"Funnel" attracts bonding partners to biomolecule
Water movement as detection aid for molecules
RESOLV combines terahertz spectroscopy and Simulation
Water is a ubiquitous solvent in all life sciences – sometimes referred to as the "matrix of life". Contrary to earlier assumptions, it is not a passive witness of biochemical processes; rather, it participates in them actively. By influencing the movement of water molecules surrounding their binding pockets, proteins can create a type of “funnel” in the surrounding water, which assists the bonding of certain binding partners that are solvated in water. Valeria Conti Nibali and Prof Dr Martina Havenith-Newen (Cluster of Excellence RESOLV – Ruhr explores Solvation) made this discovery by using a combination of terahertz absorption spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. The researchers report their findings in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).