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The dynamic transition in proteins may have a simple explanation

The transition that has been observed in the dynamics of hydrated proteins at low temperatures (180–230 K) is normally interpreted as a change from vibrational, harmonic motion at low temperatures to anharmonic motions as the temperature is raised. It is taken to be an intrinsic property of proteins and has been associated with the onset of protein functions. Examination of the dynamic behaviour of proteins in solution within a defined timescale window suggests that certain observations can be explained without the need to invoke a discontinuity in the dynamics of proteins with temperature, i.e. the existence of a dynamical transition is not required. This is discussed in the context of recent evidence that enzyme activity is independent of the activation of anharmonic picosecond dynamics and declines steadily with temperature through the apparent dynamic transition, in accordance with the Arrhenius relationship. That similar timescale dependent dynamical behaviour has been observed experimentally in chain polymers, and seen also in computer simulations of silica glasses, suggests that the phenomenon may be of wide general relevance in both simple glassy and more complex polymeric systems.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Daniel, R.M., Finney, J.L. & Smith, J.C. (2003). The dynamic transition in proteins may have a simple explanation. Faraday Discussions, 122, 163-169.
Royal Society of Chemistry
This article has been published in the journal: Faraday Discussions. ©2003 The Royal Society of Chemistry.