All-Atom Quantum Mechanical Calculation of the Second-Harmonic Generation of Fluorescent Proteins

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Fluorescent proteins (FPs) are biotags of choice for second-harmonic imaging microscopy (SHIM). Because of their large size, computing their second-harmonic generation (SHG) response represents a great challenge for quantum chemistry. In this contribution, we propose a new all-atom quantum mechanics methodology to compute SHG of large systems. This is now possible because of two recent implementations: the tight-binding GFN2-xTB method to optimize geometries and a related version of the simplified time-dependent density functional theory (sTD-DFT-xTB) to evaluate quadratic response functions. In addition, a new dual-threshold configuration selection scheme is introduced to reduce the computational costs while retaining overall similar accuracy. This methodology was tested to evaluate the SHG of the proteins iLOV and bacteriorhodopsin (bR). In the case of bR, quantitative agreement with respect to experiment was reached for the out-of-resonance low-energy part of the βHRS frequency dispersion. This work paves the way toward an accurate prediction of the SHG of large structures-a requirement for the design of new and improved SHIM biotags.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9684-9690
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2021


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