Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How do protein binding sites stay dry in water?

Date:
October 21, 2011
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Researchers studied the condition for model cavity and tunnel structures resembling the binding sites of proteins to stay dry without losing their ability to react, a prerequisite for proteins to establish stable interactions with other proteins in water.

In a report to be published soon in The European Physical Journal E, researchers from the National University of the South in Bahνa Blanca, Argentina studied the condition for model cavity and tunnel structures resembling the binding sites of proteins to stay dry without losing their ability to react, a prerequisite for proteins to establish stable interactions with other proteins in water.

Related Articles


E.P. Schulz and colleagues used models of nanometric-scale hydrophobic cavities and tunnels to understand the influence of geometry on the ability of those structures to stay dry in solution.

The authors studied the filling tendency of cavities and tunnels carved in a system referred to as an alkane-like monolayer, chosen for its hydrophobic properties, to ensure that no factors other than geometrical constraints determine their ability to stay dry.

They determined that the minimum size of hydrophobic cavities and tunnels that can be filled with water is on the order of a nanometer. Below that scale, these structures stay dry because they provide a geometric shield; if a water molecule were to penetrate the cavity it would pay the excessive energy cost of giving up its hydrogen bonds. By comparison, water fills carbon nanotubes that are twice as small (but slightly less hydrophobic) than the alkane monolayer, making them less prone to stay dry.

The authors also showed that the filling of nanometric cavities and tunnels with water is a dynamic process that goes from dry to wet over time. They believe that water molecules inside the cavities or tunnels are arranged in a network of strong cooperative hydrogen bonds. Their disruption by means of thermal fluctuations results in the temporary drying of the holes until new bonds are re-established.

One of the many potential applications is in biophysics, to study water-exclusion sites of proteins, and understand the physical phenomenon linked to the geometry of those sites, underpinning the widespread biological process of protein-protein associations.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. P. Schulz, L. M. Alarcσn, G. A. Appignanesi. Behavior of water in contact with model hydrophobic cavities and tunnels and carbon nanotubes. The European Physical Journal E, 2011; 34 (10) DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2011-11114-8

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "How do protein binding sites stay dry in water?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021125149.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2011, October 21). How do protein binding sites stay dry in water?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021125149.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "How do protein binding sites stay dry in water?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111021125149.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
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

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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