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Published April 2004 | public
Journal Article

Dynamics of Water in Biological Recognition


Almost all biological macromolecules-proteins (enzymes) and DNA-are inactive in the absence of water. Hydration of a protein/enzyme is particularly important for the stability of the structure and for the function, especially the recognition at a specific site. This role of hydration in enzyme catalysis is well known and has recently been reviewed in a number of publications. In one of these studies it was shown that the dehydration of a protein, which makes it more rigid and increases its denaturation temperature, is correlated with the loss of its physiological function.

Additional Information

© 2004 American Chemical Society. Received August 12, 2003. Publication Date (Web): March 27, 2004. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation. We thank colleagues in our laboratory at Caltech whose contributions over the years, acknowledged in the references, have been instrumental in the successful evolution of work in this area. In particular, for the studies of hydration of macromolecules, we thank Drs. Dongping Zhong, Jorge Peon, Liang Zhao, Sarika M. Bhattacharyya, Amisha Kamal, and Professor Biman Bagchi, who was a visiting associate at Caltech (spring 2002). We acknowledge the valuable discussions with Drs. Tianbing Xia and Spencer Baskin.

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