SKM 2023 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 17: Protein Structure and Dynamics

BP 17.2: Vortrag

Mittwoch, 29. März 2023, 15:15–15:30, BAR 0106

Key Role of the Solvent in Driving Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation — •Ellen Adams1,2, Jonas Ahlers3, Verian Bader3, Simone Pezzotti3, Konstanze Winkhofer3, Jörg Tatzelt3, and Martina Havenith31Technische Universität Dresden — 2Hemholtz Zentrum Dresden Rossendorf — 3Ruhr Universität Bochum

In recent years the importance of the aqueous solvent in influencing protein structure, function, and dynamics has been recognized. Coupling of water molecules to the protein surface creates an interfacial region in which water molecules within this region have distinctly different properties than bulk water. Yet, the structure and dynamics within this interfacial region are still not easy to access experimentally. Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy has been shown to be a powerful tool to investigate solvent dynamics in bulk solutions and is directly sensitive to changes in the low frequency collective intermolecular hydrogen-bonding vibrations of water. Here the role of solvation dynamics in the liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of the intrinsically disordered protein fused in sarcoma (FUS) is probed. Characterization of the hydrogen bonding network reveals that water solvating hydrophobic groups is stripped away in the membrane-less FUS biomolecular condensates. Additionally, water left inside of the biomolecular condensates is highly constrained, indicative of a population of bound hydration water. These results uncover the vital role of hydration water in LLPS: the entropically favorable release of unfavorable hydration water serves as a driving force for LLPS.

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