Sub-THz specific relaxation times of hydrogen bond oscillations in E.coli thioredoxin. Molecular dynamics and statistical analysis
Hydrogen bonds (H-bonds) in biological macromolecules are important for the molecular structure and functions. Since interactions via hydrogen bonds are weaker than covalent bonds, it can be expected that atomic movements involving H-bonds have low frequency vibrational modes. Sub-Terahertz (sub-THz) vibrational spectroscopy that combines measurements with molecular dynamics (MD) computational prediction has been demonstrated as a promising approach for biological molecule characterization. Multiple resonance absorption lines have been reported. The knowledge of relaxation times of atomic oscillations is critical for the successful application of THz spectroscopy for hydrogen bond characterization. The purpose of this work is to use atomic oscillations in the 0.35–0.7 THz range, found from molecular dynamic (MD) simulations of E.coli thioredoxin (2TRX), to study relaxation dynamics of two intra-molecular H-bonds, O⋯H–N and O⋯H–C. Two different complimentary techniques are used in this study, one is the analysis of the statistical distribution of relaxation time and dissipation factor values relevant to low frequency oscillations, and the second is the analysis of the autocorrelation function of low frequency quasi-periodic movements. By studying hydrogen bond atomic displacements, it was found that the atoms are involved in a number of collective oscillations, which are characterized by different relaxation time scales ranging from 2–3 ps to more than 150 ps. The existence of long lasting relaxation processes opens the possibility to directly observe and study H-bond vibrational modes in sub-THz absorption spectra of bio-molecules if measured with an appropriate spectral resolution. The results of measurements using a recently developed frequency domain spectroscopic sensor with a spectral resolution of 1 GHz confirm the MD analysis.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Emerging Photon Technologies for Chemical Dynamics