Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Randy W. Larsen


cytochrome c, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, photoacoustic calorimetry, Ru(II)(bpy)3, ruthenium(II) tris(2,2'-bipyridine), uroporphyrin


Electron transfer, ET, and proton-coupled electron transfer, PCET, reactions are central to biological reactions involving catalysis, energy conversion and energy storage. The movement of electrons and protons in either a sequential or concerted manner are coupled in a series of elementary reaction steps in respiration and photosynthesis to harvest and convert energy consumed in foodstuffs or by absorption of light into high energy chemi-cal bonds in the form of ATP. These electron transfer processes may be modulated by conformational dynamics within the protein matrix or at the protein-protein interface, the energetics of which are still not well understood. Photoacoustic calorimetry is an estab-lished method of obtaining time-resolved reaction enthalpy and volume changes on the nanosecond to microsecond timescale. Photoacoustic calorimetry is used here to probe 1) the energetics and volume changes for ET between the self-assembled anionic uroporphy-rin:cytochrome c complex and the role of the observed volume changes in modulating ET within the complex, 2) the enthalpy and volume change for the excited state PCET reac-tion of a tyramine functionalized ruthenium(II) bis-(2,2'-bipyridine)(4-carboxy-4'-methyl-2,2'-bipyrine) meant to be a model for the tyrosine PCET chemistry carried out by cyto-chrome c oxidase and photosystem II, 3) the enthalpy and volume changes related to car-bon monoxide and tryptophan migration in heme tryptophan catabolic enzyme indoleam-ine 2,3-dioxygenase.