Importance of Protein Conformational Motions and Electrostatic Anchoring Sites on the Dynamics and Hydrogen Bond Properties of Hydration Water
The microscopic dynamic properties of water molecules present in the vicinity of a protein are expected to be sensitive to its local conformational motions and the presence of polar and charged groups at the surface capable of anchoring water molecules through hydrogen bonds. In this work, we attempt to understand such sensitivity by performing detailed molecular dynamics simulations of the globular protein barstar solvated in aqueous medium. Our calculations demonstrate that enhanced confinement at the protein surface on freezing its local motions leads to increasingly restricted water mobility with long residence times around the secondary structures. It is found that the inability of the surface water molecules to bind with the protein residues by hydrogen bonds in the absence of protein?water (PW) electrostatic interactions is compensated by enhanced water?water hydrogen bonds around the protein with uniform bulklike behaviors. Importantly, it is further noticed that in contrast to the PW hydrogen bond relaxation time scale, the kinetics of the breaking and formation of such bonds are not affected on freezing the protein?s conformational motions.