Rigid and flexible region in lysozyme and the invariant features in its hydration shell

Madhusudan, ; Vijayan, M. (1991) Rigid and flexible region in lysozyme and the invariant features in its hydration shell Current Science, 60 (3). pp. 165-170. ISSN 0011-3891

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Official URL: http://www.ias.ac.in/j_archive/currsci/60/3/165-17...


Water-mediated transformations provide a useful handle for exploring the flexibility in protein molecules and the invariant features in their hydration shells. Low-humidity monoclinic hen egg white lysozyme, resulting from such a transformation, has perhaps the lowest solvent content observed in any protein crystal so far and has a well-ordered structure. A detailed comparison involving this structure, low-humidity tetragonal lysozyme, and the other available refined crystal structures of the enzyme permits the delineation of the relatively rigid, moderately flexible and highly flexible regions of the molecule. The relatively rigid region forms a contiguous structural unit close to the molecular centroid and encompasses parts of of the main β-structure and three α-helices. The hydration shell of the protein contains 30 invariant water molecules. Many of them are involved in holding different parts of the molecule together or in stabilizing local structure. Five of the six invariant water molecules attached to the substrate-binding region form part of a water cluster contiguous with the side-chains of the catalytic residues Glu-35 and Asp-52.

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