Picosecond Resolution of Tyrosine Fluorescence and Anisotropy Decays by 2-GHz Frequency-Domain Fluorometry

Joseph R. Lakowicz, Gabor Laczko, Ignacy Gryczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


We extended the technique of frequency-domain fluorometry to an upper frequency limit of 2000 MHz. This was accomplished by using the harmonic content of a laser pulse train (3.76 MHz, 5 ps) from a synchronously pumped and cavity-dumped dye laser. We used a microchannel plate photomultiplier as the detector to obtain the 2-GHz bandwidth. This new instrument was used to examine tyrosine intensity and anisotropy decays from peptides and proteins. These initial data sets demonstrate that triply exponential tyrosine intensity decays are easily recoverable, even if the mean decay time is less than 1 ns. Importantly, the extended frequency range provides good resolution of rapid and/or multiexponential tyrosine anisotropy decays. Correlation times as short as 15 ps have been recovered for indole, with an uncertainty of ±3 ps. We recovered a doubly exponential anisotropy decay of oxytoxin (29 and 454 ps), which probably reflects torsional motions of the phenol ring and overall rotational diffusion, respectively. Also, a 40-ps component was found in the anisotropy decay of bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, which may be due to rapid torsional motions of the tyrosine residues and/or energy transfer among these residues. The rapid component has an amplitude of 0.05, which is about 16% of the total anisotropy. The availability of 2-GHz frequency-domain data extends the measurable time scale for fluorescence to overlap with that of molecular dynamics cal-culations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987


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