Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

RUB-Chemists "Picturise" Protein Folding

05.08.2008
New KITA-Spectroscopy Allows Real-Time Observation
Angewandte Chemie: The Way, How Water and Proteins Interact

For the first time, chemists of Prof. Martina Havenith's and Prof. Martin Gruebele's group have "picturised" the spectacle of protein folding in water by THz spectroscopy.

Recently, new developed KITA-spectroscopy (Kinetic Terahertz Absorption Spectroscopy) was applied to protein folding with a resolution of one picture per millisecond and combined with other biophysical methods, such as X-ray diffraction (SAXS), fluorescence and CD spectroscopy. Thereby, the researchers from the Ruhr-University Bochum and the University of Illinois observed that folding proceeds in two phases. In a very rapid first phase, the protein collapses in less than a millisecond, while at the same time, a rearrangement of the protein-water network takes place. In a slower second phase, after nearly a second, the protein folds to its native state.

Hitherto, THz-spectroscopy was restricted to steady-state observations of either the start or the end point of folding. "Only now can we see the whole stage play, no longer just the opening scene and the curtain call", Prof. Havenith-Newen clarifies. This work has been published in the current edition of the journal "Angewandte Chemie".

... more about:
»KITA-spectroscopy »folding

How Proteins Arrange the Water

From their previous work, the RUB-researchers already knew about the strong influence of proteins on the water in its vicinity. In the bulk, every 1.3 picoseconds hydrogen bonds are formed and broken between single water molecules - thus resulting in a fairly disorder liquid. However, even small protein concentrations bring the water molecules more in line with each other. The dynamic motions of the water network are altered by the protein. Folded proteins were also known to show a significantly different influence on water molecules than unfolded proteins. Now KITA-spectroscopy for the first time allowed insight into the time-period in-between these two states.

Dynamics of Water and Protein are Strongly Correlated

In KITA-spectroscopy, the emission of short Terahertz-pulses is used to provide unique pictures of the processes observed with millisecond-resolution. The RUB-chemists initiated the folding process and then monitored the course of events. It turned out that within less than ten milliseconds, the motions of the water network were altered as well as the protein itself being restructured. "These two processes practically take place simultaneously", Prof. Havenith-Newen states, "they are strongly correlated." These observations support the yet controversial suggestion that water plays a fundamental role in protein folding, and thus in protein function, and does not stay passive. After the initial restructuring, a second significantly slower phase (spanning a period of 0.9 seconds) takes place inside the protein. In this process, the protein folds to its final native structure.

HFSP Funding

This work was funded by a grant from the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP). Martin Gruebele, as a Friedrich-Wilhelm Bessel laureate of the Alexander von Humboldt-Foundation, did research at the RUB Faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Online published as hot topic article:

Seung Joong Kim, Benjamin Born, Martina Havenith, and Martin Gruebele: Real-time detection of protein-water dynamics upon protein folding by Terahertz absorption. In: Angewandte Chemie, http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121356250/abstract

Supporting Information

Prof. Dr. Martina Havenith-Newen,
Faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Ruhr-University Bochum,
Phone: 0049-234/32-24249, Fax: 0049-234/32-14183,
E-Mail: martina.havenith@ruhr-uni-bochum.de

Dr. Josef König | idw
Further information:
http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121356250/abstract

Further reports about: KITA-spectroscopy folding

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>