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Infrared Magnetic Circular Dichroism in the Study of Metalloproteins


MAGNETIC circular dichroism (MCD) is the differential absorption of left and right circularly polarized light induced by a magnetic field1–4. By contrast with natural circular dichroism (CD), MCD is a property of all materials. Until now no instrumentation has been available for measuring CD and MCD in the near infrared (IR) spectral region with the high sensitivity routine in the visible and near ultraviolet. Some CD studies at wavelengths greater than 1 µm have been made on iron-sulphur proteins5,6. No MCD measurements have been made in this region. The recent development of photoelastic modulators (PEM)7 has made this possible and at the University of Southern California we have built a near IR CD and MCD instrument incorporating an ‘infrasil’ quartz PEM8. The instrument has a sensitivity of close to 10−5 absorbance units over its spectral range of 800–3,000 nm and employs magnetic fields up to 60 kgauss. We believe this will permit important new studies of metalloproteins and here report initial results on haemoproteins.

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CHENG, J., OSBORNE, G., STEPHENS, P. et al. Infrared Magnetic Circular Dichroism in the Study of Metalloproteins. Nature 241, 193–194 (1973).

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