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Proteins. 2003 Feb 15;50(3):516-23.

Hydration in proteins observed by high-resolution neutron crystallography.

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Advanced Science Research Center, Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, Tokai-mura, Ibaraki-ken, Japan.


It is well known that water molecules surrounding a protein play important roles in maintaining its structural stability. Water molecules are known to participate in several physiological processes through the formation of hydrogen bonds. However, the hydration structures of most proteins are not known well at an atomic level at present because X-ray protein crystallography has difficulties to localize hydrogen atoms. In contrast, neutron crystallography has no problem in determining the position of hydrogens with high accuracy.1 In this article, the hydration structures of three proteins are described- myoglobin, wild-type rubredoxin, and a mutant rubredoxin-the structures of which were solved at 1.5- or 1.6-A resolution by neutron structure determination. These hydration patterns show fascinating features and the water molecules adopt a variety of shapes in the neutron Fourier maps, revealing details of intermolecular hydrogen bond formation and dynamics of hydration. Our results further show that there are strong relationships between these shapes and the water environments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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