Microsecond time-scale kinetics of transient biochemical reactions

Sandra Mitic, Marc J.F. Strampraad, Wilfred R. Hagen, Simon De Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)


To afford mechanistic studies in enzyme kinetics and protein folding in the microsecond time domain we have developed a continuous-flow microsecond time-scale mixing instrument with an unprecedented dead-time of 3.8 ± 0.3 μs. The instrument employs a micro-mixer with a mixing time of 2.7 μs integrated with a 30 mm long flow-cell of 109 μm optical path length constructed from two parallel sheets of silver foil; it produces ultraviolet-visible spectra that are linear in absorbance up to 3.5 with a spectral resolution of 0.4 nm. Each spectrum corresponds to a different reaction time determined by the distance from the mixer outlet, and by the fluid flow rate. The reaction progress is monitored in steps of 0.35 μs for a total duration of ~600 μs. As a proof of principle the instrument was used to study spontaneous protein refolding of pH-denatured cytochrome c. Three folding intermediates were determined: after a novel, extremely rapid initial phase with τ = 4.7 μs, presumably reflecting histidine re-binding to the iron, refolding proceeds with time constants of 83 μs and 345 μs to a coordinatively saturated low-spin iron form in quasi steady state. The time-resolution specifications of our spectrometer for the first time open up the general possibility for comparison of real data and molecular dynamics calculations of biomacromolecules on overlapping time scales.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0185888
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • OA-Fund TU Delft

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Microsecond time-scale kinetics of transient biochemical reactions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this