Protein Dynamics in Organic Media at Varying Water Activity Studied by Molecular Dynamics Simulation

Nils Hejle Rasmus Ingemar Wedberg, Jens Abildskov, Günther H.J. Peters

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Abstract

In nonaqueous enzymology, control of enzyme hydration is commonly approached by fixing the thermodynamic water activity of the medium. In this work, we present a strategy for evaluating the water activity in molecular dynamics simulations of proteins in water/organic solvent mixtures. The method relies on determining the water content of the bulk phase and uses a combination of Kirkwood−Buff theory and free energy calculations to determine corresponding activity coefficients. We apply the method in a molecular dynamics study of Candida antarctica lipase B in pure water and
the organic solvents methanol, tert-butyl alcohol, methyl tert-butyl ether, and hexane, each mixture at five different water activities. It is shown that similar water activity yields similar enzyme hydration in the different solvents. However, both solvent and water activity are shown to have profound effects on enzyme structure and flexibility.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Part B: Condensed Matter, Materials, Surfaces, Interfaces & Biophysical
Volume116
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)2575-2585
ISSN1520-6106
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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