Journal article

The biological function of an insect antifreeze protein simulated by molecular dynamics

Michael J Kuiper, Craig J Morton, Sneha E Abraham, Angus Gray-Weale

ELIFE | ELIFE SCIENCES PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2015

Abstract

Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) protect certain cold-adapted organisms from freezing to death by selectively adsorbing to internal ice crystals and inhibiting ice propagation. The molecular details of AFP adsorption-inhibition is uncertain but is proposed to involve the Gibbs-Thomson effect. Here we show by using unbiased molecular dynamics simulations a protein structure-function mechanism for the spruce budworm Choristoneura fumiferana AFP, including stereo-specific binding and consequential melting and freezing inhibition. The protein binds indirectly to the prism ice face through a linear array of ordered water molecules that are structurally distinct from the ice. Mutation of the ice binding..

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University of Melbourne Researchers