Chakraborty, Debashree; Taly, Antoine; Sterpone, Fabio
Stay Wet, Stay Stable? How Internal Water Helps the Stability of Thermophilic Proteins
JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY B, 119:12760-12770, OCT 8 2015

We present a systematic computational investigation of the internal hydration of a set of homologous proteins of different stability content and molecular complexities. The goal of the study is to verify whether structural water can be part of the molecular mechanisms ensuring enhanced stability in thermophilic enzymes. Our free-energy calculations show that internal hydration in the thermophilic variants is generally more favorable, and that the cumulated effect of wetting multiple sites results in a meaningful contribution to stability. Moreover, thanks to a more effective capability to retain internal water, some thermophilic proteins benefit by a systematic gain from internal wetting up to their optimal working temperature. Our work supports the idea that internal wetting can be viewed as an alternative molecular variable to be tuned for increasing protein stability.


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