Large-scale networks of hydration water molecules around proteins investigated by cryogenic X-ray crystallography.

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14 Citations (Scopus)


The structures at protein-water interface, i.e. the hydration structure of proteins, have been investigated by cryogenic X-ray crystal structure analyses. Hydration structures appeared far clearer at cryogenic temperature than at ambient temperature, presumably because the motions of hydration water molecules were quenched by cooling. Based on the structural models obtained, the hydration structures were systematically analyzed with respect to the amount of water molecules, the interaction modes between water molecules and proteins, the local and the global distribution of them on the surface of proteins. The standard tetrahedral interaction geometry of water in bulk retained at the interface and enabled the three-dimensional chain connection of hydrogen bonds between hydration water molecules and polar protein atoms. Large-scale networks of hydrogen bonds covering the entire surface of proteins were quite flexible to accommodate to the large-scale conformational changes of proteins and seemed to have great influences on the dynamics and function of proteins. The present observation may provide a new concept for discussing the dynamics of proteins in aqueous solution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)767-790
Number of pages24
JournalCellular and molecular biology (Noisy-le-Grand, France)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jul
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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