract : Light absorption of myoglobin triggers diatomic ligand photolysis and a spin crossover transition of iron(II) that initiate protein conformational change. The photolysis and spin crossover reactions happen concurrently on a femtosecond timescale. The microscopic origin of these reactions remains controversial. Here, we apply quantum wavepacket dynamics to elucidate the ultrafast photochemical mechanism for a heme-carbon monoxide (heme-CO) complex. We observe coherent oscillations of the Fe-CO bond distance with a period of 42 fs and an amplitude of ∼1 Å. These nuclear motions induce pronounced geometric reorganization, which makes the CO dissociation irreversible. The reaction is initially dominated by symmetry breaking vibrations inducing an electron transfer from porphyrin to iron. Subsequently, the wavepacket relaxes to the triplet manifold in ∼75 fs and to the quintet manifold in ∼430 fs. Our results highlight the central role of nuclear vibrations at the origin of the ultrafast photodynamics of organometallic complexes.
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Konstantin Falahati, Hiroyuki Tamura, Irene Burghardt, Miquel Huix-Rotllant. Ultrafast carbon monoxide photolysis and heme spin-crossover in myoglobin via nonadiabatic quantum dynamics. Nature Communications, Nature Publishing Group, 2018, 9 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41467-018-06615-1⟩. ⟨hal-02079618⟩

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