We examined the time-dependent intensity decays of N-acetyl-l-tryptophanamide (NATA) when collisionally quenched by acrylamide in propylene glycol over a range of temperatures. The intensity decays of NATA became increasingly heterogeneous in the presence of acrylamide. The NATA intensity decays were not consistent with the Collins-Kimball radiation boundary condition (RBC) model for quenching. The steady-state Stern-Volmer plots show significant upward curvature, and quenching of NATA by acrylamide was observed even in vitrified propylene glycol, where translational diffusion cannot occur during the lifetime of the excited state. These frequencydomain and steady-state data indicate a through-space quenching interaction between NATA and acrylamide, and the results are consistent with a rate constant for quenching that depends exponentially on the fluorophore-quencher separation distance. The exponential distance-dependent rate of quenching also explains the upward curvature of the Stern-Volmer plot, and the steady-state data aid in determining the interaction distance between NATA and acrylamide. These results suggest that the distance-dependent quenching rates need to be considered in the interpretation of acrylamide quenching of proteins.
- distance-dependent quenching
- fluorescence spectroscopy
- frequency-domain fluorometry
- tryptophan fluorescence intensity decay