Raman optical activity studies of the influence of water on structure and dynamics of proteins, viruses and nucleic acids

Barron, L. D., Blanch, E. W., Smyth, E., Bell, A. F., Day, L. A. and Hecht, L. (1999) Raman optical activity studies of the influence of water on structure and dynamics of proteins, viruses and nucleic acids. In: Greve, J., Puppels, G.J. and Otto, C. (eds.) Spectroscopy of Biological Molecules: New Directions. Springer Netherlands, pp. 643-646. ISBN 9789401059190 (doi:10.1007/978-94-011-4479-7_290)

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Abstract

It has long been appreciated that water, the natural biological medium, plays a central role in determining both structure and function of biological molecules [1]. However, there remains a dearth of information on the mechanistic details. A promising technique for studying the effects of solvation on biomolecular structure and function is Raman optical activity (ROA), which measures vibrational optical activity by means of a small difference in the intensity of Raman-scattered light from chiral molecules in right- and left-circularly polarized incident light [2]. ROA can be more incisive than conventional vibrational spectroscopy in the study of biomolecules because only the few vibrational coordinates within a complicated normal mode which sample the skeletal chirality most directly make the largest contributions. Recent results on peptides, proteins and intact viruses suggest that ROA can distinguish α-helix in hydrophobic, amphipathic and fully solvated environments. Fully water-solvated α-helix appears to have an important functional role, and may be implicated in the conformational diseases. ROA studies of nucleic acids have provided evidence that deformations of water molecules couple strongly with some base stretching modes, and have revealed a new glasslike transition at ∼15–18 °C which might involve the formation of ordered water structure.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barron, Professor Laurence and Hecht, Dr Lutz
Authors: Barron, L. D., Blanch, E. W., Smyth, E., Bell, A. F., Day, L. A., and Hecht, L.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Chemistry
Publisher:Springer Netherlands
ISBN:9789401059190

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