Protein dynamics: from rattling in a cage to structural relaxation
We present an overview of protein dynamics based mostly on results of neutron scattering, dielectric relaxation spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. We identify several major classes of protein motions on the time scale from faster than picoseconds to several microseconds, and discuss the coupling of these processes to solvent dynamics. Our analysis suggests that the microsecond backbone relaxation process might be the main structural relaxation of the protein that defines its glass transition temperature, while faster processes present some localized secondary relaxations. Based on the overview, we formulate a general picture of protein dynamics and discuss the challenges in this field.