CO recombination kinetics has been investigated in the type II truncated hemoglobin from Thermobifida fusca (Tf trHb) over more than 10 time decades (from 1 ps to ~100 ms) by combining femtosecond transient absorption, nanosecond laser flash photolysis and optoacoustic pectroscopy. Photolysis is followed by a rapid geminate recombination with a time constant of ~2 ns representing almost 60 % of the overall reaction. An additional, small amplitude geminate recombination was identified at ~100 ns. Finally, CO pressure dependent measurements brought out the presence of twotransient species in the second order rebinding phase, with time constants ranging from ~3 to ~100 ms. The available experimental evidence suggests that the two transients are due to the presence of two conformations which do not interconvert within the time frame of the experiment. Computational studies revealed that the plasticity of protein structure is able to define a branched pathway connecting the ligand binding site and the solvent. This allowed to build a kinetic model capable of describing the complete time course of the CO rebinding kinetics to Tf trHb.
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