The trans to cis isosomerization of the central para-coumaric acid (pCA) chromophore in photoactive yellow protein. There are Nobel prizes for theoretical simulations of these chemically extremely important isomerizations. We observe it, for the first time ever, directly by shifting electron density clouds, and on the fly!!!, ultrafast, in extreme slow motion (Pande et al., 2016, Science 352, 202-206), see also: Recent Highlights.

Our newest baby: MISC = mix-and-inject serial crystallography. We let substrate diffuse into tiny enzyme crystals. Because the crystals are so small, diffusion times are not rate limiting. We can observe the enzymatically catalyzed reaction in real time, on-the-fly, and at room temperature. Since the first structure of an enzyme has been solved (in 1965), this has been the dream of structural biologists. Now, it became true …, we all are grateful that this worked …, hail the heroes (see also: Recent Highlights), BMC-Biology 16:59, (see also commentary by Allen Orville).

Watch new Movie on Photoactive Yellow Protein