Low-temperature behavior of water confined by biological macromolecules and its relation to protein dynamics
Laboratoire de Biophysique Moléculaire, Institut de Biologie Structurale, 41 rue Jules Horowitz, 38027, Grenoble Cedex 1, France
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Confined water is an essential component of biological entities and processes and its properties differ from the ones of bulk water. Since protein and water dynamics are thought to be strongly coupled, and since macromolecular dynamics is crucial for biological function, the study of water confined by biological macromolecules is not only interesting on its own right but often provides useful information for understanding biological activity at the molecular level. Studies are reviewed that focus on the low-temperature behavior of water confined in protein crystals and in stacks of native biological membranes. Diffraction methods allowed the determination of characteristic changes that relate to the glass transition and crystallization of water. Protein crystallography and energy-resolved neutron scattering are employed to gain further insight into the coupling of solvent and protein dynamics.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2003