Backbone modification of retinal induces protein-like excited state dynamics in solution.
The drastically different reactivity of the retinal chromophore in solution compared to the protein environment is poorly understood. Here, we show that the addition of a methyl group to the C═C backbone of all-trans retinal protonated Schiff base accelerates the electronic decay in solution making it comparable to the proton pump bacteriorhodopsin. Contrary to the notion that reaction speed and efficiency are linked, we observe a concomitant 50% reduction in the isomerization yield. Our resu...Expand abstract
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