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J Biol Phys. 2010 Mar;36(2):207-20. doi: 10.1007/s10867-009-9177-5. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

Study of solvent-protein coupling effects by neutron scattering.


The present work aims to characterize the dynamical behavior of proteins immersed in bio-preserving liquids and glasses. For this purpose, the protein dUTPase was chosen, while the selected solvents were glycerol, a triol, and some homologous disaccharides, i.e., trehalose, maltose, and sucrose, which are known to be very effective bio-preserving agents. The results highlight that the disaccharides show a slowing down effect on the water dynamics, which is stronger for trehalose than in the case of the other disaccharides. Furthermore, a characterization of the medium which hosts the protein is performed by using an operative definition of fragility based on the mean square displacement extracted by elastic incoherent neutron scattering, which is directly connected to Angell's kinetic fragility based on the viscosity. Finally, a study of the dynamics of the protein sequestered within the solvents is performed. The result shows that the protein dynamics is coupled with that of the surrounding matrix.

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