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"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).

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More than 30 research groups at the Faculty of Chemistry and Biochemistry as well as individual departments at four Max-Planck Institutes offer plenty of interdisciplinary research opportunities in a stimulating and state-of-the art research environment.



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