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Abstract: The mechanism of cold- and pressure-denaturation are matter of debate. Somemodels propose that when denaturation occurs more hydrogen bonds between themolecules of hydration water are formed. Other models identify the cause in thedensity fluctuations of surface water, or the destabilization of hydrophobiccontacts because of the displacement of water molecules inside the protein, asproposed for high pressures. However, it is clear that water plays afundamental role in the process. Here, we review some models that have beenproposed to give insight into this problem. Next we describe a coarse-grainedmodel of a water monolayer that successfully reproduces the complexthermodynamics of water and compares well with experiments on proteins at lowhydration level. We introduce its extension for a homopolymer in contact withthe water monolayer and study it by Monte Carlo simulations. Our goal is toperform a step in the direction of understanding how the interplay ofcooperativity of water and interfacial hydrogen bonds affects the proteinstability and the unfolding.

Author: Valentino Bianco, Svilen Iskrov, Giancarlo Franzese

Source: https://arxiv.org/

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