Protein-water interactions are a fundamental determinant of protein structure and function. Despite their importance, the molecular details of water orientations and dynamics near protein surfaces remain poorly understood, largely due to the difficulty of measuring local water mobility near the protein in a site-resolved fashion. Solution NMR-based measurement of water mobility via the nuclear Overhauser effect was presented as a method for performing comprehensive, site-resolved measurements of water dynamics many years ago. Though this approach yielded extensive insight on the dynamics and locations of waters buried within proteins, its promise for measuring surface hydration dynamics was impeded by various technical barriers. Over the past several years, however, this approach has been pursued anew with the aid of reverse micelle encapsulation of proteins of interest. The confined environment of the reverse micelle resolves many of these barriers and permits site-resolved measurement of relative water dynamics across much of the protein surface. Here, the development of this strategy for measuring hydration dynamics is reviewed with particular focus on the important remaining challenges to its widespread application.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)