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Title: Thermal unfolding of barstar and the properties of interfacial water around the unfolded forms

Identification of the intermediates along the folding-unfolding pathways and probing their interactions with surrounding solvent are two important but relatively unexplored issues in protein folding. In this work, we have carried out atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to study the thermal unfolding of barstar in aqueous solution from its folded native form at two different temperatures (400 K and 450 K). The calculations at 400 K reveal partial unfolding of two α-helices (helix-1 and helix-2) and their interconnecting loop. At 450 K, on the other hand, the entire protein attains an expanded flexible conformation due to disruption of a large fraction of tertiary contacts and breaking of almost all the secondary structures. These two disordered structures obtained at such high temperatures are then studied around room temperature to probe their influence on the properties of surrounding solvent. It is found that though the unfolding of the protein in general leads to increasingly hydrated interface, but new structural motifs with locally dehydrated interface may also form during the structural transition. Additionally, independent of the conformational state of the protein, its influence on surrounding solvent has been found to be restricted to the first hydration layer.
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Molecular Modeling Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur - 721302 (India)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22253768
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 139; Journal Issue: 23; Other Information: (c) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; AQUEOUS SOLUTIONS; HYDRATION; INTERACTIONS; INTERFACES; LAYERS; MOLECULAR DYNAMICS METHOD; PROTEINS; SIMULATION; SOLVENTS; WATER