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Report No.

Universality and structural implications of the Boson peak in Proteins

Nakagawa, Hiroshi  ; Jochi, Yasumasa*; Kitao, Akio*; Yamamuro, Osamu*; Kataoka, Mikio*

Softness and rigidity of proteins are reflected in the structural dynamics, which are in turn affected by the environment. The characteristic low-frequency vibrational spectrum of a protein, known as boson peak, is an indication of the structural rigidity of the protein at cryogenic temperature or dehydrated conditions. In this paper, the effect of hydration, temperature, and pressure on the boson peak and volumetric properties of a globular protein are evaluated by using inelastic neutron scattering and molecular dynamics simulation. Hydration, pressurization, and cooling shift the boson peak position to higher energy and depress the peak intensity and decreases the protein and cavity volumes, although pressure hardly affects the boson peak of the fully hydrated protein. A decrease of each volume means the increase of rigidity, which is the origin of the boson peak shift. The boson peak profile can be predicted by the total cavity volume. This prediction is effective for the evaluation of the net quasielastic scattering of incoherent neutron scattering spectra when the boson peak cannot be distinguished experimentally because of a strong contribution from quasielastic scattering.



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