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Issue 48, 2017
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Conformational disorder and solvation properties of the key-residues of a protein in water–ethanol mixed solutions

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Abstract

A small number of key-residues in a protein sequence play vital roles in the function, stability, and folding of the protein. The nonuniform conformational disorder of a small protein Chymotrypsin Inhibitor 2 (CI2) and its secondary segments has been quantified in the ethanol governed temperature induced unfolding process by estimating its change in configurational entropy in several water–ethanol mixed solutions. Such calculations further assist us in identifying the key-residues, from where the unfolding of the protein was initiated. Our findings match well with the reported experimental results. We then make an attempt to explore the properties of the solvent water and ethanol around the key-residues of the protein in its folded and unfolded forms at ambient temperature to identify the individual role of ethanol and water in the protein unfolding. We find that the key-residues of the unfolded protein are in good contact with both water and ethanol as compared to those of the folded protein. In the presence of ethanol, water molecules are noticed to form a rigid structurally bound solvation layer around the key-residues of the protein, irrespective of its conformational state. The restricted translational motion and prominent caging effect of the water and ethanol molecules present around the key-residues of the unfolded protein are a signature of the existence of a rigid mixed water–ethanol layer as compared to that around the folded protein. Furthermore, comparable restricted structural relaxation of the key-residue–water and key-residue–ethanol hydrogen bonds in the unfolded protein as compared to that in the folded one implies that the formation of a strong long-lived hydrogen bonding environment nourishes the unfolding process. We believe that our findings will shed light to several co-solvent governed unfolding processes of a protein in general.

Graphical abstract: Conformational disorder and solvation properties of the key-residues of a protein in water–ethanol mixed solutions

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Publication details

The article was received on 04 Sep 2017, accepted on 21 Nov 2017 and first published on 21 Nov 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7CP06022J
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017,19, 32636-32646
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    Conformational disorder and solvation properties of the key-residues of a protein in water–ethanol mixed solutions

    D. Mohanta, S. Santra and M. Jana, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2017, 19, 32636
    DOI: 10.1039/C7CP06022J

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