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 New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs
18.04.2019 | University of Hawaii at Manoa

nachricht New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection
18.04.2019 | Polytechnique Montréal

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>