Journal Highlight: Toward extreme biophysics: Deciphering the infrared response of biomolecular solutions at high pressures

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  • Published: Sep 5, 2016
  • Author: spectroscopyNOW
  • Channels: Infrared Spectroscopy
thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: Toward extreme biophysics: Deciphering the infrared response of biomolecular solutions at high pressures
FTIR spectroscopy and computer simulations have been used to reveal the molecular response of piezolytes in water under high pressure to gain insight into biomolecular function at pressures relevant to life on Earth under extreme conditions.

Toward extreme biophysics: Deciphering the infrared response of biomolecular solutions at high pressures

Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 2016, 55, 9534-9538
Sho Imoto, Patrick Kibies, Christopher Rosin, Roland Winter, Stefan M. Kast and Dominik Marx

Abstract: Biophysics under extreme conditions is the fundamental platform for scrutinizing life in unusual habitats, such as those in the deep sea or continental subsurfaces, but also for putative extraterrestrial organisms. Therefore, an important thermodynamic variable to explore is pressure. It is shown that the combination of infrared spectroscopy with simulation is an exquisite approach for unraveling the intricate pressure response of the solvation pattern of TMAO in water, which is expected to be transferable to biomolecules in their native solvent. Pressure-enhanced hydrogen bonding was found for TMAO in water. TMAO is a molecule known to stabilize proteins against pressure-induced denaturation in deep-sea organisms.

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