Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

The Way A Protein Is Folded Affects The Molecular Dance Of Water

Date:
February 11, 2008
Source:
Ruhr-Universität-Bochum
Summary:
Scientists have shown, with terahertz (THz) spectroscopy, that proteins do significantly modify water molecules in their environment: The water molecules, which generally move around like disco dancers in their collective network motions behave more like in a neat minuet under protein influence. Protein folding also changes the dancing steps of water.

While the folded protein affects up to 1,000 water molecules in its environment, the partly unfolded protein has a lesser affect on water.
Credit: Image courtesy of Ruhr-Universität-Bochum

Scientists from Bochum, Illinois, and Nevada were able to prove with terahertz (THz) spectroscopy that proteins do modify water molecules in their environment to a long range extent: The water molecules, which generally move around like disco dancers in their collective network motions behave more like in a neat minuet under protein influence.

The group by Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith-Newen (Physical Chemistry II Dpt., RUB) managed to find out more about the rules of this dance. They could show that protein folding changes the dancing steps of water. A partly unfolded protein will affect water molecules within the dynamical hydration shell to a much less extent than a folded one does. The higher the flexibility of the protein, the less affected is the water.

In water, weak bonds between two adjacent water molecules, referred to as the hydrogen bridge bonds, are continuously opening and closing: this happens on average every 1.3 pico seconds (one pico second = 10 power -12 seconds). “Even small concentrations of proteins in water lead to measurable changes in collective movements“, Prof. Havenith-Newen explains the results of previous studies with THz spectroscopy.

Folding is the Important Thing

While the folded protein affects up to 1,000 water molecules in its environment, this is only true for the partly unfolded protein to a small extent. If one modifies some parts of the protein through mutation, the effect is less remarkable. These observations were now made by the scientific teams of Prof. Havenith-Newen, Prof. Dr. Martin Gruebele, and Prof. Dr. David M. Leitner from RUB, the University of Illinois and the University of Nevada, respectively.

“This shows that water in the environment of folded proteins is different from that in the environment of an unfolded protein“, Prof. Havenith-Newen concludes. ”This will further support the hypothesis that protein and water are not independent of each other and do influence each other – an effect which has been considered decisive for protein folding, and which may be highly important for protein functions.“

New, Highly Precise Method of Proof

THz spectroscopy is a new, especially sensitive method of observing fast water network movement in the close vicinity of proteins with the THz frequencies ranging between microwave and infrared frequencies. Particularly strong THz laser radiation sources lasers, which has been used in chemistry for the first time by RUB, facilitates the observation of proteins in their natural environment during their fast dance with water molecules.

Journal reference: S. Ebbinghaus, S. J. Kim, M. Heyden, X. Yu, M. Gruebele, D.M. Leitner, and M. Havenith: Protein sequence- and pH-dependent hydration probed by Terahertz spectroscopy. In: Journal of the American Chemical Society, ASAP Article 10.1021/ja0746520 S0002-7863(07)04652-5, Web Release Date: February 5, 2008, http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi/jacsat/asap/abs/ja0746520.html

Funding was provided by the Human Frontier Science Programme.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ruhr-Universität-Bochum. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ruhr-Universität-Bochum. "The Way A Protein Is Folded Affects The Molecular Dance Of Water." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080206150538.htm>.
Ruhr-Universität-Bochum. (2008, February 11). The Way A Protein Is Folded Affects The Molecular Dance Of Water. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080206150538.htm
Ruhr-Universität-Bochum. "The Way A Protein Is Folded Affects The Molecular Dance Of Water." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080206150538.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) — Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) — The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins