Antifreeze Glycoprotein Activity Correlates with Long-Range Protein-Water Dynamics
ABSTRACT Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) and antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGPs) enable the survival of organisms living in subfreezing habitats and serve as preservatives. Although their function is known, the underlying molecular mechanism was not understood. Mutagenesis experiments questioned the previous assumption of hydrogen bonding as the dominant mechanism. We use terahertz spectroscopy to show that antifreeze activity is directly correlated with long-range collective hydration dynamics. Our results provide evidence for a new model of how AFGPs prevent water from freezing. We suggest that antifreeze activity may be induced because the AFGP perturbs the aqueous solvent over long distances. Retarded water dynamics in the large hydration shell does not favor freezing. The complexation of the carbohydrate cis-hydroxyl groups by borate suppresses the long-range hydration shell detected by terahertz absorption. The hydration dynamics shift toward bulk water behavior strongly reduces the AFGP antifreeze activity, further supporting our model.
SourceAvailable from: J. Axel Zeitler[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: With the ongoing proliferation of terahertz time-domain instrumentation from semiconductor physics into applied spectroscopy over the past decade, measurements at terahertz frequencies (1 THz ≡ 10(12) Hz ≡ 33 cm(-1)) have attracted a sustained growing interest, in particular the investigating hydrogen-bonding interactions in organic materials. More recently, the availability of Raman spectrometers that are readily able to measure in the equivalent spectral region very close to the elastic scattering background has also grown significantly. This development has led to a renewed interest in performing spectroscopy at the interface between dielectric relaxation phenomena and vibrational spectroscopy. In this review, we briefly outline the underlying technology, the physical phenomena governing the light-matter interaction at terahertz frequencies, recent examples of spectroscopic studies, and the current state of the art in assigning spectral features to vibrational modes based on computational techniques.Applied Spectroscopy 01/2015; 69(1):1-25. DOI:10.1366/14-07707 · 2.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Antifreeze proteins (AFP) and antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGP) are synthesized by various organisms to enable their cells to survive low temperature environments like in the polar regions. The presence of antifreeze proteins leads to a temperature difference between the melting and freezing point of the solution known as thermal hysteresis. It is nowadays common knowledge that the antifreeze activity of AFPs is mainly determined by a short range effect which includes a direct binding to the ice phase. Recently, experimental findings also revealed a long range effect which implies a significant retardation of the water dynamics to facilitate the ice-binding process specifically for AFGPs. The aim of this work is to examine the dynamics of water molecules around different antifreeze protein residues by using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations. A prototype of AFP from antarctic notothenioids with the main sub-unit alanine-alanine-threonine and a mutant (polyalanine) together with the residues of an antifreeze glycoprotein (AFGP) were simulated and compared with respect to their influence on the local water shell. The analysis of the water hydrogen bond characteristics and the dipolar relaxation times reveals a strong retardation effect of the water dynamics around the AFGP prototype. Our numerical results reveal the significant importance of polar units like threonine and disaccharides for the direct binding of water molecules in terms of hydrogen bonds and the significant retardation of water dynamics. In addition, a considerable change of the hydration dynamics is additionally observed in presence of osmolytes like urea and hydroxyectoine. Our findings indicate that this effect is even more pronounced in presence of kosmotropic osmolytes.The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 09/2014; 118(40). DOI:10.1021/jp507062r · 3.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Experimental investigations of ice recrystallization inhibition (IRI) efficacy have been performed for a large number of different substances, including natural antifreeze proteins (AFP) and antifreeze glycoproteins (AFGP), several synthetic AFGP analogues, as well as synthetic polymers. Here we define IRI efficacy as that concentration at which the ice recrystallization rate is dominated by the IRI compound. The investigated 39 compounds show IRI efficacies from about 2 mmol L-1 for the least effective compound still showing activity to about 1 nmol L-1, which corresponds to the highest efficacy found for natural AFGP samples. Hence, the assay employed allows for a quantitative comparison of IRI efficacy over a range of at least 6 orders of magnitude, thereby enabling studies of distinguishing effects induced by even subtle structural variations in AFGP analogues that were synthesized. Our results show that AFGP are by far the most effective IRI agents in our assay, and we surmise that this particular efficacy may be due to their disaccharide moieties. This supposition is supported by the fact that IRI efficacy is strongly reduced for monosaccharide AFGP analogues, as well as for AFGP analogues with acetyl-protected monosaccharide moieties.Crystal Growth & Design 09/2014; 14(9):4285-4294. DOI:10.1021/cg5003308 · 4.56 Impact Factor