Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Water Is No Passive Spectator Of Biological Processes: It Is An Active Participant

Date:
August 18, 2008
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
Researchers have been able to detect changes in the protein -- water network during protein folding in real time using kinetic terahertz absorption.

Water is no passive spectator of biological processes; it is an active participant. Protein folding is thus a self-organized process in which the actions of the solvent play a key role. So far, the emphasis in studies of protein folding processes has been on observation of the protein backbone and its side chains.

Related Articles


Researchers led by Martin Gruebele and Martina Havenith have now been able to detect changes in the protein–water network during protein folding in real time. As they report in the journal Angewandte Chemie, this team of scientists at the University of Illinois (Urbana, USA) and the Ruhr University in Bochum (Germany) used a spectroscopic technique called KITA (kinetic terahertz absorption) to make their observations.

Terahertz (THz) radiation consists of electromagnetic waves in the submillimeter range, putting it between the infrared and microwave ranges. Efficient sources of THz radiation are now available, making it possible to directly measure the absorption of biomolecules in aqueous buffers on the picosecond time scale. Both the skeletal movements of proteins and the collective motions of water molecules surrounding proteins occur on this time scale.

The research team recently demonstrated that THz-range absorption spectroscopy is a sensitive method for the investigation of the water shell that surrounds proteins. In the layers immediately surrounding the protein, the water molecules are networked to each other differently than in pure water. Their absorption of THz radiation at certain frequencies is thus changed.

The way in which a protein folds to a very large extent determines its function. The folding process is very fast. The movements of the protein backbone influence the solvent, and the dynamics of the solvent can in turn influence the dynamics of the protein—thus playing an important role in the folding process.

Kinetic THz absorption (KITA) registers the damping and phase-shifting of an electrical THz field caused by the folding of a protein. Comparison with results obtained by other methods confirms that KITA detects reorientations of the interactions between a protein and its water shell in an early phase of the folding process.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Real-Time Detection of Protein%u2013Water Dynamics upon Protein Folding by Terahertz Absorption Spectroscopy. Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2008, 47, 6486%u20136489 DOI: 10.1002/anie.200802281

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Water Is No Passive Spectator Of Biological Processes: It Is An Active Participant." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813114227.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2008, August 18). Water Is No Passive Spectator Of Biological Processes: It Is An Active Participant. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813114227.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Water Is No Passive Spectator Of Biological Processes: It Is An Active Participant." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080813114227.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

At Least 15 Injured in a California Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion

At Least 15 Injured in a California Natural Gas Pipeline Explosion

Reuters - US Online Video (Apr. 18, 2015) At least 15 injred after natural gas transmission line ruptures in Fresno, California. Julie Noce reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Electric Rover Goes for a Spin

NASA Electric Rover Goes for a Spin

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 17, 2015) NASA&apos;s prototype electric buggy could influence future space rovers and conventional cars. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Self-Powering Camera

Scientists Create Self-Powering Camera

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 17, 2015) American scientists build a self-powering camera that captures images without using an external power source, allowing it to operate indefinitely in a well-lit environment. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
The State Of Virtual Reality

The State Of Virtual Reality

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Virtual Reality is still a young industry. What’s on offer and what should we expect from our immersive new future? Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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